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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The trap is set

Ah, the Spring. Not that it's here, mind you - I live in the frozen North, remember, so whatever your crocuses are doing, mine are certainly not.

But Sunday morning offered two sunny hours for me to rediscover the garden, and start the delightful job of cleaning the green stuff off the slippery ramp and raking the lawn. And finding the joy that other people's cats have found in my garden, which they obviously think is a bathroom I am providing for their use.

If you own a cat, I'm afraid that this Sunday we were not firm friends. Because I blame you. The sheer extent of the problem this Spring has convinced me that everyone's cat has made a contribution.

Quite simply, wherever you are in the world, I have no doubt: your cat is crossing fences, motorways or oceans in order to come over here and crap in my garden.

We have read the advice about how to keep cats away: with orange peel, with water guns, with 'uneven surfaces'. This last suggestion just mocks us, bearing in mind the fun that the cats have had on the slate chippings surrounding our bay tree.

So Littlest responded to the problem with a new invention - the Coffee House Patented Cat Trap. Here it is in position.
 

It might not be immediately obvious how the trap works - so luckily we have our paper stunt cat, a present from Driftwood, to demonstrate.

First, the cat hops over the fence into the garden; with wrong-doing in mind. 
See the premeditated evil in its face?


Tempted by a bowl of milk, it creeps beneath the trap. 
(The milk is secretly laced with orange juice.)


The shock of the orange juice causes the cat to start. 
The trap falls. The cat is surrounded - surrounded - by pipe cleaners.


Tonight, before you go to bed, look your cat in the eye and tell it to watch out. Things have changed around here. They would do very, very well to just keep away.

34 comments:

  1. Not guilty - no cat or dog here! I have experience of 'cat toilet' garden though and it is dreadful. I hope you manage to trap all the felines with your pipe-cleaners.

    Not that I think any cat will drink the milk as they will smell the orange juice before they start to drink...

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  2. I used to have a problem with chicken poop but my chickens became fox fodder a few weeks ago. Although I miss their eggs, I don't miss their free-range deposits. I can feel garden duties looming. Thank you for reminding me!

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your chickens, projectforty - but poop I guess we can all live without.

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  3. This has made me chuckle lots this morning, but partly because you have just made the most elaborate cat toy known to man!
    My cats would go mad for those pipecleaners. They don't like foil, water or lemon juice though... maybe you could fashion something including those instead?
    Good luck... my cats are pesky nuisances to their owners so I dread to think how much they may upset non-cat-people! x

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    1. Thanks aligamiligee - I was going to try lemon juice and white vinegar when I get to the shops.

      Everyone has got to promise me that they will not tell Littlest that her trap won't work, though. She's finding it hard enough that no cats have fallen for it yet.

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  4. I have a rubbish cat (in your neighbourhood, but not guilty - she NEVER steps outside EVER!) but whom I would happily let you try this out on!

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  5. Oh, I'm so making a pipe cleaner trap. Seriously - I've tried everything else. It might just work.

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  6. Hangs head in shame. Have no idea where my kitties are crapping, but it's mainly not in my garden. There is clearly only one solution. You will have to have a cat of your own. Or a tiger would be even better.

    Your paper stunt cat is stunningly realistic, but pooping paper briquettes is no use whatsoever.

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  7. Not guilty either, Snoopy - even though it would be a mere toddle over t'other side of the city - craps - much to Leon's disgust - in a tray by the front door (nowhere else is acceptable, I've tried, he just peed in Leon's shoe in protest)

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    1. Okay then. Snoopy is safe. (Wasn't Snoopy a dog?)

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  8. it is not my cats. oh no. they are very happy using the vegetable beds I spent 4 hours digging on Saturday. I am not happy with them, must put pipe cleaners on the shopping list...

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  9. I love your stunt cat. We used to have a cat and he did it in a little tray. Now he has died we have all the neigbourhood cats using our garden as a loo.

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  10. Have similar battles with cats (not a feline fan) but have never considered a pipe cleaner trap. Food for thought indeed.

    I will be posting pictures of my crocuses later today. I do apologise.

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  11. I'm with Jen. The stunt cat is hysterical! My cat stays indoors or would likely end up as critter chow. Perhaps I could mail you a coyote? Oh, right. Just bigger "problems"...

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    1. A lovely offer but no, thanks. I can live without coyotes, too.

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  12. (Horrified gasp) Pipecleaners?!? Have you no mercy?!? Jo x

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  13. Not my cat - she is the kind of freak cat that craps in her own back yard. Our craft cupboard is bursting with pipecleaners... must get to work immediately... the pancakes can wait

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  14. The stunt cat is scary. I'm thinking just put the stunt cat outside to frighten off the real thing. There's one that tries to get in my bedroom window quite often maybe stunt cat could sort him out.

    I was up in your neck of the woods last week CoffeeLady and was shocked to find Sainsbury's closed! Mind you The Prince (no2 son) was mortified as he thought that closure had put paid to his beer shop (wasn't bothered about the food)! x

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    1. I am not classy enough to go to Sainsburys; though I have seen the cranes.

      If they ever mess with Lidl, THEN there will be trouble.

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  15. I know for a fact that that trap is going to scare the crap out of any cat that comes near it.

    But perhaps that's not the effect you were going for.

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  16. I have plenty of evidence to suggest they're diverting via my garden before they head up to you. And then visiting again on their way home, perhaps with their furry suitcases laden with bird catching equipment.

    I do actually like cats, just not in my garden. And they make me sneeze, and they can sense that when I meet a cat in anyone's house it always comes to sit on me and laugh.

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  17. Ha ha! You need a cat of your own. They never seem to use their own garden, and try to scare all other cats off. Perhaps the pipe cleaners will encourage the cats to see your garden as a playground rather than a toilet, and cure it that way!
    Pet Away worked against dogs (we had a visitor who used to leave a calling card by our gatepost EVERY DAY), but you'd have to buy litres of the stuff to cover the whole garden.

    AAAAaarrrghhh. Blogger hates me.
    planetcoops

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    1. If I could clear the bay tree I'd be happy. That stuff is a nightmare to get off slates.

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    2. So that's where Gin is!!! He's been missing for 3 days.
      I wonder how he got to Northern UK from Positano ...

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  18. I'm sorry about my Australian cat doing that in your garden, I will immediately search out and destroy his secret teleport device. If it's any consolation, our neighbours' cats think our backyard is their toilet but I think they were frightened off after I went berserk when they attacked our delicate recuperating cat and shoutily chased them over the fence. I think your trap and faux-kitty are awesome, by the way.

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  19. If your ingenious cat trap fails to fully eradicate the problem I can report that whippets make excellent cat deterrents ... it's a foolish cat that ventures into our garden!

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    1. Well, I am originally a Yorkshirewoman. Whippets would be an obvious cultural route.

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  20. I'm going to show Littlest trap to my 3 and see what they come up with. I need one. It's not patented yet is it? Has she got any ideas for the dog-poo-on-the-way-to-school problem? Smiling aggresively and handing a plastic bag to dogs' offending owners only works when they're still there..

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    1. There's currently no patent pending, no. Littlest has no interest in paperwork.

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  21. This made me giggle! I hated our neighbours cat doing this. Now we have 2 cats but they have fields to do their business in. I hope!

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