So as you all know, I live with a dog and four cats. I like the dog, I don’t care for the cats.
One of the cats, oddly the biggest and fattest one, is some kind of ninja-speed freak-stealth cat. When we go in and out to the patio in the back, she tries to get out the sliding door. When I first got here, she’d get out probably 3 out of every 5 times that I went outside. It’s defeating when it happens. I’m so careful and I’m so careful… and then she runs right between my legs and makes a fool out of me.
In recent weeks, however, I have figured out the best method for keeping her inside while I go outside.
Step 1: Assess the living room area. Is she around? Is she lurking? Often, when she sees someone heading for the door, she circles around behind the television and positions herself between the TV and the cabinet next to it. This got me the first 600 times she did it, seemed like she was coming out of nowhere until I caught on.
Step 2: Reach behind and grab the door handle, keeping your back to the door. Keeping my back to the door allows me to keep an eye out for any approaching flying ball of fur throughout the entire process.
Step 3: Slide the door open and step out, backwards, with one foot. Keeping one foot inside the house allows for cat nudging when she inevitably approaches the door, looking for her opening.
Step 4: Convince the dog to come OUT while waving a foot at the cat to keep her IN. This point can be tricky, for there is a second cat who makes only the very occasional bid for freedom. At this point, she will often be hanging around the door as well, and you never know if this is going to be the day she decides to come out. Now, when the first cat comes out, she runs under the grill and directly to the edge of the patio to eat grass. She’s always swooped back up by someone within seconds and is carried peacefully back inside. The second cat, however, has no such specific goals and never goes back inside easily. How she finds something to hook her claws into on a cement patio, I’ll never know. Anyway, so I’ve got the door open JUST wide enough for the dog to come out, with one foot on the ground outside and the other leg inside the door, waving at the two cats and providing nudges as needed, hand still on the door handle for a quick slide as soon as the dog exits.
Step 5: Extricate the dog, slide door shut. Victory.
This new method works every single time. Except for a couple of days ago.
Step 1 went fine. The area was largely clear of cats, and the fat cat wasn’t making any attempt to conceal herself. She was loitering by the door, though.
Step 2, no problems.
Step 3, looking golden.
It’s at Step 4 where things went horribly wrong.
Somehow, while trying to coax the dog out and keep the cat in, I lost my balance on the leg that I was standing on, the one outside the door. The other leg, my left one, was, if you will recall, raised and waving at the cat on the inside.
When I lost my balance and started to fall, my hand was still holding the door handle, so of course I instinctively directed weight that way in order to regain my equilibrium.
Unfortunately, we are talking about a sliding glass door here, to when I threw my weight into that hand, the door slid shut. On my leg. My raised leg. I closed my knee full force in the sliding glass door.
By that time, my weight was already unstoppably moving to the left, where there was no leg to catch me, as it was trapped in the glass door.
I fell over the other way, sliding down the stucco’d wall with my bare upper arm and elbow and went crashing into the dog bowls with the small of my back.
In the space of about 3 seconds, I managed a 360 degree injury.
The cat, being so startled, amazed and frankly, I think a bit admiring of my balletic moves, did indeed stay in the house, so I suppose this one cannot be called a complete failure.