Escape Cat

Abu The Escape Cat

Abu the Escape Cat

Here is a picture of Abu, a Blue Abyssinian. He was the smallest of his litter, by the way. Fully grown, he barely weighs seven pounds. Besides being a beautiful cat who demands attention when HE wants it and who lines up with the dogs for treats, he is smart and blindingly fast.

He is also, not to put too fine a point on it, cunning and determined. Some of you may recall his three days stuck in a tree, requiring the immortal hero Raul climbing said tree to put him in a sack and bring him down. (Side note: Ignore those websites that say not to put your stuck-in-a-tree-cat into a sack. Having observed a professional tree-climber 30 feet up a tree, there is no other way to get a cat safely out of a tree, for the cat or the tree climber.)

Abu is an indoor cat. Cats live longer when they’re indoor cats. Indoor cats do not decimate the songbird population or get carried away by owls or hawks or eaten by a badger or coyote. In Sonoma County feral (and outdoor) cats have had a horrific impact on ground nesting songbirds. We here at Jewel central believe our cats belong indoors. Sigh. Abu, alas, being the cat he is, not only has escaped outside but while outside has caught birds, mice and small rodents. He is now highly motivated to get outside, particularly because he is aware we keep him inside.

Ninja Cat: Ten Examples

  1. Abu is a Ninja. Hell, Ninjas could learn a thing or two from Abu.
  2. The cat lurks in places where he is both close to a door he knows will be opened and where he can zip past the hapless human who didn’t see him. He plots this by the way.
  3. Abu has also learned how to open doors, particularly the sliding wooden door that leads to the door to the garage. None of the other garage doors close, by the way, so once you’re in the garage, you’re effectively outside.
  4. He can also open our sliding glass doors, but these have functioning locks. Of course, once we’re outside, we can’t get inside via any of the doors we’ve used for years.
  5. He lurks near the garage door, well aware that we don’t know he has opened the sliding door and is now in stealth mode.
  6. There are two people in the house who are extremely inattentive about doors. (NOT me.) He follows them.
  7. A human resident of the house who was NOT me, nailed a thin strip of wood to the sliding wooden door jamb with the intention of making it impossible for Abu to stick his claw in there and open the door. I’m pretty sure Abu scoffed, as the device had no apparent effect.
  8. That same human then decided to affix a strip of wood to the OTHER side of the sliding door. The result was that the door was nailed shut, preventing both cats and humans from opening it. Ever.
  9. We’re back to one completely ineffective strip of wood.
  10. One morning, the FRONT door was mysteriously open and Abu was outside. Laughing at us.

Today, I went into the garage for some reason or other. I very carefully closed the sliding wooden door behind me. When I returned, I stopped to think before I opened the garage door and then, rather than open it with confidence in him having been asleep on the couch when I headed for the garage AND having closed the sliding door, I opened it about an inch. And there he was. Staring at me through that inch of space. I then closed the garage door and walked all the way around the house to the front door.

The question now is, what do I do when he figures that out? No one will be able to get inside the house.

Updated: Video. This was after our washing machine overflowed, so pardon the blanket etc we used to mop up a lot of water prior to this exclusive video. I am standing with my back to the garage door.



8 Responses to “Escape Cat”

  1. Nancie Ligon says:

    Oh, Carolyn – we could swap such amazing cat and dog stories. Unfortunately, you’re the writer and I’m just a reader who enjoys your writing waaaayyyy too much.

  2. We could swap stories anyway, you know.

  3. Sneaky kitty! Thanks for adding the video 🙂

  4. T.K. Marnell says:

    Having considerable experience with ninja cats, the only solution is to become adept at squeezing through doors without leaving any space around your body. You begin by always opening doors balanced on your left leg, with your right shin lined up against the potential opening. When you see the flash of eyes behind the slit, a soft hiss can warn the culprit to scamper (if you’re not comfortable with the neighbors hearing you hiss, a more respectable “Shooshoo” can work, but isn’t nearly as effective). However, this is only a temporary measure, because the cat will inevitably duck around the side of the door and try again as soon as you move your leg to step inside. You’ll have to herd it to the side with your right foot while hopping through on the left, then close the door swiftly behind you. It’s best to leave groceries or other cargo in the car and go back after you’re certain the cat is locked temporarily in a bedroom.

    Also, we get our cats used to wearing breakaway collars as kittens, even if they’re supposed to stay inside. Because they will escape, and we don’t want people thinking they’re strays and feeding them or taking them to the shelter to be euthanized–er, I mean, “put up for adoption.”

  5. Karenmc says:

    True story: a couple called their appliance repairman because the door of their expensive, all-the-bells-and-whistles refrigerator wasn’t staying shut. He found nothing wrong with the seal. Finally they caught their cat running across the kitchen and jumping on a foot lever that opened the door. Ninja indeed.

  6. DawnD says:

    My mom used to “accidentally” let the cat escape while conditions were less than desirable outside. Snow, say, or pounding rain. Then she’d welcome them back with scratches, tuna and a soft lap.

    The weather doesn’t always cooperate, so squirt bottles as the door opens maybe? Sad to say he seems very determined though.

  7. Karenmc: I’ve heard of cats opening refrigerator doors. Ninja cat.

    DawnD: That would work great except we live in Northern California where we have fairly mild temps year round. If only it would snow!

    Someone once suggested having someone stand outside with a hose and then letting the cat out to get drenched. Extreme, but that might work, as long as the hose wielder is fast an accurate.

  8. donnas says:


    I had a cat that understand the round doorknobs and would try to use them to open doors. And one know that can open the sliding and folding doors. They may be small but they are definitely not stupid animals.