Animal Magnetism

We’ve recently acquired new neighbours who seem lovely. They have 3 cats who also seem lovely. Our cat does not agree. He is getting on a bit now and is finding the whole territorial warfare lark a bit tough going in the face of such insurmountable odds. The neighbouring cats have noticed and have taken to popping into our house through his cat flap to borrow a bit of cat food from time to time. Mostly at night. This has moved the turf war from our neighbourhood’s interlocking gardens and driveways into our house with all the associated yowling and marking of territory. Not good.

As a result I spent my Bank Holiday Saturday morning upgrading our cat flap to one of those posh ones that only opens for our cat…that’s the theory anyway. The flap in question is a Staywell 400 Series Magnetic 4 Way Locking Deluxe Cat Flap. Homebase did not mention the even posher 500 series which is an infrared operated version. If they had I might have got that instead, given how much I like to be on the bleeding edge technologically, and saved myself a bit of bother.

catflap The cat flap is operated by a small magnet worn on the cat’s collar. So actually it would appear that the 400 Series will grant admission to any cat with similar magnetic accessories. As the cat brings it’s head within pushing distance of the flap the magnet triggers the lock and the flap will open. Brilliant.

Our cat was not impressed. Within minutes of having his new magnetic medallion fitted cathe ran downstairs, upended his food dish in a fit of pique and ran out of the house. The ungrateful bugger returned later in the day after I had swept up all the IAMS and promptly upended the whole thing again. From upstairs I could hear him rattling the empty dish around the hallway and shouting. I cleared up the foodquake debris again.

During the night he tipped all the food out of his dish again. Over breakfast on Sunday we were debating the cause of his protests. Did he not like the new flap ? Did he not like the magnet on his collar ? Did he resent our interference in his complicated relationship with the neighbourhood cats ? We persevered.

The vicious cycle of IAMS-sweeping, re-filling and dish-tipping continued through Sunday and Monday. On Monday night I was woken up at about 1 AM by a particularly violent bought of dish rattling. Trying to get cat biscuit out from between your toes in the wee hours must concentrate the mind wonderfully because the answer came to me in a flash as I was refilling the dish. The cat dish. The biscuit dish. The nice shiny dish. The STAINLESS STEEL F**CKING DISH! There had never been any act of protest at all. Every time the cat had leaned in to get a bite of food the dish had attached itself to his magnet so that when he lifted his head between mouthfuls the dish would tip up and he’d go clanging about about the place trailing biscuit everywhere until he managed to shake it off.

Cat forgiven. Plastic dish purchased. Still considering upgrade to Series 500. INFRARED, Man ! Now that is cool for cats 🙂


2 Responses to Animal Magnetism

  1. Huw says:

    Interesting story about the cat-flap and the metal dish problem, Bert, and you mentioned the infra-red cat-flaps but I wonder if you had considered the ‘dogs bollocks’ of the cat-flap technology world? I’m talking of course about the more recent microchip cat-flaps that open in response to the unique coded microchip embedded under the fur of an increasing number of pets. Made by ‘Petporte’ and ‘Sureflap’ these cat-flaps cost something like £65 (available from all good internet retailers such as Amazon) and if you haven’t already had your cat(s) chipped then the vet typically charges about £20 to chip a cat. They seem to be the perfect solution, and one of the benefits is that the cat no longer has to wear a collar if you don’t want it to (8 out of 10 cats expressing a preference also said they prefered not to have to wear a collar). If there’s no collar then the cat is safer since it can crawl through bushes and undergrowth without the collar snagging on twigs etc. Its worth a Google!

    • bertcraven says:

      Yes Huw. I had looked at those and in fact our cat has a microchip. Unfortunately the flap is not compatible with the old-style chips so we would have to get the poor cat re-chipped.

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