With winter again approaching, I gave thought to the
cats — neither of them mine, but they
adopted me as their home away from home years ago. Gilly, the big orange
tabby, belongs to Barbara; Ozzie,
the gray tiger cat who I called "Slick" when he first
appeared years ago, belongs to another neighbor. Slick shows up
early every morning, often spends the day on the living room couch. The
two are great
buddies, most of the time.
A few years ago I put a screened kitty door into the sliding
screen door, which works great during the warmer months, but I still
need to close and lock the sliding glass door at night. During
past winters, I'd have to either leave the door open a crack or watch
for them and let them in and out.
I came up with a plan: A plywood panel that
would fit within the door track, with a hole cut into its bottom
covered with another
I cut the plywood to precise size, then the hole in
it. I primed and painted the outside with a couple coats of maroon
exterior latex, the inside primed and painted with a couple coats of
interior latex. I cut and fit a strip of wood to fit within the track,
painted it. I added weather
stripping around all its edges and between the plywood and glass door to
make it air-tight. Then I mounted the kitty door, waited and watched.
Gilly has a kitty door at his home across the yard, so
it didn't take him long to figure it out. Now he comes and goes any time
of the day and night his little heart desires.
Slick was another story: He doesn't have a kitty
door at home, though was used to coming and going through the screen. It
took him a while longer (and some coaxing) to figure out he could pass
through a solid door as well — but once he did,
he's now in and out all day too. (Nov. 8, 2010)