Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cat Door

So do you know what this little contraption is? We're hoping it's something that will allow us to be able to sleep all night long without having to get up to let the cats outside. It is a cat door that you install in your regular door. The idea is fairly simple and in theory will make your life easier, the cats can now come and go as they please simply pushing through the clear vinyl panels that are held down with magnets. Since it only consists of two pieces of plastic and the vinyl doors, and 6 plastic screws and nuts, you would think it would be very cheap.

Well I'm here to tell you, there is nothing simple, easy or cheap about this cat door. You can buy a brand new wood door at the hardware store for $89, you can spend $139 just for an animal door big enough to fit your dogs and your cats. I wound up spending $39 for the cat door, or almost half the cost of a nice new wood door. So much for being inexpensive. Installing this little personal entry door for my cats cost me my afternoon dive Sunday afternoon. There were no words on the instructions, only pictures, so you'd better hope you can figure out what they are trying to demonstrate. I suppose it makes it easier for different language speakers to use, but personally I like very detailed, thorough instructions. You have to measure the spot for the door, then try cutting the hole in the door, keeping your cuts straight. That's not too bad if you can take the door off the hinges and lay it down to work on, but when you have to cut the hole in it while it's hanging, it's not a lot of fun. Then you have to drill the holes through the door for the screws to go through, and hope you do it straight so thay they line up on both sides of the plastic car door frame.

When you're all done, it should look something like this. Well, I'm not really sure I have the side with the vinyl doors on the right side of the main door, the pictures weren't real clear about that. But it doesn't really matter that much anyway, since the door opens both ways, so the cats can come and go. So after the cutting, drilling, fitting and installing is all over, you would think all the hard work was over and you could just sit back and relax. If you really think that, you've obviously never owned a cat. Next comes the process of trying to teach the cats to actually use the door. You've heard the old saying you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Well you can hold a cat up to a cat door, but you can't necessarily push him through. Well, that's not entirely true, you can, but it may be a painful experience for both of you.

And here's another very valuable lesson for you, it is much better to push a cat, than to try pulling a cat through the door. Kelli was gracious enough to volunteer to be the cat pusher so I could take a picture of it using the door at least once. So far we have successfully pushed both cats out of the cat door. Neither of them has successfully made the journey back in by themselves yet, but if they are ever going to return to my house, it's going to be through that cat door I just spent all afternoon installing.

So after all the time, trouble and expense I just went through to give those 2 their own door, I'm wondering who is really the pet and who is really the master? So if you ever need to install a cat door, get a nice cold bottle of wine, or a bottle of scotch, and give me a call, I'd be more than happy to sit there drinking it while telling you that your cats probably won't use it anyway, but it will make for a great conversation piece when you have friends over. We may or may not wind up installing the cat door, but I can guarantee we'll have a great time talking about it!


Angelo Villagomez said...

...and now you are writing about your cat door

Bon said...

That is the cutest thing. Good luck with getting your cats using it, if we had that up here in Papago, the hilitai would be frequent visitors:)

Brad Ruszala said...

Aren't you worried about other four-legged critters using that door? Especially the ones that rhyme with cat?

Funny story. I was visualizing you cutting through the door while it was still on its hinges. Classic. Sounds like the start of one of my misadventures.

Harry Blalock said...

I have the cat door a few inches above the floor level, and they would have to get over a riser on the screen door as well, so I'm hoping I won't have a problem with rats. Guess we'll see if those cats are worth their keep or not!