Posted by: wrmcnutt | April 6, 2009

Of Cats and Bathroom Doors

Well – my dad had an adventure recently.  He was in his pyjamas and headed to the bathroom for his daily shower, and as is common, the cat came in.  Cats do this. There’s something about a closed door that cats can’t stand.  Especially if there are PEOPLE on the other side.


And as happens with cats, it immediatel got bored and started scratching at the door to get out. So Dad, being a responsive cat owner took a moment to let the cat back out.  He opened the door, pulled, and . . . the doorknob came off in his hand.


And the door was latched.


Dad’s needed pretty strong reading glasses for the past ten years, and about five years ago, he had to get prescription glasses.  They were, of courfse, in the office on his desk.  His cell phone was in the kitchen, on the charger.  There are no tools stored in the bathroom.


But it gets better.  Y’see, about ten weeks ago he had a mini-stroke that messed up the muscles that control his eyes. They no longer point in the same direction.  This has left him with persistent double vision. He has to shut one eye to read or watch TV.


I forgot to mention – bathroom is on the second floor.  No escaping via the window in his pyjamas.


He spent an hour or so trying to re-attach the doorknob without tools, and then decided to take the door off of its hinges. That could be hard, too, depending on the hinges.


Even though he couldn’t see well enough to sort out the doorknob, the door hinge pins were exposed and large enough for him to see.  Of course, the door had been hanging in a bathroom for 15 or so years, so the hinges were badly rusted.


He pulled up the vent cover for the heat register to use as a lever to lift the door up and relieve the hinges of the weight, and then used a pair of tonail clippers to level out the hinge pins. The whole process took him about 3 1/2 hours.


He’s actually quite happy about it all.  He had a problem, knew what to do, and solved it without any help.


My first thought was:  I didn’t check on him until this morning.  If he hadn’t reasoned his way out, he’d have been stuck in there all night.  I started asking myself how much longer can he go on living alone? Then I realized that this had nothing to do with his infirmities.  Anyone could get stuck in a bathroom if the doorknob came off in their hand.  I guess the only lesson here is a phone extension in your bathroom is probably a good idea.

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  1. or maybe if he lives alone he needs to not close the door from now on?
    funny story Will.

  2. Funny thing is that Kris’s grandparents used to have a phone on the wall RIGHT NEXT to the toilet in the master bedroom.

    Unfortunately, his grandmother would use the phone. And not necessarily in emergencies.

    Really? There are some things I would rather not know…

    • You know, now that you mention it, I’ve seen phones in bathrooms before. I’ll bet this is why.

    • Yeah, sometimes the calls were slightly less than emergency, but the one time the pocket door came off of its rollers and she was stuck, it was worth it. She was able to call a neighbor to help her get out.

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