cat control

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when frankie rose was just a brand new baby home from the hospital, i was getting up twice in the night with her — usually around 12:30 am and again around 4:00 am, at which point she’d go back to sleep until 8:00 or so. archie, while less excited about the crying human who had appeared overnight, was pretty jazzed about a new schedule that saw me handing out treats at all hours of the night and then scooping out his full breakfast at 4:00 in the morning. (he used to eat around 6:00 am, when pre-baby me would be up to get ready for work, but there was no way i was getting up with the baby at 4:00 and then listening to him whine outside the bedroom door a mere 90 minutes later.)

lucky me, frankie rose was sleeping eight hours at a stretch by six weeks old. the midnight feeding disappeared and the 4:00 am one stretched to 5:00, 5:30, then 6:00 before she was three months old. my cat, however, was not so adaptable. yep, i was a brand new mama getting up two or three times in the night — with my cat. if you have an animal, you know they can be pretty persistent when they want something and archie is only too happy to hold an all-night vigil at our bedroom door. he can sleep it off the next day. of course, i was only encouraging his behaviour by getting up and giving him his breakfast in the middle of the night. a few little mews was more than enough to wake frankie up, seeing as her bedroom door actually faces ours at a 45º angle, and a quick scoop into archie’s bowl was a heck of a lot easier than a 45 minute feed, which she would surely want if archie woke her up.

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before we demolished and rebuilt our rear addition, we had a door separating our kitchen from the frigid, buggy mess that was the tin lean-to that provided access to our lower level. it was basically the last nice thing you saw and then you opened the door to our terrible mudroom and a cement staircase leading to our unfinished basement. when we renovated we removed, but saved, the door, but we weren’t planning to rehang it because the new mudroom was actually really nice to look at, toasty warm, with big sliding glass doors looking into the backyard.

i’m really glad we opted to save the door just in case because we decided the best thing to do would be to rehang the door and toss archie behind it (where he has a view of the backyard, his litter box, food and water, cat tree and the couch in the basement) when he was being particularly annoying or loud, which, at this point, was nightly. of course, hanging the door in the first place, before we had a baby, a cat and a considerable amount of optimism about our newly purchased house, was an ordeal. i remember vividly, and i’m sure pierre does, too, dragging this door home off a neighbour’s curb, sanding it, painting it, restoring the hardware lovingly and then burning a lasagna while trying to offer pierre advice on hanging it. and, once it was hung, planing the hell out of the doorframe to get it to open and shut easily.

so, this time, given the baby and the cat and the sleep deprivation, we hired the handy force to move the hinges on the door (so as not to drill into old holes), chisel out new spots for the hinges, hang the door, add a strike plate and the door jamb. (i handled the sanding, priming and painting of the door and provided the wood for the jamb — frankie accompanied me on a field trip to central fairbank lumber where you can actually buy mouldings of a 1930s vintage, etc.)

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well, i’m glad we hired this job out because it took a professional about seven hours and two visits to hang this door properly. and that’s not a slam against the handy force — it’s just how tricky this old house is. once it was up, i painted both sides of the door white (sugar cookie by benjamin moore) to match the rest of the house so that it doesn’t really pop out as a door. i mean, we no longer wanted a door there, but it certainly helps us all get a good night’s sleep so i’m glad we saved it and put it back up. and archie seems to have learned that his 4:00 cries for food no longer yield breakfast — just a trip to “his room,” where he has to wait until we all get up around 6:30.

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this house sure has had its share of revolving doors. this one in particular has been up, down and up again and painted three different colours. all the hollow core crap doors that were in here when we bought the house were replaced with solid core shaker style doors over a number of years, as it took me quite a while to find doors of the right vintage that fit all of our differently sized door frames. (there are a dozen door posts in the archives.) obviously i can’t take the doors with me to victoria — they wouldn’t fit the door frames in the new house even if they were the right size seeing as all of them have been planed to fit the exact tilts of our current door frames — but they’re easily my favourite thing about this house.

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