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After using taking 2 weeks off, using my byes, aka the immunity idols for the Survivor fans reading, to deal with life, love & loss (possibly save & redefining my relationship in the process) I'm back in the competition.

Funny considering the topic is rather competitive in nature & for me, it involves the competition of man vs. animal....or in my case: Brendan & Amy (the humans) vs. Ralph & Phoenix (the fur kids....yes, our kids have fur and walk on 4 legs). Bear with me for the backstory and trust me when i say it's highly relevant to how we got around to building a better mousetrap so to speak.

It's a blessing and a curse that we have 2 very smart children. Ralph has the "smarts" from his beagle/jack russell/dalmatian. Phoenix, while all black, is suspected to be part Siamese (we found her on the street, so we're really just guessing, but there was a knocked up Siamese roaming the neighborhood in the months before we found her as a kitten).

THESE ARE THE CULPRITS (dog = Ralph, cat = Phoenix):

This is some of their handy work when they team up together.
Ralph: "Oh mom & dad left a pizza box on top of the trash can & went to work!", Phoenix: "I bet there are some goodies inside"

Ralph: "let me just dig a hole in here. I get us the good stuff...oh look! pizza crust and garlic butter cups!. Eat up my little kitty sister!"

Phoenix: "oh crap, they're coming home! quick! hide it under the bar upside down, they'll never notice"...Meanwhile, Ralph hides the garlic butter cups in the couch cushions.

These two sinister little beings (both only weigh about 10 lbs) then began conspiring on something even more devious. The operation of the Kitty Krispy Kafe. She makes the kitty krispies and Ralph.....welll....what can I say? Dogs like poop apparently. The door that came with the litter box was not an option....she wouldn't use it because she was too tiny and would get trapped. This was a fun 2 days of floor cleanups when she decided the floor was a better option instead of the box. So my genius handyman boyfriend decided "out of mind, out of sight" and built Princess Phoenix her own personal bathroom. That's right....a box to hold her litterbox in hopes that if Ralph didn't see it, he would no longer be tempted.

It's about 2.5 feet by 2 feet and fits rather discreetly under a table in our kitchen/dining area (also eliminates odors because it's enclosed). Sure, it worked for a few weeks in that current form and then I came home to kitty krispies on our couch....how lovely! Ralph apparently ordered takeout while we were at work. (PS....kitty had a B rating from the Health Dept for a while because she went through her wormy kitten phase....even more reason to keep Ralph out). Back to the drawing board.

Let's make the hole smaller....she's more flexible....she can squeeze in there.

Again...works for a short bit and then I come home to hearing a dog squealing and a butt wiggling while stuck in a box like Winnie the Pooh going after a jar of honey (my text to Brendan that night was along the lines of "Your dog has been Winnie The POOh'ing his sister's bathroom again".) I wish I had video of the incident, but I was too concerned with the dog's well-being to make a mockery of his unfortunate situation (who knows how long of my 6-hr shift he had been stuck there). Back to the drawing board.

Move the hole to the back of the box....there's a narrow space between the box and our kitchen cabinets...she can get in there. Surely, he can't. WRONG! there's a doggy bag from the Kitty Krispy Kafe on our couch again. Holy hell this dog is freaking Mensa! Back to the drawing board. (sorry no photo of this renovation)

Next....move the hole to the top of the box. He can't pull himself up into.....okay then....I guess after 2 weeks he can because oh joy, Brendan came home to find Ralph with his nose in the cookie jar because he got himself in, but couldn't get himself out and was stuck inside the box just chilling on the floor of it. Dear lord, I wonder what this dog could do with his brain if he had opposable thumbs!........back to the drawing board. (again, no photo of this renovation)

I think we have FINALLY have the better "mousetrap"....we raised the hole at the top and cut part of the ceiling too. Phoenix can get in, Ralph can't pull himself that high or manage to leap and still fit. This remodel has served us well for months now.

Either that or he has just truly outwitted us and is being a complete stealthy ninja and not even leaving traces on the couch anymore. I wonder if I should fear what I will find when I move our bed to do a little spring cleaning underneath it. If so....once again, it shall be (say it with me) BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD!

Oh a side note: do you think this dog is smart enough to train to do laundry?


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
I say try to train him to do laundry. It means less work!
Apr. 14th, 2014 09:54 pm (UTC)
i think the no opposable thumbs thing is hampering his laundry learning skills.
Apr. 15th, 2014 04:07 am (UTC)
Makes me glad we have five cats, four litter boxes, and no Ralph!
Apr. 15th, 2014 05:43 am (UTC)
That would be like a Golden Corral buffet for him.
Apr. 15th, 2014 04:58 am (UTC)
My husband's name is Brendan! I don't see it spelled that way enough. It's usually Brendon or Brenden around here.

