The same day I finished reading "I Moved Your Cheese" by Deepak Malhorta (IMYC) is the same day my cat, Ginger, decided to jump over the "cat gate". I found this hugely ironic based on the books examples of mice not accepting the maze they are in and either going over the walls or through the walls.
I have had a gate up for the couple of years; Ginger had a habit of peeing, or worse, on things I valued. I got tired of cleaning up after her so I got a cheap baby gate to keep her out of specific areas of the house. Even though I bought an extra tall gate, it isn't very tall; she could easily jump over it but never did.
I am guessing she was content in her surroundings, everything was provided for her; food, water, litter box, comfy couch, windows, etc. Anytime she wanted something and she could see me on the other side of the gate, she just whined until I got up and either fed her or brushed her. She had learned to live with her circumstances with the changes I had made for her, exactly what "Who Moved My Cheese" by Spencer Johnson advises.
Then something changed. I had to take her to the vet, resulting in a "cone of shame" attached to her head. I also had to move the gate to keep her confined to an even smaller part of the house to keep an eye on her. More change.
Ginger didn't like this change, she was not happy with being confined to less of the house, she wanted full reign of her domain. I am sure the cone on her head added to the frustration she was feeling.
Not long after I had left her to her own devices did I hear her plastic cone hitting the sides of things it shouldn't be hitting. I go and check on her and find her on the OTHER side of the gate! After feeling sorry for herself over the cone on her head, being mad at me for confining her to a smaller area of the house and probably general frustration over not being able to do what she wanted; she made up her mind and jumped over the gate.
When I saw her I was first mad at her for jumping over the gate; then I started to think how the situation was like the mice in IMYC. Ginger had figured out how to move her own cheese!
Ginger was fine with her living condition when I first put up the gate. She had plenty of places to go, far more than our previous home so having a reduced area from the total house was fine. She never tried to jump over the gate.
Then as decisions were made and changes were implemented that changed where should could roam, she became less satisfied with the conditions. She was so dissatisfied she final got fed up with it and decided to make her own decision and jump over the gate.
My solution? Get a taller gate. Because even though Ginger may be smart enough to figure out what many people can't, I have the advantage of being the human that can purchase bigger obstacles to a cats life.
|My sweet Ginger. A reprise from the cone on her head.