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Let the Sun Shine In
August, 12, 2006

By Gary Michael Smith

You may remember the story of my "Little Warrior" Chatgris -- the Korat with natural guard cat instincts. He also is quite the bright one too, and dexterous as well.

cat drinking from cup
Chatgris Pauses on His Rounds

Brenda and I love to take our vacations in one lump sum. That is, all 17 days -- including a couple weekends -- straight in a row. It just seems more like a vacation than to nickel and dime it away a day at a time.

Luckily, we had a neighbor at one time who worked as an ICU nurse with Brenda and who graciously agreed to take care of Beet, Boris, and Chatgris while we drove cross country to anywhere from Seattle to Newfoundland. Our kitty day care nurse promptly kept the boys in food and water while cleaning the litter box and wiping up the vomit. (And don't act like you're grossed out at this since anyone who owns a cat knows that throwing up comes with the territory.)

But one thing we noticed a couple times on our return was that the blinds covering the front door had been drawn up several feet, exposing the living room and letting in too much light, making it harder to cool. We'd once asked our cat sitter why she was raising the blinds, but she denied any wrongdoing. Then who was doing it? Was someone breaking in while she was gone to raise the blinds? Doubtfully.

Then we found the culprit. One evening, while we were lounging in the living room watching CSI, we solved our own crime mystery. Chatgris was making his usual rounds, patrolling from room to room, looking out windows at various strategic locations. Then he came to the front door, and noticing the blinds had been lowered took matters into his own hands.

cat in circle
Is That Blind Drawn Again?

The drawstring was long since the blinds were floor-length. As such, the string hung to the base of the door in a big loop. As if he'd done it many times before, Chatgris methodically slipped his paw in the loop for string and slowly walked backwards. Our eyes bulged and our mouths dropped as we witnessed our cat sentry raising the door blinds one foot, two feet, three feet, and then some as he continued his backward trek.

Satisfied with the height of the blinds, he stopped, shook the string off his paw, and walked up to the floor-length door window to peer out and ensure that this was, indeed, a secure sector.

cat sleeping
All Is Secure -- I Can Sleep Now

Gary Michael Smith is a writer in New Orleans. He can be reached at ChatgrisPress@ChatgrisPress.com.