I really believe Laurel and Hardy, my gorgeous two cats, have taken a secret SAS Commando cat course!
When I rescued them from the streets of Selimiye, I am sure they were already a little more savvy than cats brought up in a home right from the start of their little lives.
They had to learn how to get food and be safe for quite a few weeks before they came to live with me, and because they are brothers, they do look out for each other.
Anyway, they arrived here and I live on the first floor in an apartment with a balcony off the kitchen and another off my bedroom. The apartment has a main door downstairs, (with a screen) and then you come upstairs to my front door. I wasn’t sure how they would come and go, but I thought it was best to let them work that out for themselves. Which they do in Commando style!
If there is no one around to let them in the ground floor door, then they do a ‘little breaking and entry’. That means they have to take it in turns to jump up and down until they flip the door handle to open the door. This is after they have managed to get the screen open first. My neighbours have watched in astonishment many a time, to see this amazing feat.
Then they come upstairs to the main door. This is impossible to open, so if they miaow and no one is home, then it is back downstairs out of the main door. Just around the corner was a bougainvillea tree that came up to my kitchen balcony, and so a little climbing later, they were on the kitchen balcony, opening the screen and the door in their commando style.
This was a great system for a while until I had a new neighbour downstairs! She comes periodically throughout the summer and at heart, is a city dweller.
Unfortunately, Laurel and Hardy were causing leaves to drop onto her balcony as they were climbing up and down the tree a few times a day.
Next thing I know, she is knocking on my door complaining about the leaves! Really. What was I supposed to do? Have a little word with my two horrors and ask them to clean up after themselves?
This exchange went on for a few days and I really did not know quite what to do. But my city neighbour did! She cut down the Bougainvillea tree! Poor Laurel and Hardy were quite distraught for a couple of days.
But not to be deterred, after a quick chat together, they moved to around to the back of the apartment that fortunately has an Olive tree that reaches up to my bedroom balcony! So, up they come, every day and through the night, opening my fly screen first, and if the have to, opening the door with their jump and flip technique.
The only down side to this new approach is that the can only open the fly screen, not close it! So I have to get up in the middle of the night to close it after them.
The odd leaf will fall on my neighbour’s balcony below but she cannot cut it down, as all Olive trees are protected. (Some of them around the village are hundreds of years old).
It seems they have passed on their route into their home to a black cat who lives outside. I often find him in my kitchen eating their food, while they are laying on the balcony or on my bed. They do not give him a problem, in fact, they are really laid back about it. I think that maybe it is because they were once street cats; they feel sorry for him and know how hard it is to get food.
I love my little Commandos; they are full of character and I certainly know they are around!
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