Daily Archives: May 9, 2009

Solving the Three Cat Problem

It is time for me to go to work.

My daughter is already off at school and my wife is out the door.

It is just me, three wandering cats, and a problem.

Two of the cats are our new kittens, Fred and Trixie.  The third is our older cat Oscar.

The kittens are allowed to wander our house when we are at home.  When we leave or go to bed, they have to go back in the guest room which is kitty safe enough for us to get some rest and peace of mind.

The cats are out and about and I need to get the two kittens into the guest room and keep Oscar out before I can head to the office.  I also must keep Oscar from eating the kitten food as he is a bit overweight.

Some parameters I face:

  • You may only pick up one cat at a time.  Once you pick up one cat, the other two run away.
  • The kittens will not stay in the guest room when the door is open.
  • Oscar cannot be left alone in the guest room.  He will eat the kitten food.
  • Oscar and Fred cannot be left together in the guest room with the door closed.  Fred sees a big fuzzy playmate and Oscar sees a little terrorist coming to steal his stuff.  Trouble ensues.
  • Oscar and Trixie can be left together, except in the guest room because Oscar will chase her out and eat the kitten food.  If the door is closed Oscar will still eat the kitten food.
  • Fred and Trixie are fine together, except that they chase each other all over the place, so if you lose site of them outside of the guest room (or inside if you leave the door open), you have to search for a while to reacquire them.
  • Trixie cannot be left alone in the guest room with the door closed.  She will emit plaintive cries that will melt your heart causing you to go back and check on her constantly.
  • Fred can be left alone in the guest room, but he will position himself to dart out of the room the moment you open the door.
  • The only place Oscar will stay put is on our bed, but if you put him there both kittens will run into our room and start playing under the bed where they cannot be reached.
  • If you leave the guest room door open for a long time, like when you’re out trying to corral two lively kittens that way, Oscar will walk in and eat the kitten food.
  • If you close the guest room door, you have no hope in hell of getting both kittens in the room.

How do I make sure I get to work on time?

[Pictures added below: includes a spoiler]

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