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Home > Someone was a very, VERY bad boy yesterday!

Someone was a very, VERY bad boy yesterday!

October 21st, 2011 at 10:14 am

Thinking back about the 5 cats I've owned during my adulthood, my Maine Coon has been, by far, the most destructive and fearless cat I've owned (and also, the best looking).

Yesterday, inexplicably, he was evidently "exploring" in the basement. Although he's made his home here with me and Waldo for over 2 years now, he apparently just discovered that by jumping up from the basement floor to a two-inch wide ledge about five feet up on the basement wall, he could then walk along the wall and hop on top of the well water tank. From there, he had easy access to leap to a small basement window well. Before my attached garage was added to the other side of this wall, this was an outside wall, hence, the window.

When I bought the house, the previous homeowners had rigged up an insulated frame that fit inside the window well against the window. Inside the insulated frame and the glass window it sits up against, they had an approximate four-inch diameter circle cut to fit the diameter of a standard clothes dryer hose, and this is where I've always vented my dryer.

The washing machine and clothes dryer were at one time against the back wall of the house. I know that because you could see the old dryer vent on the back wall, but that has since been covered up by my new vinyl siding. So the little window on the shared wall between basement and garage is really the only option I have for venting the clothes dryer.

it's not a good idea to vent anywhere but outdoors, cus that's a lot of humid, moist air and I have noticed that if I don't crack the door open in the garage regularly when i run the dryer, tools rust.

So anyway, the cat somehow discovered that by clawing at the flimsy dryer hose, which is not attached to the window, just placed in the hole, basically, he could pull it out. (He's already become quite dexterious at prying open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors.) Once he did that, he saw the opening, and like a little mouse, he managed to crawl through the cut glass opening plus lots of fiberglass insulation (great) to find himself in the garage. He had to leap about six feet down to a hard, concrete floor.

Yesterday morning, I couldn't find him, which always makes me nervous. I went into the basement calling for him but didn't see him. Then I spied the dryer hose no longer inside the little opening in that old window and I thought to myself, could he have CRAWLED through that tiny opening? I went to the garage door, which opens to the basement, and Luther scooted right in. He'd apparently been trying to get back in for a while, because he'd totally ripped off a rubber door sweep my handyman had put at the bottom of my metal door for drafts. More damage.

I kind of freaked, because all summer long I've often kept the big garage door open, often overnight. If he'd happened to make his tunnel-like escape at that time, he'd be gone. I also have another side door to the garage which I've been unable to close since they put aluminimum trim around the door frame. I don't know if the door warped or what, but even with substantial chiseling and sanding of the door, it still won't close. If he had investigated that door, he could have easily pushed it open.

So yesterday morning, as a short-term solution, I began to barricade the window. I say short-term because I'm not going to want to dismantle it each time I need to use the dryer. I jammed a variety, lumber against the window, but I can't nail or screw it in place, it's all concrete there so I just tried to wedge it in place, Then I put up other obstacles that I hoped would keep Luther from pulling the same stunt again.

The window is in the top left part of the photo, and is covered with the white sytrofoam I had on hand. The large black pipe is my septic pipe which goes straight into the floor of the basement and basically prevents me from moving the washer/dryer closer to the window. There are also several poles in the way, plus the well water tank itself.

Not five minutes later, he had done it again! I was flabbergasted. I had to bring him back inside from the garage. I did more barricading, and later when i went upstairs, I could hear him scratching at something down there, trying to get through. The little escape artist was now obsessed with his new taste of freedom.

I made it clear to him that was very, very bad and chased him round and round the housewhen I caught him trying to get through the hole again. I needed to nip this in the bud.

We survived last night with no further garage forays, but I see he did attempt another adventure because a few things were knocked down out of place.

I really don't know what I'll do moving forward, as I need to keep that window free for my dryer hose. (As it it, the cat put a few holes in the hose as well.) I know I can probably find the more expensive dryer hose that doens't have the coils/ribs, is just hard metal, and that kind is much safer anyway as dryer lint can't collect between the coils/ribs. But there's no way right now to secure it firmly through the hole in the glass.

I'm thinking maybe i can get my handyman to build something the same size as the glass window, but made of wood, and maybe then it if was wood a sturdier dryer hose could be attached to it permanently.

9 Responses to “Someone was a very, VERY bad boy yesterday!”

  1. dmontngrey Says:

    Oh boy!! Sounds like something our "new" (3 months now) cat would do. They can be troublemakers! Smile

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Good luck getting it figured out for the long term!

  3. My English Castle Says:

    He's not Luther--he's Harry Houdini!

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Oh dear. Only two things seem to discourage my cat when he gets fixated on doing something I don't want him to. Squirting his face with water will stop him in his tracks in the moment but doesn't dissuade him long-term. Spraying the object of his desire (kitchen counter, Xmas tree) with vinegar right after he's tried to get at it leaves a very bad impression on him and usually works at least for a few days or a few months. He HATES the smell of vinegar.

  5. HouseHopeful Says:

    LOL - cats can be stubborn and Luther sounds like a mastermind!

  6. scfr Says:

    Hi PatientSaver - I'm currently on hiatus from Saving Advice, but wanted to contact you b/c my employer is on the hunt for work-from-home employees again. It's not high-paying but 100% legit, the hours are quite flexible, and it's something I think you'd be good at. Absolutely no sales or pyramid schemes, I promise!!! I know you weren't interested last year, but thought you might be this year since you're still looking for work. If you're interested just let me know & I'll get logged back on to SA and figure out how to send a private message to you.

  7. baselle Says:

    All the cats that I've known see right through any kluges. There is the squirt bottle or the vacuum cleaner sound punishments but you have to catch him in the act.

  8. Looking Forward Says:

    What a clever boy! Wink Good luck!

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Ack! I bet my Kari would do the same thing - she's a very stubborn single minded kitty.

    SCFR!!!! Miss you!!

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