Monday, May 10, 2010

Securing Sami

My back patio is surrounded by white lattice panels that are secured to wooden posts.
Recently while weeding the flower beds outside, I turned around and saw Sami sitting on the sidewalk leading to the garage.  If she were an outdoors cat this wouldn’t seem strange, but the only outdoors she’s usually privy to is the back patio.  How did she get out of the patio?!?  I checked the locks on the gate – they were both still locked. Did she jump over the gate?  Normally she doesn’t since she only likes to jump if she can land *on* something solid (ie. her cat window chair, the tables, the counter).  IMG_0281 I put her back in the patio and went inside where I could spy from around the corner.  As I watched, she walked around the patio, head butting each panel until she found the two that moved.  She then pushed hard enough that she was able to squeeze her 14lb. body underneath the panel to escape the patio!  As a temporary measure, I placed heavy landscaping rocks next to the two loose panels to keep them from moving.
IMG_3330I inspected the other four panels around the patio and discovered that besides being attached at the top and middle to the posts, they were also secured at the bottom of each panel with L brackets.  The space between the posts and the panels on the front of the patio, however, were much wider than the rest of the panels and the L brackets wouldn’t secure to both the post and panel.
IMG_3331My dad suggested attaching wood to the post to close the gap and I realized he was right! When I hung the baby gate on the back patio to act as a gate for Sami, I had to attach two pieces of wood to the posts so the gate would fit so I decided to do the same thing with the panels. I had extra molding lying around so I cut four pieces to mirror the width of the posts and then simply screwed them into the posts.  I was then able to attach the L brackets to the wood spacer and panels.
IMG_3351 I still need to paint the blocks white so that they blend in with the rest of the patio but for now they are keeping Sami secure within the patio.  She’s not thrilled about it but it makes me breath a little easier when she’s outside since I know she can’t escape anymore! 

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