28 April 2010

Bertie's a climber

It's a quiet week. Bertie the cat has settled into a routine. Callie the dog is acting like she's missing something, or being deprived of something. I think the dog knows that there's a cat living in the garage, and the cat certainly knows that there's a dog living in the house.

That's as far as we've gotten in the area of canine-feline relations. Meanwhile, our work crew took a week off to go do a job in the Paris region, so it's quiet here.

A close-up view of the vineyard road
from an attic window

A couple of evenings ago, I came back from a long walk with the dog. I told Walt I would be out for a while, so he had time to bring the cat up into the house for nice long visit.

When I got home, I left Callie downstairs while I went upstairs to see what the situation was. Walt was snoozing in a chair out on the front terrace. "Where's the cat?" I asked him. "Out here on the deck," he said. I looked around, but there was no sign of Bertie.

We're having warm days but chilly, dewy mornings.

This is about all the moisture that the grapevines
are getting these days.

We proceeded to search all over the house. No cat. Had he jumped off the deck? That's a pretty good drop, but cats are capable of such things, I think. I went back down to the garage to see if Bertie had jumped down and then gone in there through his open window. No sign of him in the garage either.

Callie was waiting patiently as I went back upstairs. Walt was searching high and low in every room in the house. I figured he'd find him in a minute or two, under the bed or in a closet, so I climbed the ladder up to the attic space to see how hot it had gotten up there on a sunny afternoon.

Here's the ladder that the cat climbed up
to get into the attic.

And you know who was up there, right? Bertie the black cat had climbed up the ladder. He was perched in the front window, enjoying a panoramic view of the neighborhood. Neither Walt nor I really believed that a cat would climb a steep ladder like that.

Yesterday, to see if he could do it again, I brought Bertie into the house. Then I climbed the ladder into the attic. Not two minutes later, I saw Bertie climb up too. No problem. Then this morning I brought Bertie into the house after he ate his breakfast and Walt took Callie out for her walk. The cat headed straight up the ladder.

A ladybug on a branch

He likes it up there in the attic. It's the one place where he is perfectly safe from the dog, I guess. That won't be the case when we get the staircase up it.


  1. The view from your attic window is marvellous. What a bonus.

    All my cats enjoyed being high up, often just sitting on a bedroom windowsill looking out, especially if it was a nice warm spot. I do hope Bertie and Callie can get on with each other, otherwise it's going to be hard work for you and Walt constantly keeping an eye on them.

  2. Beautiful photos... especially of the grape leaves. And wonderful story of Bertie's escapades.

  3. But can Bertie get DOWN the ladder?

  4. lol....cats are so curious....they know as soon as there's something new in a room or house and check it out suspiciously.....my cats would sometimes get shut into my neighbors garage for that reason....i searched & called for hours & i eventually found (sometimes not until the next am) when they got hungry enuf to answer back...B prob feels safe from Callie up there too

  5. I'm enjoying Bertie's adventures, at least the ones you know about.

    If only cats' climbing skills could be put to good use--dusting the high spots, clipping a hedge, picking fruit....

  6. Bertie is probably making fun of the dog from up there... sneaky cats! Great pix, thanks!

    ps to Bill.. yep, if cats can get there, they can get back...

  7. Nice photos!

    One of my cats used to love to climb ladders. She's too fat and lazy these days to even consider it.

  8. Great story about Bertie, amazing photos of the grape leaves. Really beautiful.

  9. When the work is complete, maybe you could build one of those carpeted cat towers at the highest point in the attic as a roost for Bertie. It would be safe from Callie.

  10. Carolyn, funny funny!

    Chrissoup, that sounds like it would be a wonderful thing for Bertie :)

    Ken, these were great photos! I love hearing the Bertie stories :) I adore cats.

    Hey,Ken, is that small-tile flooring that you have on the landing that we see in the photo with the ladder? What do you think of the amount of upkeep for that? Does the amount of grout bother you? I'd like to do a small tile in one of our little bathrooms, because I like the look.


  11. Judy, yes, those are tiny tiles on the floors you see in that picture. We have them in our bathrooms too. All we do is vacuum them regularly and mop them periodically (that means not all that often). They stay pretty clean. The grout is not a problem.

  12. Cats are great climbers. It's getting back down where they have the problem.

  13. Cats are amazing creatures. They can hide in incredible places and can stay hidden until they choose to come out. My friend's cat used to get great joy out of unraveling the toilet paper. Good luck.

  14. I second Chris' suggestion to built Bertie an observation platform in the attic. Cats like high defensible turf. And if it's a cozy place to hang out a catnap, all the better.

    We have a "kitty condo" that has multiple levels and it's hilarious to see the two of them vying for ownership of the top platform. The bulk of it is upholstered in carpet, with the supports wrapped in sisal. This gives them human-sanctioned places to sharpen their claws and keeps them from scratching the furniture.

    Build Bertie one and he's be one happy kitty.


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