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One Small Leap For Kittenkind

Maddie’s kitten is getting restless,
no longer content to be shut up in either Maddie’s room or
the bathroom. Our next step is to allow the kitten to roam free
upstairs, but we’ve got a couple obstacles. First, I can put
the baby gate across the top of the stairs, but she can climb it
effortlessly. Second, she is small enough that she can squeeze
through the banister rails and plummet to her death. Not so much an

I’d just let her have the run of the whole house, but our
house is rather large and I’m afraid it’ll take her
some time to get the lay of the land and in the meantime forget
where her litter box is. I’m just not up for more
spot-cleaning of the rugs. Which means we needed to figure out how
to keep her upstairs.

My dad lent me a sort of doggy play yard:
think of a portable, shapeable play yard for a toddler, but make it
heavier and four feet tall. Sounded good, and we set it up in the
upstairs hallway, but that kitten climbed it effortlessly in one

Back to the drawing board.

I headed to Home Depot yesterday and came back with some plastic
sheeting, which I then taped with packing tape to the dog play
yard, making it impossible to climb. We set the fence up and
unleashed the kitten.

Have I mentioned that the kitten is a jumper?

She took one look at the fence and knew she had to climb it. She
tried once, slid right down it, and was back on her feet in an
instant. This time – clever girl – she backed up, took
a running start, and got further up before sliding down. Third time
was, indeed, the charm, and the dang cat cleared the whole fence
and ended up clinging nimbly to the top. She’d have been over
and gone if my mom hadn’t been standing by with lightening

Which led us to the afternoon’s entertainment: Cora, Maddie,
my mom and I all stood around the fence and watched Kitten try to
conquer it. My mom hovered right at the plastic sheets, and every
time Kitten gave it a go my mom squirted her with water. This, of
course, was absolutely hilarious to Cora and Maddie, who found the
whole thing so fun that they began shouting things like, “Try
again, Kitten! Just push harder and jump higher! You can do

Not helpful.

In the end, Kitten finally got bored and began roaming the rest of
the upstairs, which was the goal all along. But I have no doubt in
my mind – that smart cat is still trying to figure out a way
over the fence. Hopefully she’ll adjust quickly and I can let
her roam over the whole house before she is able to completely
jailbreak herself.

As a parent, I’ve learned it’s always better to give in
on your terms than to have your kid – er, kitten – best
you and have no choice but to give in. So pray for me here.


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