The Catio, Part IV – Escape? Really?

Never underestimate the brain power of an animal who wants out. We learned our lesson when we kept finding Morpheus on the freedom side of the deck. How was he doing it?

Remember that post that went from deck to ceiling near the gate, with the six feet of wire on it? Remember I said Morpheus could jump and put his claws into wood

Green wire on top.

like a master? Even though the drop off from the deck at that point is well over 15 feet he managed to swing himself around the post, then easily drop onto the railing and ultimately the deck. And of course his bad influence rubbed off on Torbie, who quickly learned to do the same stunt.

We always knew the catio would be a work in progress, we just didn’t realize how quickly we would be installing Catio 2.0. Fortunately, for a quick fix, we had materials at hand; a roll of green wire, about three feet high, that was looking for a job.

We started at the gate side and fastened the wire high up and this time definitely bent in and preventing any grabbing of the post. The we rolled it around the deck until we ran out. There’s a bit of a gap on the doorway end of the deck, but the cats have never offered to escape that way – the wire is way too wiggly and there is no convenient post to grab. We fastened everything with the ubiquitous and oh-so-handy zip ties. Then we let the cats out.

The escape route made inescapable.

Morpheus immediately went to escape central and realized his exit route had been eliminated. He did try, though. I watched him take a leap, hang there for a moment, and then come to the conclusion that things would not end well were he to continue. He was miffed. The set of his jaw indicated this was unacceptable. Didn’t have my phone handy, unfortunately, or we could have had a fun video. Torbie also gave it a shot, but her attempt was pretty half-hearted. I think she secretly likes having an excuse to stay confined and protected.

Lynkx, the other (former) barn boy, took at look at the new arrangements and I swear he shrugged his shoulders. He’s pretty philosophical about life.

Tolstoy enjoys a little chair time.

Tolstoy, Ry and Aloysius were just happy to be allowed out again, and basked in the sun.

At our other house, Malamute Niko was separated from the cats by a large fence. He lived in the fairly expansive back, barn cats had free rein in the front yard out to the barn. Niko tends to chase anything furry, and while he has learned that in the house the cats are his buddies and not to be messed with, he tends to forget that when he’s outside. Instinct takes over. One of the reasons Morpheus and Lynkx are no longer barn guys, aside from the fact that they seem to have little interest in reclaiming that job, is because the barn at our current home is not separated from Niko’s running around area.

Morpheus and his favorite chair.

So Morpheus and I reached a compromise. Since he and his brother Lynkx used to live in the barn and are pretty savvy about things in general, when the dogs are in the house I will let him out the front door. During the day. When we’re home. He doesn’t stay out long and doesn’t go far. It’s the idea of the freedom that he likes. After a little taste of adventure, he happily spends the rest of the day on the catio, lounging in his favorite chair and dreaming of whatever is in cat’s dreams.