Tuesday, March 8, 2011

a very long story about doors

there's no door to our room, just an odd-sized gap in the wall, and it became clear shortly after we moved in that something needed to be done. our cats are completely maddening at night and it would become an even bigger issue with a sleeping baby. so we started looking into our options. a regular door is impossible; we rent, and the gap is not a doorway, but really just a gap. it's about 46.5" wide and 96" tall, while a standard door is 36" wide and 80" tall. it didn't take long to come to the conclusion that accordion doors were the only option.

trouble is, accordion doors need a track along the top- something that we discovered after buying two of them- and doors are not generally eight feet tall. after brainstorming and arguing and being generally frustrated for a while, we decided that the best option was to have a piece of wood cut to size, paint it white, attach it to the walls with brackets at the necessary height, and nail the track to it.

the "doorway."

attaching the L brackets.

measuring. the combined length of the two tracks was too wide, so one of them needed to be cut.

tracks cut and secured!

hanging the door "frame" was the trickiest part and required both of us, so no photos of that part. fast forward to-

we have doors!

now, you might think that that's all there is to this story. alas, it is not. our first closed-door night was a disaster. you see, the cats were not pleased by this new development, and they were not about to let a pair of vinyl doors keep them out of the bedroom. mind you, their food, toys, and litter box are all in the living room/kitchen, so they didn't need to get into the bedroom. they're just spiteful.

the major flaw was the bottom of the doors. the handles secure with magnets a little higher than halfway up, and there's no track on the floor, so the doors can simply be pushed apart where they meet at the bottom. bit of an oversight on our part, i suppose. i pushed our old tv stand up against them, but it wasn't enough. i tied the handles together, no luck. as a desperate, last-ditch 4am effort, i wiped down the lower half of the doors with vinegar- cats hate the smell. when combined with other barricades, it worked! kind of.

notice that big red bookshelf next to the doors? yep, nickee hopped on top of it by way of the kitchen counter and jumped through the gap above the doors.

today we gave the tv stand away, so that's one less barricade. i punched little holes at the bottom of each door so that i can tie them together, and we pinned up poster board across the gap. the cats could pretty easily knock it down, but i'm hoping they won't realize that.

nickee and nono won't try to get through the doors as long as someone is in the living room with them, so i don't know if these new deterrents will work. i guess i'll find out shortly after i finally drag myself to bed.


  1. Also interesting and related:

    "Scholars are itching to get their hands on the ivories after the exhibition. Some of the pieces have notes on the back in ancient Aramaic, which appear to be the Ikea flatpack instructions of almost 3,000 years ago on how to assemble the furniture."