Le Tunnel

Tomorrow, Mesdames et Messieurs, is the day when we will be training Louis Catorze to use Le Tunnel. Until now we’ve kept it hidden from view by leaning a big floor tile against it, because we didn’t want him to attempt to use it whilst locked and then be discouraged from ever trying again. So we decided that we would unveil it to him when he’s allowed to use it, on a weekend day when we will be around to fix any mishaps or release the silly sod if he gets trapped.

My main concerns are as follows: 

  • There is a 25cm tunnel through the wall (whereas he’s used to a cat flap in a door)
  • The opening is quite high in the wall so Louis Catorze will have to make some effort to climb up into it
  • He is really stupid 

The problem last time was that Louis Catorze didn’t understand that he had to push the door with his head (maybe because, as a mighty monarch who commands a nation, he is used to having lowly peasants open doors for him). For those who aren’t familiar with the workings of a Sureflap chatière, kitty needs to push with his head to allow the reader to read his microchip; contrary to non-Sureflap-owners’ belief, the chatière doesn’t open from a distance, not even a short one. So Louis Catorze’s failure to push meant he didn’t get out. 

The Sureflap manufacturer recommends getting your cat used to it by first removing the batteries and using it as a standard cat flap, but even this proved problematic as the requirement to push was still there. Eventually we discovered that Louis Catorze would push if the door were taped open a fraction but, of course, word soon spread about the free All You Can Eat (Until You Get Caught) self-service diner, and we then had every cat in the neighbourhood stopping by for a cheeky bit of bouffe. (That sounds filthy, but “bouffe” means “food”, I promise.)

Then one day, after around 5 months of us trying everything we could think of including spraying the door with catnip (made no difference), and sticking opaque paper over it just in case it was the transparency that freaked him out (also made no difference), he just went out. Once only, mind, but still! A few weeks later he’d cracked it. 

So it really could go either way tomorrow: un grand succès or un désastre total. I can’t help but have high hopes for my dear boy despite the fact that, in order for the Sureflap to initially register him as a user, Cat Daddy had to stuff him undignifiedly through it as one would stuff a duvet cover into the washing machine.

3 thoughts on “Le Tunnel

  1. I like your last sentence….and it made me think that Le roi would surely follow a feather duvet down the tunnel! But joking apart, we had a similar problem with our catflap (magnetic in those days). The fact that the magnet which was hanging from Minouche’s collar had to be high enough to open the gates! So we had to build a step outside the back door to enable this. It worked a treat. So a permanent step to raise His Majesty maybe??


  2. I had to change to the microchip reading cat flap too as I kept finding feline intruders hurtling through the normal
    Catflap in my kitchen on a Saturday morning. When we had a carpenter do some work for us recently, he made a step for the cat flap and it made all the difference! Good luck in your mission….


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