11 August, 2007

The Ring of Shoes

We have a *huge* sliding glass door - 8' wide, compared to the typical 5-1/2' wide sliders you can pick up "off-the-shelf" at your local hardware store. Years ago, we decided to get a Phantom Screen for the door rather than a regular sliding screen. Benefits are that the screen, when retracted, rolls into a bar that sits where the door frames meet in the center of the door - thus making it "invisible" when not in use. When the screen is unrolled, it attaches to the door frame using a magnet.
Closing the Screen
The Magnet

The only issue I have is that the cats can pop the magnet and escape into the "wild" backyard (which is not fully enclosed). Since they're Indoor Cats, they don't have the vaccinations necessary to be outside, nor do they have collars. Besides, I'm worried that they'd get lost and not come home. Iko was gone for 2 weeks last fall - she escaped to the wild - fortunately she came home again, but she didn't fare too well since she was down more than 1-1/2 #s. I *definitely* don't want a repeat of that!!

So we developed the "Ring of Shoes". We keep deck slippers by the door so in inclement weather people can go in and out. In good weather, no shoes are necessary and it's nice to increase the air flow throughout the house. So we open the door, close the screen, find the spray bottle, and set up the Ring of Shoes. The cats are not allowed to cross the Ring of Shoes - if they do, they get shot with water. They only challenge the Ring a few times before settling down as close as they can get. We still can't leave the room for long periods of time - the little monsters will take advantage of the lapse in security and make a break for freedom.

In these pictures, we used windshield wipers to complete the Ring - need to get new slippers for Greg (I'm thinking birthday present). I think it's amusing to see how close they get to the Ring without going over (and how quickly they retreat when they get sprayed).
Looking In
Looking Out

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