Mumford, our new cat, is having trouble adjusting to life as a Prosapio. It’s not surprising, I suppose. Being a Prosapio is pretty complicated.

First of all, there is the small black dog that keeps going down onto his front paws, the universal play pose of dogs everywhere. Unfortunately, Mumford interprets this as an existential threat and puffs up like a fuzzy version of the arch in St. Louis, hopping around like a demented ballerina until dashing off in a furry huff.

Then there are the outdoor cats who glare at him from the other side of the glass French door. We’re not sure what they are saying to him, but we suspect it’s something along the lines of “who do you think you are?” and “you better not be eating all our cat food” and “come out here and we can have a nice little conversation.”

Those issues are pretty manageable. But there is one issue that’s making us a little crazy. Mumford hates doors, specifically closed ones.

Mumford, as a kitten still learning the ropes, is supposed to hang out mostly in Mireya’s room. We had let him wander around the house closely supervised but kept him in her room at night. Then something went squirrelly in his kitten brain. Mumford decided suddenly that he was unwilling to be contained. My theory is he watched a couple of prison break movies when we weren’t around. If he had a tin cup, I bet he’d rattle it against the door and call for the warden.

At first, we thought it was just a night thing or separation thing. Since Mireya, his owner, works evenings at the Stars and Stripes Drive-In, she gets home pretty late. She under standably wants to go right to sleep. Mumford was having none of it.

Mumford started to be a pest all night, but not the “you must pet me” pest. He began to announce in constant yowls that he was unwilling to be contained in the room. As it turned out, it wasn’t that room — it was any room. In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter if he is alone or with the whole family in a room. He simply cannot stand that there is a closed door and he will yowl continually to let you know it.

This would be understandable until you recall that he had been in the shelter, in a room roughly the size of Mireya’s room, for some time.

So we’re trying the “Mumford stays in the room” method and the “drag Mumford into various rooms but close him in with someone” method. I’m also working on the “sleeping with foam ear plugs” and “turning up the white noise machine” methods.

Honestly, I’m sure he’ll settle down soon. I just hope it’s before Mireya decides she’s going to give up and sleep in a tent outside with the other, quieter cats. Because, frankly, I’m not sure we have a tent big enough for all of us.

Winter Prosapio is a writer, a wife, and a working mom of two girls, two cats, and one ridiculously enthusiastic terrier mix.

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