TCB [Non-Photographic Tuesday Edition]

We used to think that Andromache was a lesbian submissive, but more recently we found out that the enormous neighbour’s cat with whom she used to wrestle playfully in the bushes was a boy. (That’s the cat that’s enormous, by the way, not the neighbour.) Our neighbour has been told by a vet, however, that her cat must lose weight soon OR HE WILL DIE, as his heart’s not in a terribly good way right now, and this has spurred us to put collars on our cats and magnets on the collars, so that they, and only they, can get into the house through our catflap and eat whatever crunchy tuna-flavoured food that they might find there.

Andromache was in a bit of a sulk about wearing her elegant green collar for a few days, but she seems to have adjusted to it, and is back to her usual friendly, perpetually purring self.

Enkidu, on the other hand, has managed to get his collar off three times in three days. On the first couple of occasions he did it in the living room, so I could scoop it back up and put it back on him. Now he’s removed it outside somewhere (and woke me up just before 7 this morning banging at the flap – which he can’t get through any more).

So now I have to get some spare magnets, to replace the one that he’s lost somewhere in the great wide world, but I’m also keen to pick up tips from the Friends of the Cat who read the Virtual Stoa – and I know there are some of you out there – about how to choose and fit a collar onto a cat who has managed to remove a pretty securely-fitted collar three times in quick succession. Any ideas?

0 thoughts on “TCB [Non-Photographic Tuesday Edition]”

  1. dearieme @ 11:25AM | 11/07/2006| permalink

    Our solution was to give up. We now repel boarders with a water pistol.

    Dan B @ 1:17PM | 11/07/2006| permalink

    Could you induce Enkidu to swallow the magnet? Perhaps by concealing it in some kind of crunchy tuna-flavoured food?

    Failing that, have you considered trying to magnetise Enkidu himself?

    lyn @ 4:39PM | 11/07/2006| permalink

    I can only second the comments from Dearieme – after finding my cat with his collar stuck in his mouth having rubbed fur off his head where he had tried to get rid of it, I gave up – if next door’s cat has a different magnet, he won’t be able to get into your house, will he? Or don’t they work that way.

    Chris Brooke @ 4:47PM | 11/07/2006| permalink

    No, the trouble is that if Enkidu won’t wear his collar, then I have to deactivate the catflap magnet by taping something over the catch, and if I do that, then the Lovely But Severely Overweight Cat can come in and eat the food (unless we either cover the food at pretty much all times of day and night, which I’m reluctant to do, or magnetize Enkidu in line with Dan B’s comment, above.).

    Patchen @ 8:04PM | 11/07/2006| permalink

    Three words: narrower cat door.

    Lorna @ 3:09PM | 12/07/2006| permalink

    Associate some kind of treat with the collar? Tabby and Psycho like their collars (jingle the collars and they both come running) because collars meant they were about to go outside. Might be difficult given it’s on permanently and you have a catflap… Hmm. Josie, my parents’ old cat, never wore one and shredded any that we tried – but she was pretty elderly and set in her ways by then. Younger cats might be easier.

    Maybe you could put it on him for a while and then remove it, and give him food and attention while it’s on, to try and get him used to the idea?

    Backword Dave @ 3:56PM | 12/07/2006| permalink

    I’m with the “give up” faction. Cats are fixed in their opinions. I’ve had cats who wear collars happily (when they do, I’m strongly pro name tags — they’re good for signalling that your cat has a home should it get lost, get in an accident, or try to ingratiate itself elsewhere), and cats who just won’t.

    The first cat my parents had nearly hung himself trying to get a collar off — the message seemed to be “I’d rather die than wear this.” So they gave up. This may be what one should expect for naming a cat ‘Lev’, presumably after Trotsky.

    You haven’t said if the neighbour’s cat actually gets in to your house to steal tuna-flavoured crunchy goodness. If he does, is there any way to convince him to wear Enkidu’s collar, and just reverse the polarity or something so the flap locks when he approaches?

    In my experience, cats think their ideal weight is several kilos heavier than vets do. They’re a bit like supermodels in reverse.

    Lorna @ 1:20PM | 13/07/2006| permalink

    Incidentally, probably stating the obvious here, but collars they can wriggle out of are probably safer than collars they can’t, in case they get it caught on anything, so don’t be tempted to go for something that’s totally impossible for him to get out of.

    Hmm. I wonder if “you need this to open the door” is something that cat brains can learn? Cats definitely can be taught stuff – run and hide when the word “vet” is mentioned, for instance, and both my parents’ cats come running when their names are called, while Psycho has figured out that standing on the furniture and pawing the door handle is more likely to work than pawing the bottom of a door. But needing a collar to open the catflap seems more complicated than that. I dunno if it’s the kind of thing that experience will get into a feline head.

    Chris Brooke @ 2:31PM | 13/07/2006| permalink

    I fitted Enkidu with a new collar this morning, and he’s still wearing it five hours later, so I’m cautiously optimistic. This one’s got a more secure-looking buckle to it – and Lorna will be pleased to hear that it’s got an elasticated bit in it to make sure he can remove it over his head in an emergency.

    cat friend @ 7:58AM | 14/07/2006| permalink

    I simply feed my cats a fixed amount, twice a day. They finish what’s in their bowls both times and that’s that. But it might take some training or getting used to, if E and A or more used to grazing.

    JM @ 11:09AM | 16/07/2006| permalink

    Put it round his forepaw – like a Morris Dancer’s legbells.

    hakmao @ 3:23PM | 25/07/2006| permalink

    A cat harness.

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