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?