Hairy Houdini

I’m happy to report, everyone’s favourite ginger kitten is now cone free, and has been for a full day without issue. And let me tell you, he’s happy too!

But, before his little day at the vet last week… he had a couple of… incidents…

“Who??? Me???”

Yeah… you.

It started on one of the super warm days we had back at the end of February. I went out to the catio yard to check on the cats (and enjoy a little sun myself) and there was no sign of Lemmy. I called and called, and nothing. And if you know anything about Lemmy, he’s a talker…. ALL the time. He would answer me if I called.

I left the catio and walked around the rest of yard (front and back), shaking a bag of treats and calling him…. still no sign. When I got back to the catio yard, I noticed Rupert was under the bbq, and staring at the bottom of the outside of the sunporch. I moved the bbq to get a closer look… and sure enough there, between the slats was Lemmy staring back at me. A couple of the boards were rotted on the bottom, and it was just enough for the little turkey to squeeze under.

But of course, not enough for me get my hands under and pull him back out. I tried to entice him out with some treats… but he’d found somewhere new to explore and was being stubborn.

So I went to the garage for a pry bar, because if he wasn’t going to come out on his own, there was only one way to get him out.

Thankfully – by the time I got back with the pry bar, he’d come out on his own. No porch demolition was needed. I blocked up the rotted boards with some bricks and thought that was that.

But then, one day, just a couple weeks ago, Dave and I came home from a lunch outing. Lemmy came out to greet us as he normally does. I noticed he was somewhat wet and muddy. It was after one of our bouts of snow, and I thought maybe he’d been wrestling with one of the other cats in the catio yard. The mess wasn’t bad enough to require a bath, so I left him to take care of it himself and went back to my office to work.

When I came down again around 5, I noticed he still looked wet. I picked him up for a closer inspection and realized it wasn’t water in his fur, but some sort of oil. It had almost a motor oil smell, but not quite. Dave and I search the house high and low for anything oily he could have gotten into, and came up empty.

There was no choice but to give him another bath. But the mystery remained**

Then last Sunday morning, I woke up a couple hours after Dave (as normal), and the his first words to me that morning were “I came down, looked out the studio door, and Lemmy was sitting on the steps.”

Those steps are well outside the fence catio yard!!!! Happily, Dave was able to grab Lemmy quickly and easily, and get him back inside. By the time I got up, he’d already inspected the catio fence, located where he thought the little bum wiggled out (a small space between the house and a downspout, where I was unable to secure the fence – only a few inches wide.) He blocked it up, and we thought that was that!

And we were wrong!!!!

Tuesday morning, I was working away in my office, Dave was in his music studio downstairs, when all of a sudden he yelled up to me…

“Lemmy is out of the catio again!!! He’s stalking a squirrel!”

I ran downstairs, got my boots on, and located the furry jerkface at the fence between the front and back yards. Having been through this with Dave only two days before, he was wise to the game and didn’t want to let me catch him. Eventually, I got him cornered, got him inside, and locked up access to the catio for all cats until I could figure out how he got out!!!

Happily there was snow on the ground, so I just had to follow the foot prints.

The catio fence is mostly a large-grid plastic mesh, with the bottom two-feet overlapped with a more rigid metal grid fencing on the bottom two feet. The company that sells it calls is a “chew guard”. And it’s like that all the way around… with the exception of the catio gate. The gate is an open metal frame covered in the plastic mesh. It’s perfectly secure…. unless that plastic mesh is broken in a couple spots…. which it was!

Now I don’t know if Lemmy actually chewed it, or it broke on its own, or some other reason (an outside animal chewing on it?)…. but whatever the reason, I had to fix it.

Happily, I still have lots of both kinds of fencing. I got the side cutters and cut a piece of the chew guard fencing that would cover the bottom of the gate. A few zip ties secured it, and the catio was open for business again.

You can kind of see where it overlaps the plastic mesh. Lemmy certainly can, and he’s not too thrilled about losing his access to the wider world. Hopefully that’s the last of his escape attempts.

“Don’t look at me. I didn’t bring him home”

** We still haven’t located anything in the house/catio that could have contributed to his oily state. My best guess is that it was his first escape, and he maybe got under Dave’s car, before coming back into the catio before we got home.

13 thoughts on “Hairy Houdini

  1. Maureen Garrett

    Lemmy is the new explorer in the family for sure. Luckily for us that you and Dave are onto Lemmy’s wily antics by being a step ahead of him each time.

    Keep up the great work 👍!

    Maureen Garrett



  2. Shirley Elliott

    Lemmy is really keeping you on your toes! So glad you have resolved the problem and hope he doesn’t find another way out. In the last photo of Lemmy, I can just imagine he is dreaming of getting beyond the gate.


  3. uh-oh! That little guy is determined isn’t he? And now that he has experienced the wide world, he knows what he’s missing. I hope he realizes that he has all that he needs right there in the catio. You just can’t be angry at that little face though. Annoyed maybe, but not angry. 🙂


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