The Nursery Room Door
The way into any room.
Remember me talking about our first two Siamese, Tatsu and Zeus, and how they worked as a team and taught themselves to open the old-fashioned faceted glass door knobs on the doors we had in our previous home? Do you remember me saying that those knobs were on every door but the front, back and nursery room? After we brought Baby Max then Baby Tory home from the hospital the battle of the nursery room door began.
At first Tatsu and Brutus were puzzled why I, their fearless leader, wouldn’t let them into the nursery. They would stand on their hind legs and reach out a velvet paw to the door knob, pat the knob a few times as if testing it, withdraw the paw and look at me as if saying, “Okay, this is one of those faulty knobs I can’t turn so why don’t you turn it for me so I can get in there?”
When that didn’t work, the Siamese lost patience. Tatsu and Zeus would throw themselves at the closed door, making huge thumping sounds, all the while howling like banshees. They were mad they couldn’t just turn the knob and walk in like they could in practically every other room in the house. And they knew something was going on in that room and they wanted to know exactly what was going on right now.
Thinking creatively, or perhaps I was delirious from lack of sleep, I convinced Mike to remove the wooden nursery room door and install a screen door with a regular metal handle and latch in its place. This way, when the baby was sleeping, the cats, although they couldn’t get into the room, could at least see what was happening inside. I was hoping they’d see “nothing” was happening and chill out. Fingers crossed, they would cease the howling and thumping, allowing the baby – and us – to sleep peacefully.
Mike gathered his tools and the screen door one Saturday morning, piling it all in the upstairs hallways. The Siamese, sensing something was up, scampered back and forth, getting underfoot. Like little kids, they got excited any time something out of the ordinary happened.
You had to see their little brown faces as they watched Mike removed the wooden door from its hinges. Tatsu tilted his head, left, right, and left again, watching carefully as if trying to figure out what Mike was doing. I wondered if he’d try to re-install the door Monday morning after Mike and I left for work just to see if he could do it.
Zeus, not quite as bright, sat on his haunches and stared, not blinking his violet blue eyes. I imagine he was thinking, “Great! No door means free access to the room and the comfy crib. Nice napping potential.”
They kept watching as Mike installed the screen door. I swear if you quizzed Tatsu afterward he could have pointed to where Mike put every screw. And they didn’t understand at first. Oh, they tried turning the knob to no avail, but they never did the howl and thump routine as if sensing this was as good as it got. And the see-through door seemed to ease their complaining . . .a good thing considering how persistent and loud they were.
The baby could sleep in peace. Mike and I could be in the room with the baby without having to shoo two Siamese out of the way while performing delicate tasks like changing a dirty diaper. And the Siamese? Well, only occasionally would we have to peel a disgruntled cat off the screen door on our way out of the room.
Sometimes they thought we took too long