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The Slice: Oh rats – we forgot one other pet-door problem

Mon., Sept. 17, 2012

Last week The Slice noted a couple of problems with pet doors.

“Sorry, but you missed a third big one,” wrote Sue Kelly. “Our cat Jack (he’s actually our grandcat, but that’s another story entirely) is quite the hunter and will leave dead (or pretending to be dead) mice on both our front porch and back patio door. He has also come home with live snakes in his mouth. Trust me, there’s no way we’d have a pet door which would allow who knows what loose in our house. Gives me the creeps just thinking about it.”

Well then, Sue, you might want to skip this next bit.

“The biggest problems I had with cat doors were the things my cat brought in, although I did have a raccoon try to come in one night,” wrote Mike McAllister. “Luckily, he didn’t fit.”

My correspondent continued.

“I had a big black domestic longhair that routinely brought in live mice, rats and birds. I once came home to a recently fledged baby robin perched on one of my lamps in the living room. And I can’t tell you the number of rats and mice I had to catch. And rodents that have been handled by cats usually go into shock and die within a day or two. Rats get really smelly when they’ve been dead under a refrigerator for several days.

“I also used to find little piles of feathers on the rug. He eventually got sick on a bird and quit eating them, but he still kept catching them.

“Since he died, the pet door has been closed. My girl kitties are indoor cats and a stray I adopted three years ago gets let in and out. I now have control of the animals that enter my house.”

Slice answer: “The difference between me and a 1943 B-17 pilot?” wrote architect Craig Conrad. “Easy. A 1943 B-17 pilot was in his early 20s, and many mornings every week he got out of bed really early to take responsibility for the lives of a crew of nine or 10 younger airmen. He was also responsible for flying in formation with dozens, sometimes hundreds of other young pilots to concentrate defensive fire. If he survived enemy fighters and flak, he did this for as many as 50 or more missions. Many times he didn’t, as more than 25,000 young airmen died over Europe, most of them in B-17s.

“I’m 57, and will probably never have that kind of responsibility. I just need to get to work every day.”

Today’s Slice question: Do you get enough sleep?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email The password is “fruit pie.”

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