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Where’s the Snooze Button?


My monster of a cat has worked out how to open doors!

cartoon of spock the cat alarm clock

We were happily asleep one night when we heard a crash from the bedroom door. We ignored it thinking that it was just Spock playing with a ball and bouncing off the walls like normal. A little while later we were stirred from our slumber by said beast careering around the bedroom, doing acrobatics and launching himself across the pillows. The door was open…we knew we’d closed it.

So, we caught him and returned him to the correct side of the door. We thought it was just a fluke that he’d managed to open the door, but 10 minutes later he was back!

Thinking back, I remember how intently he used to study us as we opened and closed the doors. Watching, learning, taking it all in. One day the information just clicked. He put it all together in his head…and now he KNOWS! He jumps up, hooks his front paws around the handle and, hey presto, he’s in. And he’s so quick now, he’s really perfected his trick. No fussing or aimless jumping – just jump, hook, done! And it works with all the doors here. They all have nice, chunky, easy to open handles. Luckily they also have locks. So now we have to keep all the bedroom doors locked. I know it sounds mean but we have good reasons for keeping them out:

  • My husband is allergic to cats AND is also asthmatic, so for his health we need to keep them out of our bedroom. It’s important for him to have a ‘safe room’.
  • One of our spare bedrooms we use as a walk-in wardrobe and storage room. If they are let loose inside there it would be mayhem.
  • Our other spare room is used as an office. They are allowed in there during the day, but at night we close it so that they can’t do any damage while we’re not looking. They both love to eat papers, chew or poke at wires, hunt out breakables and scratch the life out of the (not cheap) padded office chair. Several times they have taken (and hidden) flash drives and pens from the desk. So, it’s just easier if they don’t go in there while we are sleeping.

Now we are awoken every morning by the crashing and banging of Mr Spock trying to break down our locked bedroom door (please refer to helpful illustration above). He starts at dawn…LITERALLY! As soon as the sun appears, so does Spock. I’m hoping that he’ll eventually give up when he realises that the doors no longer open for him. Untill then I think we’ll both have to invest in some earplugs.

I adore Spocky and I love that he is so smart, but I do wish he’d wait a little longer in the mornings before waking us up.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. 05/07/2011 1:15 pm

    Oh lord. Join the club. Poor you. And your fella.

    • 05/07/2011 1:19 pm

      Yeah, Marcelo really isn’t pleased! I’m wondering if Spock would give up if I changed the door handles for twist-to-open knobs.

  2. 05/07/2011 2:32 pm

    Spock is definitely living up to his brainy name if you ask me! The original Mr.Spock was no dummy and neither is your kitty!

    • 05/07/2011 4:36 pm

      So true. It’s a lesson for all – be careful when naming cats!

  3. Helen Kitching permalink
    05/07/2011 3:55 pm

    My sister Jenny had a similar problem with one of her Siamese cats. They took the door handles off and reversed them so you had to lift the handle to open the door. It worked a treat!

  4. Helen Kitching permalink
    05/07/2011 3:58 pm

    ‘They’ being my sister and her husband – not the Siamese! I reread my post once I had posted it and realised what I had written! Whoops!

    • 05/07/2011 4:19 pm

      I remember their upside down door handles. I’ll have a go.

      I like the thought that the cats were the ones to reverse the handles! 🙂

    • 05/07/2011 5:51 pm

      I just had a look. They’re not screwed on. I need a little allen key and we don’t have one. Oh well, it was a nice idea.

  5. lifewith4cats permalink
    05/07/2011 6:18 pm

    Spock is such a character!! How about this idea? hang a door knob toy from the bedroom door outside it, but only at night when you go to bed. Then maybe he will be too distacted to try to knock it down. 🙂 Its really funny though. Spock could be the start of his own comic book.

    • 05/07/2011 7:24 pm

      We did once try hanging a toy from the door but we took it off again because of the noise. It was the same as now, that repetitive crash-bang-thump of cat against wood. lol

      Spock just never stops. He’s a source of continuous blog-fodder. I’d like to do more cartoons about him.

  6. Sharon permalink
    05/07/2011 6:56 pm

    Before Felix & Oscar there was Suki (passed on at 19 years). He also learned to open doors and at aggrivatingly early hours of the morning while yowling for his breakfast. He was Siamese and the yowling was extreme but we loved him anyway! Just proves that cats are a whole lot smarter than many people credit them for.

    • 05/07/2011 7:35 pm

      They really are. Well, maybe not Zé.
      Siamese are supposed to be very smart, aren’t they. 19 years is good for a cat – though with this latest ‘door business’ perhaps I won’t tell my husband that Spock could be around for another 18 years!

  7. joltster permalink
    06/07/2011 10:33 am

    Wow, this is really funny in a way, but in a way, it is not. I am lucky that my two furballs- Sparky and Bandit do not do stuff like this on a regular basis, although on occasion, they will get in a fight and my head is in the middle. I wake up when I hear the hissing and yowling. Sparky though will get himself locked in the bathroom and howl until someone comes to let him out 🙂

    • 06/07/2011 12:57 pm

      They’ve both been pretty good up till now, so this has come as a bit of a rude awakening (pun intended). I hope we can convince him not to do it. I don’t like waking up angry at him and I know he just wants our company – it’s not meant as ‘bad’ behaviour.

  8. 09/07/2011 4:31 pm

    I knew cats could learn how to open doors. Mine just never did.

    • 11/07/2011 11:04 am

      I had one who could open all low-level the kitchen cupboards. He’d hook a paw through the handle and lean back. We had to put anything edible or dangerous in the high wall cupboards.

  9. Hilda permalink
    14/07/2011 7:22 pm

    What a smart boy that Spock! My Sunny is the only one of my four kitties that even comprehends the meaning of the door knobb and actually tries everyday to open the door when he hears me walking up the stairs to our apartment. It’s quite cosmic to hear the rattling of the knobb. Now this wee hours in the morning business, I don’t know….but you gotta love him. It’s like I say, the day my Sunny doesn’t try to knock things down, steal food from the other bowls, start demanding his food every morning/night, trying to be everywhere he can be (whether he’s invited or not), is the day that I will worry. Eleanor good luck, I hope you find a solution, but he is who he is and he’s perfect just the way he is!

    • 15/07/2011 9:42 am

      I’m not sure how to judge perfection in a cat. He does have the correct amount of toes and eyes, so that’s a good start!

      No, seriously, I do love him but he is really trying our patience at the moment. I would worry if he suddenly became calm and ‘Zé like’ but I could do without this latest trick/obsession of his. He has enough funny quirks already, he doesn’t need to develope any more!

  10. 19/07/2011 1:41 am

    My Jack can open doors too! I let the kitties in the bedroom now but for a long time, I had to lock the door at night.

    • 19/07/2011 8:48 am

      If my husband wasn’t asthmatic I’d probably have given into Spock by now. We did try letting them sleep with us when they were younger but it just affects my husband way too much. It’s a shame as they were so cute cuddling up to us 🙂

      I’m reading through your blog at the moment. The work you are doing with Old Broken Kitty is wonderful. Your/His story had me in tears from the outset. I’ll be checking your blog for updates. I so hope he recovers well enough to be rehomed.

  11. John permalink
    19/07/2011 9:26 am

    why not get a less troubesome husband LOL

    • 19/07/2011 11:08 am

      Hahaha, well, that’s a thought! But considering that he has both asthma AND a cat allergy I think he deserves some praise for being willing to try and live in a small apartment with 2 cats.

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