Last night it rained and rained and rained.
Which makes the failure of the electronic cat flap system all the more unfortunate for the fluffy cat.
When we came down in the morning, there she was, sadly bumping and bumping and bumping her head against the implacably locked cat flap. The other cat was warm and snug and completely unconcerned in her nice warm cat bed.
Several years ago we installed an electronic cat flap to defeat an intruder that was coming in and upsetting our own cats with unpleasant consequences.
It works brilliantly - sort of - most of the time. If we'd had the extra money, we would have bought the one that uses the microchips in the cats, but it was much more expensive, and we hadn't had the cats microchipped which would have added another £100.
So we economised. The cats wear a collar with a special thingy on them which releases the lock on the door. Initially they were terrified by the sound of the locking mechanism disengaging. We had a period of
cat approaches door, mechanism operates, cat recoils in terror, mechanism locks again causing cat to retreat further, cat approaches door, mechanism unlocks, cat starts to bolt, mechanism locks, cat jumps again....
We solved that problem easily enough. One of us went outside, and the other seized the cat, forced it up to the door, held it still as the mechanism unlocked and then shoved it through the flap - whereupon we caught it, and repeated the process to shove it back inside again. A few goes of this with each cat and they got the idea.
Now the only problems are caused when the batteries run out, or when the cat loses its collar.
Which is what happened last night.
The cat has dried out now - it would be rather cruel to recreate the appearance of the cat when it came in this morning, so I will leave it to your imagination. And we have fitted it with a new collar and tag. (we keep spares - plenty of spares... batteries, collars and tags)