A few years ago my husband and I visited Wales with our youngest daughter. We rented a flat, sight unseen, through the internet. After arriving in Conway by train we found our way to the flat and unlocked the door with the key that had been sent to us. We unpacked, bought some groceries at the market and settled in for a few days.
The location was perfect. We could walk anywhere we wanted and we could see the castle from some of the rear windows. We went to bed expecting to explore as much as we could in the morning.
I woke in the middle of the night to hear my husband yelling.
Get off of me!
My bleary eyes quickly focused on a big cat resting on his chest. My husband threw it onto the floor, but it jumped right back on the bed.
He picked the cat up and put it outside on the street. We went back to bed a little shaken, but unharmed. A few minutes later the cat was back.
What in the world…do they give cats their own keys in Wales? My husband put him outside again and this time he shut our bedroom door as well. We slept through the rest of the night without incident.
Imagine our surprise when we opened our bedroom door in the morning to see the cat, again. She came in and swiftly jumped on the bed, like she belonged there. We were puzzled by her presence. We thought maybe the owners had a cat they failed to tell us about. A kind of spy to make sure we didn’t do damage to their property. We tolerated her, wondering if we should feed her? We didn’t.
When we left to explore for the day, we put her out and carefully locked the door behind us…again.
We explored the castle, did some shopping, ate lunch did more shopping and came home tired.
The cat was there to greet us…inside the flat.
That’s when we noticed the back door had a “cat door” built into it. It didn’t matter how many times we put the cat out and locked the door. The cat would continue to come back in.
I tried contacting the owner, asking her if they had a cat. She didn’t get back to me until after we had left Conway. She informed us that they did not have a cat, and she hoped we hadn’t let a wild cat into the flat. (There seem to be several in this town.) She was more than a little angry.
Her response puzzled me. You can say you don’t want cats, but if you have a cat door they are going to find their way in. That’s like leaving a trail of cheese into your house and then being surprised when mice show up.
I know there are lessons to be learned from all of this. I will let you jump to your own conclusions… excuse me while I seal up some cat doors.