Remember the old song lyrics? Well, I have come to the realization they can apply to cats. You see, I recently had an epiphany. iCandy Smidgen is beautiful: wonderful eyes, fabulous coat and great whisker pads. And she is sweet: a great RagaMuffin mommy who loves a petting. But, she may not be the brightest bulb.
Several weeks ago, Smidgen had her first litter of kittens. She took to mothering duties right away. The RagaMuffin kittens were born in a birthing box and eventually graduated to a three by three pen as they became mobile. After the litter box skills were learned, they had the run of the whole room. During this time, I played doorman, opening the door for exits and entrances as Smidgen desired.
Before the kittens have the run of the house, I leave the door open and put a baby gate up so they have a chance to get used to the household noises and activities. Generally, at this point I no longer provide door duties as moms just jump back and forth over the gate. I always put a small cat tree on the outside to add security.
It was at this point that I discovered Smidgen may be a bit, well, slow. She couldn’t figure out that she could go over the gate. I spent two days lifting her in and out over the gate to show her how to do it. She finally figured out how to get back in the nursery, but it took another half day to get the exit plan down pat. I was beginning to think her RagaMuffin kittens would make the great escape before she learned the skill.
All is well now. Smidgen easily goes in and out over the gate on her own. Soon enough, the kittens will too.