Posted by: peterhact | January 30, 2011

The Raptor Cage

There is a scene in Jurassic park where we see a cow being lowered into the raptor cage, screaming, then the harness is dragged out in pieces.

after we worked out that the search and destroy cat module and small ferocious tabby would benefit from a bit of outside time, as would the family – the cats would be outside and we could relax, without fear from surprise attacks, we needed to ensure that the local wildlife would not be eaten. (if they got a taste for local animals, including small toddlers, it would be all over)

So began the search for our very own cat enclosure, or raptor cage, as it came to be known. There were certain specifications we had, must resist scratching and chewing, must have concrete areas that stop incessant trying to break the wires, electrified sections to prevent breakouts, local vegetation for calming effect, alarm system for breakout attempts, hammocks for sleeping and water dispenser and litter basket for comforts of home. we had to put in a tunnel entrance, so as to allow minimal handling and potential damage (to us)

after watching a few programs about zoo habitats, and reading about them online, we approached one vendor, but they were deemed as unsuitable – the nets were made of rope, no wires in sight! Search and Destroy cat module would eat his way out in no time at all…

Then, when all hope seemed lost, we learned of a cat enclosure maker who made sturdy cat runs / enclosures. he came out, and after we explained the necessity of all the extra security measures, and that it was to keep the cats in, not protect them from being stolen – who in their right mind would do that?

He built us a thing of beauty. it has sturdy shadecloth hammocks now, as the originals were a bit light on, and search and destroy cat module managed to shred them just after the grand opening. The caged area is a strengthened mesh – probably shark proof, definitely psycho cat proof. only problem was that when we moved house, it came too, but is too far from the house to get a zoo tunnel with drop metal plate, so I am forced to herd Search and destroy cat module into it using a prod and chair.

I have a new routine. every morning on weekends I unbolt his door, wearing carbon fibre shin protectors, armed with falconry gloves, prod and chair, and herd him to the raptor cage. I slide the lock closed carefully, if he hears me, he will turn on me. As I have mentioned before, I call him “he who can clear a room” and “skunk cat” for good reasons. and he will make the air so thick you can cut it with a knife. this is particularly bad on hot days, he is fine under his roof, with his water and foliage, but I can’t open the windows.

Every night, after work, I let him out and follow the weekend ritual. He goes in till it is dark, and then I herd him back in. The thing is that he pretends to be old, and frail. Yeah, right. that’s why the mr fluffy the demon kitten was tearing around the house doing maddies, running on top of the lounge, the bathroom benches and leaping at me. He picked a day that was hottest – I had to go to work with long sleeved dark shirt to hide the scratches and blood the next day.

Oh dear. Food time? now? yes master. I am coming. no, you don’t need to rip a hole in the door….

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