Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend projects

Ventilating the shed.
When we bought this house, one of the attractive features was that there was a garden shed built in the back. It had been custom-made by the previous tenant's ex-husband, who was something of a craftsman. He had made the hinges himself (he was a welder by trade), and had put the shed together very snugly.
Actually, he did TOO good a job at making it snug. He didn't even use trim; the joints are all so close that he just ran a bead of caulk to seal them. The door is good-sized, and I literally had to lean on the door to get it to compress the air inside, so that I could latch it.

While this is good for keeping your lawn tools dry, it also means that it has been death to enter that shed in the summertime. We genuinely have feared for the lives of our cats, should one get caught in there for more than a couple of minutes while exploring a the opened shed and then get locked in when we close it. So, ventilation.

We went to a construction salvage store yesterday, and bought a new back door for the house. While there, I saw some nice used gable vents. I have made gable vents, while I was a carpenter's helper. It was a pain to do, right. These looked pretty good. We bought them, and I put them into the shed.
Modifying the gable by cutting a 12"X18" hole.

First vent installed.

Second vent, installed.
 The difference was immediate. The door swings shut effortlessly, too. Fear not; both vents are screened in the back. Strangely, they were already painted a shade that worked pretty well with the extant shed gables. Yay, me.

Cat Door.
This one, we haven't solved, correctly, yet. We wanted to make it so that only our cats could come and go. We bought a cat door for the garage that would only let in the cat with the magnetic bobbin on his collar. In short order, he lost the collar, and butted his way through, breaking the door.
I've noticed that the neighbor cat has been coming in.
We have a second door through the kitchen door to the garage. Its locking device was broken by our boulder-headed cat, as well, but the flap remains. My wife installed stops (many screws, with their heads sticking up) into the cat passage, to prevent the flap from opening inward. Thus, the cats can exit to crap, but cannot creep back in. They must been ushered in. We'll see if this works.

Looking online, there are auto doors that use the RFID chip in your animal to let them in, which you can program for only one of your animals. Smart. Neither of our cats is chipped. Also, they're made of plastic parts, as well. I'm not spending $150 (before $70 to chip the stupid cats) for another plastic door. That plastic hinge with a flexible poly door is a fatal flaw. Make the whole thing out of sheet steel/aluminum, and I'm there. I might even go higher. I don't dote on those vomiting, shedding, annoying pieces of crap. But they matter to my wife and my daughters, and I'm lazy, so I'd actually go $200 to not have to deal with this anymore.

That neighbor cat has a collar and tags. It would give me only momentary satisfaction to deal with it the way I first was tempted to. Unless there is danger, I'm against killing someone's pet, as a rule, even if it's trespassing. It's not HIS fault that we make the food in our house accessible to him. We need to put a stop to this, though. I don't want opossums or raccoons in here.

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At Sunday, April 28, 2013 4:28:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Or skunks, don't forget the skunks... :-)

At Sunday, April 28, 2013 6:38:00 PM, Blogger J.R.Shirley said...

You have cats. Heh. You have cats. No pity.

At Monday, April 29, 2013 8:39:00 AM, Blogger Kristopher B. said...

Your cats are also annoying your neighbors just as much.

My neighbor's cats have decided my unfinished yard is their outhouse, and had been tearing up my work every morning when the neighbor lets them out.

This stopped for a month when I put warning signs up, and borrowed a skunk trap from the county animal shelter. Neighbor suddenly decides her cats are now indoor cats.

After catching a of other cats, the damage stops, and I take down the signs and return the trap. Then winter comes in.

It's spring now, and the first thing that happens to this year's plantings is the neighbor's two cats arrive again to undo my work.

The skunk trap is going back in, but their won't be any signage this time.

Yes, letting your animals loose to relieve themselves is convenient ... but most towns have leash laws for a reason.

At Monday, April 29, 2013 7:24:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Hey, Kristopher, what if I have trained them with an invisible fence and collar? Is that not acceptable?

At Monday, April 29, 2013 11:20:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

You've heard my story about my pet door and finding halfsies- half a baby duck, half a baby bunny (with different halves on multiple occasions), half a snake, whole snakes (dying, dead, and 'you'd better turn the bathroom light on before you go in there')and other tales of mystery and woe.

At Friday, May 03, 2013 6:41:00 PM, Anonymous Douglas2 said...

What you need is an implementation of Flo control:

At Saturday, May 04, 2013 8:18:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Part of the problem, though, is that one of my felines is an 18 lb cat that simply butts the door until he breaks the plastic flapper out. They need to make it out of more durable materials. I used that exact brand of cat door, before. Good design; poor execution.

At Sunday, May 05, 2013 10:13:00 AM, Blogger Kristophr said...


How you implement your local leash laws is up to you, of course.

What is acceptable is not having the neighbor's animals running loose and damaging things that belong to me.

Sorry I sound like such a hard ass, but the local cats like to leave 3 foot circles of destruction with a bit of cat poop in the center if given a chance to do so.

Yesterday, one of my neighbors lost a cat to either coyotes or traffic ... she went straight to my door, hoping that I had caught her pet and turned it into the county animal shelter. No such luck.

At Sunday, May 05, 2013 12:18:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

I am not a cat person. I am not a dog person. I'm just a person. I take my animals to the vet, and I give them their shots. I have the paperwork and the tags to prove it. When my animals are sick, I take them to the vet. I have the vet bills to prove it. I buy quality food for my animals.

I consider the average "cat person" to be insane, at a slightly greater rate than the average "dog person."


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