Friday, July 23, 2010

A cat door is not an Alessi kettle

Cat door without flap.

It has been hot here lately. Bloody hot. Last weekend it was 37° outside and about 31° inside. The Air Conditioning works fine except when it gets really hot - then it gives up and starts blowing out warm air. This is not helpful.

At Cate’s insistence Rozalin called the AC man - again - who came and did the usual tests and said - basically - this is as good as it gets. He is accustomed to telling us this so we had a good laugh about it.

I am sure he has no AC in his apartment so it is probably difficult for him to feel much sympathy for us.

Cate says we should move. I - who packed and unpacked last time - said that is would be a bad idea and spent a long time making lists of reasons it would be too difficult to move. Not that my vote counts for much around here but I have forged the cat‘s paw prints on a petition begging Cate not to make us move.

Because I wanted the cats to have access to the terrace - but we cannot leave the terrace doors open when it is really hot - I made a cat door. This consists of a panel that fits between the two sliding terrace doors. At the bottom of the panel is the cat door.

I thought this was an engineering triumph but Cate thinks it is ugly. It is a cat door. It is supposed to look like a cat door. You cannot make a cat door look like an Alessi teapot.

It is by far the most elegant thing I have ever made because I have negligible carpentry skills so I think Cate is being unnecessarily critical. I have seen worse things than my cat door in the Tate Modern.

In fact when we have finished with it I may splatter it with cow entrails and old underwear and offer it to the Tate. It would go well between half a donkey on a stick and two tonnes of barbed wire coated with marshmallow.

The cat door works just fine unless I put the swinging flap on the door - which renders it unusable because none of the cats can figure it out. I have demonstrated it many times but just get blank looks from the cats.

Push it with your paw - just push it - oh for god's sake just push the damn thing - no with your paw - there is no point sniffing it - jesus wept just push it with your paw.

Muffin cannot understand it because she is 18 and has never been able to understand cat doors. In Sydney she would sit outside watching the other cats go in and out through the cat door - then she would meow plaintively to be let in and I would have to open the door for her. Pathetic.

I expected better from Sissi because she is clearly intellectually gifted. I will keep trying. I am looking online for cat training videos.

So at the moment we have to leave the flap off - which does not help when the weather is hot.

The city is pretty much deserted. It is always like this in July and August. The punters all go away - somewhere. Wherever it is I am glad I am not there because it must be currently the busiest and smokiest place on the planet.

Cate is back from her latest trip and will be hanging around for a month or so. The week after next we are going cycling in Italy. Why are we going cycling in Italy at the hottest time of the year? Well, firstly because it is the only time Cate had and secondly because I am a nitwit.

More about this next week.


  1. That cat flap hole looks like a perfect fit for Marchel Duchamp's Fountain - I am sure the cats would love it and, while it is no Alessi, it costs at least as much as a Michael Graves teapot (you could always try to install a whistle later on!).

  2. It looks fantastic to me! I want a cat door very badly for our cat, but I'd have to knock a hole in the wall to install one. Don't think the landlord would appreciate that, especially since we're not even supposed to have a cat. Until we either buy this house or move, I will continue my employment as our cat's butler.

    Congrats on a perfectly lovely cat door!

  3. love it! and i'm very jealous that you have air-con. VERY jealous.

  4. Look at you! You can write and you are handy and you like cats - you are a triple treat.

  5. Cat door = very nice.
    That view = gorgeous!

  6. Have you seen this New York Times slide show yet? Full of idea for future cat projects! ;-)

  7. Merisi: Yes that was my inspiration.

    Jessica: You are too kind. I Love you.

    Steph: You are also are too kind and I love you too.

    A new girl in vienna; Yes we have it does not work very well.

    Wanderlust: Well..them and Cate

    KP: Thanks Kezza

    Mrs Woog: I love you too

    Katie: It is nice - we are very lucky

    Merisi: That was my last cat project

  8. How come you don't love me? I feel left out. By the way, I forgot to tell you, the cat door looks absolutely smashing.

  9. @ Wanderlust:
    You are not alone! ;-)

  10. Wanderlust and Merisi: In respect of you two ladies my love hath no bounds.