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A Rude Awakening

by Sheenah Large, London, England UK


Hermoine is an early riser. She will wake anytime between 3.00 am and 5.00 am and immediately demand to go out. She is a great escapologist and in order to prevent her opening her locked cat flap we have to put a crude barricade in front of it before we go to bed. This barricade used to consist of a twelve inch square carpet tile, which when stood on its side covered the flap, against which we stood my DH's folded manual wheelchair with its brakes on.

By now you may be wondering why we have to go to so much trouble. Surely the easier way to keep Hermoine in at night would be to shut her in a room that does not give access to the cat flap. Dear friends, we've tried that. Countless times. And each time we have been rudely awoken in the early hours by a yowling cat tearing up that room's carpet and clawing at its door.

Our barricade used to be a sufficient deterrent to Hermoine. Recently, however, she was determined that nothing should stand in the way of her going out after dark.

At about 3.30 one morning, I awoke to the sound of her claws tugging at the cat flap seal; she had managed to fractionally move my DH's wheelchair and dislodge the carpet tile. However, she was unable to pull the cat flap fully open because she had not been able to move his wheelchair far enough away from it. I called to her to stop making a noise and to go back to bed. There followed immediate silence but a few seconds later, she restarted clawing. This time, I shouted at her to stop. Again, there followed a few seconds silence. Then the yowling started. "For heaven's sake Hermoine shut up" I screamed. Again, there was immediate silence. I waited on tenterhooks for either the clawing or yowling to begin again. When after five minutes all remained quiet, I breathed a sigh of relief, pulled the bedcovers over my head and tried to go back to sleep.

Suddenly, I heard an almighty CRASH and the reason for Hermoine's silence became clear. She had been struggling to pull over the wheelchair. Having succeeded in doing so, she looked triumphant and expected to be let out.

Since that night, we have barricaded the cat flap with the carpet tile, a 13.64 kg sack of cat litter and my DH's much heavier electric wheelchair..

Hermoine has taken up weight-training. :-)


Editor's note:

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