September 21st, 2018

South Park Self

clearly not a Jellicle cat

I need a cat-patcher, stat. I hadn't thought Jyn's buggy jump module was too serious a glitch: yes, I laugh at her a lot because she still hasn't worked out how to go through the bathroom window into the courtyard, but I figure she'll learn when she wants to leave the house desperately enough. And she has in the last month or so acquired the skills to levitate onto the dining room table despite me shouting at her not to. But the problem is that she has, in fact, also learned how to climb onto the back wall of the courtyard (via one of the plant boxes), and thence onto the flat roof of the diagonal neighbour's shed. Which is how she gets beaten up by the neighbourhood feline thug patrol, and is also why, incidentally, I ended up meeting the nice neighbour over my back wall at 9pm last night under somewhat inauspicious circumstances.

Because, it turns out, if Jyn is dweebish enough to climb onto the diagonal neighbour's roof and then jumps or (knowing her) falls into the diagonal neighbour's back courtyard, she's dweebish enough not to be able to jump out as it's a high-walled box. This despite the fact that I can see at least three routes any other red-blooded feline would be able to use in an instant.

No, she'll wander around in the diagonal neighbour's courtyard, mewing piteously. At 9pm I'll start getting ready for bed, and realise that my bedtime cat count is one short, at which point I'll go out into the back courtyard and hear her. Calling over the back wall does nothing except intensify her piteous mewing. Leaving the house by the front door, walking around the block and calling in front of the diagonal neighbour's house does nothing because it's another row of semi-detached houses and there's no way through to their back garden from the front. The house is dark and silent, they are clearly out.

Returning to my own garden and calling over the fence still doesn't inspire Jyn to find a climb route, but it does eventually alert the neighbour immediately behind me, who comes out into her garden and is able to report that Jyn is wandering around next door but won't come when called, because she's not only jump-disabled, she's ridiculously timid. Nice neighbour readily agrees to allow me into her house, so I once more trot round the block, clutching my pepper spray suspiciously in case of things that go bump, trek through the nice neighbour's home into the garden, and try to persuade Jyn over the wall. No dice, because she's freaked enough to not even be able to jump onto a chair so she's within grabbing range.

Final upshot: me and Nice Neighbour manhandling a ladder over the wall, Nice Neighbour climbing over (because my knees and balance are seriously not up to it), befriending Jyn, grabbing her and handing her to me so I can post her over the wall back into my garden and hope to hell she doesn't try to climb straight back over so she can follow me back through the Nice Neighbour's house and round the block. Again.

It's somewhat bizarre circumstances under which to meet the neighbours, is all. But it does demonstrate that I have at least one neighbour who is prepared to go severely above and beyond in the service of dingbat cats with faulty jump modules, and the slightly hapless fumbling of their owners. Also, failing a patch job on her programming, I think I'm going to have to construct a small obstacle course in the back courtyard and try to actually train Jyn's AI into this mysterious "jump" business.

At least it wasn't also bucketing with rain, is all I can say.

In re my subject line, she is not a Jellicle Cat because apparently they jump like jumping jacks.

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