Cara Tipping Smith

Last week I went shopping for a new cat door.

You see, it was a surprise to come home and find two ginger cats inside, the first time.

We have a ginger and a tabby, but I wasn’t seeing double – our neighbour’s Marmalade and our Cheezel had become friends.

“Aw, too cute.”

Then things changed.

Spraying around the wood box. Our cats guarding the existing cat door. Strange cats eating their food in the middle of the night (discovered by their yowling).

So, while Marmie is welcome, it seems not all cats are.

Last century, when I last had this problem, you bought a cat door with a magnetised tag.

It wasn’t foolproof. If neighbours had the same kind, their cats could get in. But it was better than nothing, especially for the “wilds”.

But that won’t work this time because Chook (our “silly as” tabby), regularly chews off Cheezel’s collar. It’s one of her favourite, and totally brazen, games.

So, while I know I’m searching for the impossible, on the internet I went and down the shopping “rabbit hole”, where I discovered the thing that would work – a microchip-activated pet door.

No collar needed. No chance of duplicate tags!

I’m sitting there thinking “these are fancy as”. Then, “it would solve the problem”.

Then, “they’re pretty pricey”. Then, “you have to cut a hole in the door”.

This is not a thing to get wrong.

But hey, I live in Oamaru.

It’s Shoptober. I’m buying local. So, I hit “where do I buy?”.

Guess what? There it was. At The Veterinary Centre by the big blue cross. Just down the road.

To the vets I went, where I surveyed the options.

There, they let me pull them out of the box and gave me awesome advice.

It didn’t cost me a cent more. And I didn’t have to wait.

The Oamaru Business Collective is encouraging us all to re-experience retail Oamaru.

You know about Shoptober.

You know that last week 50 local businesses held their first “late night” in a while.

You won’t be surprised to realise there more initiatives are in the pipeline.

But it’s the doing that’s important.

So next time you’re thinking “what’s the chances of finding that in Oamaru?”, remember my impossible cat door and take a leap of faith.

You never know what’s out there.

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