Raining; cats and dogs

On the face of it, cats are much less invasive than dogs.

They sashay around the place like they own it and sleep in a way that makes you jealous of their ability to relax utterly in unlikely positions, only pausing occasionally to raise a head and check you’re still around.

They don’t come up to you all the time like dogs do, grinning and panting and drooling with appealing eyes melting your very soul until you find them a pig’s ear, reach for the lead or give them a tummy tickle.

Cats don’t make a lot of noise. The motor-purr of pleasure and the occasional meaningful miaow doesn’t compared to the full range of articulate whinings, groanings, sighs, yaps and full on barking of a dog.

They have teeny neat little paws compared to the dogs I have known – hairy beast springer spaniels.

They step lightly compared to a dog, imparting minimal traces upon floors furniture, windowsills, bedding. You wouldn’t know where they’ve been apart from a few stray hairs – except when it rains. Leo and Fat Lily have a cat flap which, unlike dogs, gives them unhampered access to the outdoors at all times of day and in all weathers.

A dog is either out or it’s in. In rain and tumult, if a dog is out in the garden, it’s out for the shortest possible time – just moments in which to have an extended pee and a hyper-drive dump – then back at the door signalling its urgent intention to return indoors. Dogs might love a five mile hike in lashing rain and wind. They might splash through all available puddles, go fetch sticks from a freezing lake but left in the rain in the garden, they turn into insistently complaining pathetic creatures patently terrified that the gentle shower is going to melt them just like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz.

Transforming wet dog into Dog Fit for House is easy. Allow dog inside door to stand on doormat, lift paws in turn for wiping.. Quick swish over the back with the towel and damp dog could proceed to favourite place, which was usuallya nest of soon-to-be-damp towels in dog basket. Granted, smell of damp dog will creep unseen to every room in the house and anyone coming to the door will have a job to resist saying “Phwoar, what’s that smell?!” We are talking spaniels here.

But cats. They are different. They mostly want to be indoors in the rain but actually, they can stand to be outside in pouring rain under bushes waiting for some rain-sodden bird to drop out of a tree into their paws for considerable lengths of time.

Then they just come indoors without so much as a ‘by your leave.’ Studies have shown that there is a distinct Weather v Speed ratio involved.

On lovely dry days, the cats climb laboriously through the cat flap, linger and take in the kitchen scene while standing on the lovely super-absorbent doormat and stroll languously through the kitchen to take a passing sniff their food bowls before proceeding to the living room.

On wet days however, they explode through the cat flap and fly like lightning through the kitchen, hardly making contact with the lovely super-absorbent doormat. They miraculously avoid skidding on the wood flooring of the hall and choose somewhere light of colour to settle down and get their wet fur in some sort of order. This does not produce a Cat Fit For House.

It’s easy to track their progress by following the teeny muddy paw prints through the kitchen, over the wood floor of the hall, on to the sofa, across to the coffee table and the white windowsill, before deciding on making a cat nest in the top of one of the chair cushions. Actually, Fat Lily’s paw prints,being polydactyl, aren’t so teeny. They are like dinosaur prints.

Muddy pawprints have also been detected on kitchen worktops, on top of the mircrowave and even – taking a bit of a risk with the hot granary – on top of the toaster.

To a wet cat, nowhere is sacred. And I haven’t even mentioned the way a wet cat will always want to curry favour with you and rub its freezing rain-bedecked fur coat against your bare leg.

The answer to all this would be to lock the catflap in wet weather. But honestly, I haven’t the heart.

No, I’m thinking more in terms of creating a low-tech slingshot device with fishing netting and elastic bands which would catapult speeding incoming Fat Lily back to the doormat where she would stand – slightly dazed, granted – for a minute, thus allowing the super-absorbent doormat to do its work.

About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
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34 Responses to Raining; cats and dogs

  1. speccy says:

    catapult, indeed 🙂

  2. valzone says:

    Amusing post Jan, I love the idea of a catapult. I’m not really qualified to comment about cats, because as you know, I don’t like them, and a couple of things you mentioned are some of the things I dislike. Allowing a cat on kitchen sufaces !!! Litter trays in the home!! Eyes, with vertical pupils, give that evil look, and the sound of a purring cat, is really disturbing. But all this is only my opinion.
    There is a cat who wonders near to my house, it has only three legs. One day, my friend, a cat lover and cat owner, was just leaving, when the three legged feline was across the road. She said “Oh look, the poor thing has only got three legs” I replied “Yep, one down, three to go”….Oh boy, did I get a scolding 🙂 🙂 I still have the bruises.

    • Pseu says:


    • janh1 says:

      Val, just tell us you’d never put a cat into a bin…. Yes I distinctly heard you say “No, never.”
      So that’s all right then… 😀 Yes I know the cats on kitchen surfaces is not good – they only do it when no-one’s around. They already know the rules but being v canny, only obey when supervised. Actually Val, although I’m still a dog person at heart, yet sitting on the sofa watching TV with one hand resting on a warm purring feline, is actually terrifically relaxing.
      Never been tempted to be a cat photographer, then…. ? 😉

  3. Pseu says:

    Our cat flap comes into the utility and I can shut the door from there through to the kitchen and the rest of the house. But you know what? I’m always too late. Always.