I had the worst time getting my mom's dog to not eat from the litterbox. I actually really like that box you created... I wonder if my cats would like it. It's a bit of extra privacy.
Apr. 15th, 2014 05:46 am (UTC)
it's really easy to build. just some wood, L brackets and screws. felt on the bottom so it can slide and not scratch the floor. Brendan is on the disabled list (wisdom teeth) but if you'd like...once he's better, I can probably get the exact specifications. I think we made it for like 30 bucks (if that)

also, one thing i've learned about being with a Brendan....good luck finding anything personalized unless it's custom made.

Edited at 2014-04-15 05:47 am (UTC)
Apr. 15th, 2014 07:34 am (UTC)
blehhhhh so so gross! but I liked all of the creative methods of prevention. Here's hoping this last one is the last you need!
Apr. 16th, 2014 04:15 am (UTC)
so far, so good.
Apr. 15th, 2014 03:06 pm (UTC)
Nicely done.
Apr. 16th, 2014 04:15 am (UTC)
thank you
Apr. 15th, 2014 10:14 pm (UTC)
We have a black cat, too! And she came to us as a stray kitten! She's an only child, though, so no doggy brothers attempting to eat her poops.

I'm impressed by your litter box solutions! If that one fails, you could always put the litter box on a wall shelf that only the cat can reach. :)
Apr. 16th, 2014 04:22 am (UTC)
I am grateful to have a very crafty Macgyver-esque boyfriend. I think we just sell the dog to the circus if this doesn't work.....i'm kidding.
Apr. 15th, 2014 11:49 pm (UTC)

This is my first time reading an entry of yours, and I'm really glad I stopped by to read this one.

My dogs have been nuts about the catbox. I tell them "the buffet is closed" in hopes of getting them to go away from it. The cat, however, likes the dogs to eat poop. It's sort of like a self-cleaning litter box. So, after she uses the box, she walks around meowing, signaling the dogs to do their thing if they so desire.

Our yellow lab is very eager to help her out. The black dog, not so much. But past dogs have trained this cat, if cats can indeed be trained.

Anyway, fabulous post, and I applaud your persistence in creating something to ensure the buffet really is closed.
Apr. 16th, 2014 04:24 am (UTC)
thanx for stopping by.

that is hilarious about your cat. Have you ever noticed how excited cats get when they poo? it's like "look at me...i made a stinky" and then they run around like a wild cheetah for like 30 seconds afterwards. That or they are so scared of their own smell they made that they are hauling ass away from the box like "wasn't me. i didn't do it"
Apr. 16th, 2014 12:16 am (UTC)
*laughing* Considering where the dog has had his snout and paws, I don't know that you want him doing your laundry.
Apr. 16th, 2014 04:26 am (UTC)
you might have a point....especially if he is being stealthy ninja now
Apr. 16th, 2014 04:26 am (UTC)
Ralph. Such a great and appropriate name! Smart enough to get into the cat litter but not smart enough to not eat from it!
Apr. 16th, 2014 04:36 am (UTC)
his name is Ralph because that's what he did in my boyfriend's car (and his friend's car) the first day Brendan got him from the pound. He also still does it on car rides occasionally (he hates the car).
Apr. 16th, 2014 07:52 am (UTC)
Definitely train him! Perhaps not laundry, though -- I use my thumbs a lot for that. Maybe sweeping and mopping?
Apr. 17th, 2014 09:45 pm (UTC)
he is getting fluffy enough now (since he hasn't been to the groomer in a bit) that we could probably use him as a mop...but his daddy might not approve of that.
Apr. 18th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
Hmm. Perhaps dusting? They make all sorts of doggy clothing, it shouldn't be hard to find an outfit with feathers. :)
Apr. 17th, 2014 01:36 pm (UTC)
Oh! god one smart dog you have there...glad finally you could find a way out...:)
Apr. 17th, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
he's on medicine right now for a disc problem in his back....he knows it's yummy treat time when we simply pick up the container that has his pills in it.
Apr. 18th, 2014 04:54 am (UTC)
aww..:/ hope he gets well soon.
Apr. 18th, 2014 07:10 pm (UTC)
thank you. he's getting better. the problem is that he starts to feel better, gets too playful and then reinjures himself and we're (like the litterbox) back to the drawing board.
Apr. 18th, 2014 12:27 am (UTC)
When my doggie, Una, was still alive, I remember going through similar experiences (although we never got quite so creative with the attempts to foil her snacking). Very entertaining!
Apr. 18th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
I have a very meticulous, tinkering boyfriend and also...he's very concerned with Ralph's well being since he came from such a bad situation & he knows poo poo snacking probably isn't the most healthy snack
Apr. 18th, 2014 02:08 am (UTC)
*shudder* No. I used to try to forget what she'd been munching on when she would kiss me on the face.
Apr. 18th, 2014 03:12 am (UTC)
yeah i do that too
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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