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The Gate At The Top Of The Stairs

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The Gate At The Top Of The Stairs

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rosie the riveter
So, Khaavren the elderly tuxedo kitty is confined to the upstairs now, because eternaleponine is rightly tired of cleaning up his more spectacular digestive failures, AND the fleas (he's been Frontlined, and I sprayed the living room carpet today) AND the ambient cat hair/dander that sets off her allergies. Given that his arthritis (which is now getting some treatment, thank you to bunnygoth and everyone else who's sending Cosequin) makes the stairs difficult for him anyway, and that he sometimes loses his balance on the back of the couch, upstairs is not such a bad place for him anyway.

To keep him upstairs, though, requires a baby gate. We had one already, that eternaleponine used sometimes to block off her room from the cat when she wanted to leave the door open. However, it was a pressure gate. And the way the moldings are arranged at the top of the stairs, the pressure gate wouldn't stay braced. So it involved a lot of annoying fooling around with it and kicking it over and it not being terribly secure against kitty escapes.

Now, when the kiddo was a toddler, I remembered we'd had hinged gates that had mounting hardware and could lock closed and were basically a huge improvement over the old-fashioned sort. So I did a little research. The cheapest one I found was a Safety 1st plastic model, at Toys R Us/Babies R Us.

Here's the first bit where I'm proud of myself: when I tried using the "available for in-store pickup" widget on the website, it failed to work. So, instead of just going to look for it in the store and maybe being out a trip for nothing if they didn't have it, I called the customer service line, and they confirmed for me that it was in stock at the one near the mall. Go me, making a phone call!

Next thing I'm proud of: when I got to the store, the shelf price was a few bucks more than the website price. So, instead of just sucking it up, I went to the customer service desk, and asked very sweetly what the deal was with that. They said it was because the website was set lower to offset shipping. I asked "what about in-store pickup? I tried to use that this morning, and it just failed on me." They said "that's funny, it ought to be working, we're one of the first stores in the rollout, but now that you mention it, we haven't had any web pickups come in today, maybe it's glitched? You know, let me see if I've got a coupon back here for you." And they found one, and rang it in, and the final price was a few bucks UNDER the website price. Go me!

The final thing I'm proud of is the installation. I would like to commend Safety 1st for including a paper template to help you position the hinges and the wall cups, instead of assuming you'd be sensible enough to measure it. However, they lose points for not giving a larger diagram or an inset close-up of the way the front and back sections were supposed to go together -- the wording of how to lay out the threaded and unthreaded buttons that held bolts wasn't sufficiently clear.

Anyway, armed with my trusty drill and a screwdriver, I got the thing installed with only minor confusions. And I was able to move the bookshelf that was blocking its swing down to the living room without screwing up the way we have everything else positioned -- I just had to move eternaleponine's freestanding rack of DVDs (that we never watch) over to the corner by her side of the sofa, instead of next to the other bookshelf where it had been. (Um. Yeah. A co-worker once saw a picture of me standing in my living room and asked if the picture were taken at a Borders. And this is AFTER thinning the books when we moved here from the Cone St. house. Bookshelves.)

So now there's a secure gate at the top of the stairs, for under $30, and it wasn't a giant headache to put in, and it's much easier to get up and down with laundry or what have you than it was when we were using the pressure gate. And the cat is safely confined and out of eternaleponine's way.

I call that WIKTORY.
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