Minnie-5 occupies Ginger’s Catio

Today is the big day.

Minnie and her boys have patiently (and quite comfortably) lived in the two-bedroom apartment for more than 2 weeks now, while waiting for Ginger’s Catio to be fully (or so we think) Minnie-proof.

This morning, the last two finishing touches were made by the kind contractors from whom I bought the stainless steel cage. They were here last week to do the measurements for the lookout when they detected two more loopholes on the ceiling. So they so kindly came to fix it today (it wasn’t even their job, actually, but it’s impossible to get back the contractors who did the catio – the type where after you have paid, you will not ever see them again…sigh).

So, Ginger’s Catio was ready for occupancy.

First, we brought down all the litter boxes, water bowls and feeding bowls. Next, the cats were carried down, one by one, and placed in the cage. This required a lot of strength as they are so very athletic and strong, their bodies totally pliable.

This stainless steel condo is worth every single sen. It’s so solid. There’s no way the boys could have been placed in a normal iron cage, it would surely topple!

I gave them Cubgrub’s dehydrated chicken treats – everyone’s favourite. And added some Greenies for a change.

Ginger came to visit…and hissed.

Soon, husband had to go to work, so I’d be alone with them for the first-day orientation. By the way, we have already cut the top portion of the curry leaf tree, to play it safe. There shouldn’t be anymore bird nests in the patio, especially with Minnie-5 occupying it now.

I opened the lower door. Rey and Robin were the first to come out.

Indy is nosing from Stargate.

Luckily Jayden slept through it all, guarded by Tabs.

Smurfy was the last to come out. That was totally expected.

Slowly, Minnie made a beeline to Vincent’s table. I know, she remembers her escape route. After one-and-a-half years, she remembers.

I know this style only too well. She is just pretending to be nonchalant, just waiting for me to let my guard down, then she will attempt an escape. I know, Minnie, I know.

Smurfy went back to the top floor of the condo. He feels safer there.

Robin did not want to eat this morning. I think he is having some tummy upset. But when he came down, he went straight for the ferns. Now, these ferns have always been here and both Ginger and Tabs have never chewed on the leaves before. So I just left it and thought nothing about it until after an hour when I thought I should check just to be safe. So I sent the photos to a friend who is very experienced with dogs.

To my horror, he said that these plants are toxic to cats and dogs! I was horrified, so I quickly sent the photos to the vet to ask for advice. The clinic was extremely busy so I was told to get the names of the plants and meanwhile, to just monitor Robin.

It had been an hour after he had happily chewed on the leaves and he was bouncing away, playing and frolicking. There was no vomiting or diarrhoea. I quickly pulled out all the plants (we didn’t grow them, they just appeared on their own as “weeds”).

By then I’d asked Jia-Wen to come by and he taught me how to use Google Lens to find the names. We only got as far as “ferns” and Cyrtornium Falcatum. I checked and all “true” ferns are relatively safe and non-toxic to cats. Later on, our long-time volunteer, Terry, who is now working overseas but has kept in touch, checked for me and found the following names:

Bolbitis heteroclita

Phlebodium aureum


All of which are safe. Phew!!

Apparently, I learnt from another friend that the fern with the red berries is toxic. By then, a vet replied from the clinic that ferns are safe. Phew! Robin was still frolicking happily in the catio – good!

Lynx and Indy

Peppermint is also toxic to cats. All mint plants are, so I had to dig this up and put it into a pot outside.

Smurfy, safe and sound, upstairs.

I know, Minnie, I know your plan. I am watching you.

Everyone was happily exploring their new home. Except Minnie – she was planning a grand escape.

Robin went for Heidi’s weeds. It is medicinal. I don’t know the name, though.

Seeing how much Robin and Rey wanted to eat grass, I brought out the wheatgrass that my friend had given me.

And true enough, Minnie made her move suddenly, thinking I wasn’t watching her. I was. I was.

This was her former escape route. And it’s been netted up and soldered, unfortunately, I don’t know if it’s strong enough to withstand Minnie’s strength. She tried to push the netting with her paw. That’s when I decided not to test it further. I waved the palm leaves at her to make her come down and I locked her back in the condo.

The great thing about this condo is, not only is it super solid, it can be separated into two cages (please see photo below). So I locked Minnie in the bottom cage while leaving the top cage open for Smurfy as his safe spot.

Jayden had already woken up now so I couldn’t monitor Minnie anymore. I had to lock her back in the lower cage, at least for today.

Later, Ginger came to visit.

Tabs too.

And Ginger asked to go out.

Ginger hissed at everyone. Nobody hissed back at him.

See how the condo can be separated into two cages with the blue boards? You can open up the blueboard(s) in the middle and it becomes a condo again. Worth every single sen!

Will Minnie go over to Bunny’s Place and attempt her previous water pipe escape route? We shall see. We have fortified that patch too. By the way, Rey also attempted Vincent’s Route but failed today. When he was a kitten, he once made the escape too and landed up in the neighbour’s garden. We managed to get him back by luring him with food. He was a mere kitten then.

This is a family of climbers!!