Friday, November 06, 2009
The Great Guy Fawkes Conundrum
So. Guy Fawkes. Guido, if you will. Scapegoat for the whole Gunpowder Plot, bit of a pansy really, giving into torture like that. Still, I'd imagine it put the fear of God into anyone else planning to blow up Parliament (although I confess it's crossed my mind a few times, usually while PMQ's is on).
Anyway. This post has nothing to do with that, really. Guy Fawkes Night is just as often called Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night, and it's the latter that concerns me. Fireworks are damn noisy things. I have three cats and a Demon Puppy, who each have sensitive ears. They present different sorts of problems.
The Demon Puppy is reasonably easy to solve (for once! Hussah!). She doesn't like loud noises, and anything she doesn't like she barks at. Solution number one is therefore to leave the house for the duration so I don't have to listen to her, but since there are municipal and private fireworks going off all week, that's not very helpful. The better solution is to distract her with other noise. While we're in the house, the TV works quite well. When we're out, she's shut in the kitchen (where she can do the minimum of damage), away from the TV. Solution? Radio. Or in my case, being unable to find a working radio, Sony Walkman and speakers. Last night she had Flight of the Conchords. Tonight I'm considering Florence and the Machine (well, she's pretty loud).
Then there are the cats. They won't bark (if they do I'll be sure to report it), but they do get scared, and when they get scared, they bolt, and if they bolt into the path of a car it's Sugar all over again, and I really don't want that.
Received wisdom is to keep them in at night while the fireworks are going off, but that's not really an easy solution when you have cats who are perfectly used to going in and out whenever they damn well feel like it. For one night, maybe, and last night I was lucky enough to get all three of them in the house before I left, and could lock or barricade both cat flaps (they're supposed to have two-way locks on them, but since the Demon Puppy likes to shove her head through the flaps, they're quite broken and held together with duct tape. Classy).
But can I get away with this all week? If I shut His Most Spikalicious King Spike inside for one more evening, will he refuse to come back to the house at all? Can three cats spend more than four hours shut up inside without a litter tray? How do I stop them escaping out the front door when I come home?
Mr Fawkes, you've no idea of the trouble you caused.