Friday, November 19, 2010

Cat Door

Ever since we started milking goats, and then cows, there has always been the problem of keeping the pesky cats from "tickling" or otherwise bothering the goat/cow.

Just having them walk across the floor withing eye shot is sometimes enough to make the critter being milked start shuffling. This does not bode well when said critter's hind foot comes into contact with the milk pail...

I even have one cat who likes to sneak up beside the cow, then jump between the cow's fat belly, and the stand next to the cow - through a gap of about 3 inches. The resulting brush of the cow's fat midsection tends to startle the cow, causing the hind leg to move.

At the LEAST, this causes the Hillbilly to have a minor heart attack, because he THINKS the cow is going to kick the bucket. Four things can happen in this situation - none of them good -

(1) The cow kicks the bucket, spilling the milk. This causes angst when the Hillbilly's wife has less milk to make butter from. Not Good.

(2) The HILLBILLY "Kicks the Bucket". This is because he knows the wife wants more butter, and has a coronary at the slightest hint of spilled milk. Hillbilly is doomed.

(3) The COW "Kicks the Bucket" because the Hillbilly is startled, too. Cow has a coronary because she thinks something is "after" her. DEFINITELY not good.

(4) CAT "Kicks the Bucket" because Hillbilly chases her down and beats her with a stick for causing so much pain and anguish. Could actually be a GOOD thing....

I've tried stick pokes, yelling, the dog, chasing, and even flights on "Air Kitty". Nothing seems to work for very long (cats, apparently, have short memories...).

Last week, I decided to take a different, more "progressive" approach - I made a "Cat Door" to the milk room. It's nothing more than a piece of 1/2" OSB that I set in the doorway when I'm milking, but the cats seem to respect it. At least, nobody has come around (or over) it so far.

Cat Door

I know, I know - cats can climb. Well, I have a solution to that. Here's a photo of the other side, the side where the cats stay:

No Cats

I Figure, if those cats are too stupid to read English (or at least good at FAKING it), then they'd be able to understand "Universal" signage.

Cats are shifty, so you have to stoop to their level.

Now, they have NO excuses for coming in and bothering the cow....

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