    • janh1 says:

      😀 Typical isn’t it? And the weather v speed ratio is annoying. Although sometimes the lightning entry occurs when they’re being chased. Lily entered catawaulling at the speed of sound one evening following by a loud crash as pursuing puss hit the closed security cat flap and practically knocked himself out.

  4. I think the catapult contraption sounds excellent and I shall be testing it this weekend on KitKat. With one important addition: I shall be rigging the two household hairdryers either side of the mat, to come on immediately the cat lands. Not so much to dry the cat, but to surprise it.

    Cat surprising is one of my secret pleasures in life.

    • Pseu says:

      Poor KitKat!!!

    • janh1 says:

      I like the way you’re developing the idea to indulge your own perverted pleasures, Kate.
      Course if we’re talking hair-driers, you could suspend a “sweaty-Betty” salon hairdrier dome from the ceiling and drop it over catapulted cat to complete the drying process.
      If a cat could talk, he would probably thank us for it. Saves all that washing.

  5. IsobelandCat says:

    There are advantages in not having a cat flap. Both Cat and NotCat have squirmingly been forced to submit to the towel treatment before gaining the bedclothes. When I’ve remembered.
    I do appreciate the telltale pawprints on kitchen surfaces. At least I know to wipe.
    Do you also have dirty marks on walls where they climb down? Or is that just me?
    Of course once they have trekked wet pawprints across the home, they settle down for a thorough head to tail wash as though indicating the superiority of their personal hygiene.

    • janh1 says:

      YES Isobel, it’s the full “my goodness, let’s get this sorted” type of personal grooming!
      Just you re the climbing down a wall, although I have only found a couple of rogue paw prints on a wall where someone, successfully or unsuccessfully, went after a fly or a spider. Quite high up too – about four foot six. Must have been some leap!

  6. John Mackie says:

    Jahn1, good evening,

    This is all good information and I value it.I just wish that you had shared before I bought into the Dougal Project.

    Never having been owned by a hound before, I had always thought that they did the plowtering about and plashing and dashing through ‘bloody field and flood’ ( a Burns reference in case you missed it) as a matter of course. Particularly Jock dogs, damp being the default hereabouts.

    Anyhow, Mrs M is in Glasgow, disporting herself on an alto night out and I had been tasked with making sure that Dougal did his business tonight. Two hours ago, he decided that we had to go out as Wales were seriously thumping us in the IRB Sevens Bowl Final at Twickers and he could not take any more.

    He got out the door and then the brakes went on, due to serious inclemency of weather. Managed to drag him 30 yards down the road before he did a Dick Whittington and turned for home.

    To be fair, I did not disagree with him too much. But, we are now in a stand-off situation. I’ve been twice since then (indoors to be fair) and he is still holding out

    Moving on, I know that I told you that I would cease spotting your erratic spelling. I trust that you realise that this obviously excluded ‘it’s/its’.

    Well done! 6 usages of which 3 were correct. PASS.

    • janh1 says:

      Good evening John! See what happens when you aren’t around for a bit? I go to pieces with the punctuation. Duly edited – not totally sure I’ve got them all but there you go.
      Chuckling like Mutley over that confessional “I’ve been twice since then (indoors to be fair) and he is still holding out.” I’m so pleased you were indoors. The mental image would have been all too much. I hope this stand-off doesn’t continue until the small hours.
      As a fully paid-up spaniel, Douglas would have of course gone plashing wildly through rain and tumult if he was *off the lead.* It’s the lead that spoils things. They only look tragic, shivery and mis when you put ’em back *on* the lead.
      At least he recognises that when it’s Wales v Scotland, it’s best to avert the eyes and think of Burns. Wales were beaten in the end, I gather but hey we won the Six Nations. That kudos is going to last… ! 🙂

      • IsobelandCat says:

        I laughed at the same bit.:) Probably upset the neighbours as I was in the kitchen – my one adjoining wall. I thought spaniels liked rain? Our Labrador was unfazed by any weather but the dachshund, low under carriage, refused to go out in the rain.

      • janh1 says:

        No-one can object to laughter, surely? Oh spaniels like it when they’re out and charging about getting filthy. It’s when they stop they start shivering and looking pathetic.. 😉

  7. I loved this! Although my cats don’t explode into the house they do leave very muddy pawprints around the house. Often on documents which may or may not be of some importance.

    A few days ago I would swear Mackenzie had been standing in a mudbath up to his hocks when he walked onto the cream carpet :-S

  8. janh1 says:

    Hi Sophie. Well just be glad and feel rather superior that yours don’t explode through the cat flap. I daresay Doodles might, given time 😀
    Mud, cat paws, cream carpet? Those words should never be in the same sentence!

  9. John Mackie says:


    Sole purpose of post was to give you a couple of update photos of the boy, just to keep you in touch. Trying again:-

    Please insert after Paragraph 4 of my comment:-

    and after paragraph 5:-

  10. John Mackie says:

    Buggrit (copyright TB). I don’t know what I am doing wrong.

    Off to pick up Mrs M and her alto chums when they pour themselves off the 8.30 train from Weegieland. I’ll try again later.

    The good news is that Dougal has tried again later as well and he has succeeded.

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