Door-keeper traps the family

Local | Georgina Noyce 26 Jan 2021

Amber's fascination with doors is causing more than a few problems, not least because the ex-feral cat likes to be the leader of the gang, so she doesn't hesitate to encourage the other animals to join her in shenanigans.

The only way to stop her opening doors is to lock them, but that requires human residents remembering to lock them in the first place.

So far, Amber has burst into an occupied bathroom on three occasions and let herself into a bedroom, with the occupant innocently sleeping until a sharp-clawed, four-kilo cat landed on the stomach.

Usually the rooms are empty, so to claim the room, Amber has started rubbing her scent glands against the doors, which pushes them closed, shutting her in.

Not a problem, she thought - she just jumps at the door handle and attempts to open it the way she does to get into the room.

It took her several days to work out that she can't open doors from the inside, so she resorts to yowling like a tortured soul, plaintively keeping it up until someone lets her out.

However, a few days ago she drew everyone into her game. Returning from shopping, I was surprised that no one met me at the door.

Complete silence as well. Normally Molly mongrel hears family coming from 100 meters away and barks a welcome, but there was no sign of her at the window and no Bonnie Pomeranian ready to jump around to welcome me.

Instead, as I called out, frantic barking and meowing came from the back bedroom.

Three dogs and a cat were shut away behind a closed door. Opening it wasn't easy - all of the animals were bundled against the door and with elderly Sassoon so shaky on her legs these days, it took several minutes of coaxing to get them to move back far enough to open the door.

Even then, Sassoon had collapsed in the melee and Bonnie was yelping, because someone had stepped on her.

Although I had only been gone an hour, it was impossible to know how long they had been shut in, with no access to the garden and no water.

But the amount of love they all gave me made it clear that even one minute was too long for some of them.

Georgina Noyce is an equestrian judge, and has a menagerie of adopted four-legged waifs and strays.

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February 2021

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