questionscan you help with this sherlock holmes-type…

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Cats are pretty good at squeezing into small spaces too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_WVBo2Wp6fo

It would be very hard to give you any answer unless we could see your sunroom.

Also, have you considered the possibility that your house is kitty haunted?

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I've got a somewhat similar issue myself. We've got two birds in my house, both of whom have their wings clipped. We keep finding bird poop in the most random places, far away from the cage. We've found it on various walls throughout the house, on a door on the opposite end of the house, on the fridge...

What makes it strange is that the droppings are fairly high up (relative to bird height) yet not streaked. It baffles us, because even if the birds could fly, it wouldn't make sense for the droppings to not sink a bit. But there's just no way they could have hit any of those places, yet they have.

We've concluded we have demon birds.

But with your issue, search the room. Maybe a wild animal got in and is hiding. Or perhaps your cat is a diabolical genius.

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@pamfenway - I'm guessing you've got a raccoon. Raccoons are well known for eating cat food and they have claws, which would allow them to slash bags open. Small ones might be able to squeeze through really small holes, or maybe they're getting in from a hole you haven't seen...maybe up high/near the roof/ceiling?

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I'm with gt0163c it sounds like raccoons.

It's elementry dear Watson, you have got a "cat burglar."

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@gt0163c: I'm inclined to think it's a raccoon too--we've got plenty around here. It's just I can't find any hole large enough for them to fit through. This weekend we'll hopefully have some good weather & can examine this room top to bottom. With the rain we've been getting, you'd think we'd know if there was a hole somewhere!

@jesseroo Gotta love those animal youtube videos! I recently watched one where the cat was able to open the freezer door, that's why I made sure the sunroom door itself was locked!

@thedogma: Demon birds! Or perhaps very innovative ones--capable of, um, doing the bird-poop-equivalent of projectile vomiting.

There's not much in way of hiding places, just a table and a few outdoor chairs. But maybe I should check that cat litter bag... (sorta creeps me out just thinking about it!)

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@gt0163c: I agree, definitely a raccoon. They are crafty little critters!

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Do any of your neighbors have little kids? Those little buggers will eat anything... More realistically, I agree with raccoon.

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Is it bad that I looked at this question mostly because my brain went "Oh!" when it saw Sherlock Holmes? Probably.

I agree with raccoon, or it could be an opossum as well. They're both sneaky little buggers who had no qualms about stealing cat food I used to leave out to feed strays when I was a kid.

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Set up a video camera and you'll get to see the culprit in action.

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Okay. I don't know what your cat flap looks like, so I don't know what is possible.

I have a cat door into my garage, which I locked at night. Raccoons got in anyway. Baffled at how they managed, I watched from the steps into the garage the next night. Mama raccoon came up to the cat door, found it locked, then simply used a claw to probe around the edge of the cat door until she found the bottom edge of the lock, then flipped it until it opened, and in she came! When she saw me she panicked and tried to go back through the flap, but she had flipped it to a setting that locked it from the inside. Since the lock was on the inside, it took her two seconds to grab the lock and flip it open, and out she went.

After that, I added a storm door to the outside of the garage door, which I close at night. So far the 'coons have been unable to open it because the bottom 4 feet is steel and the latch is too high for them to jump and open.

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@adadavis: Wow! That is amazing! DH wondered about that & installed 2 additional screws to the cat flap lock, thinking there's NO WAY they'd be able to come in with the additional screws. (This before this morning's discovery.) I will definitely have to check that out.

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Are you sure the racoon or opossum has even left the room in the first place?

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@jkaleda: I suppose there's a possibility it's hiding behind some fold-up chairs, but I doubt it. The cat flap is not locked to go out, only in, the sunroom. And now I've got too much of the willies to even consider checking w/o DH here! The idea of it's making a home in our sunroom is particularly creepy because we often leave the door from the house to the sunroom open during the day. While this mystery continues, though, there's no way that's gonna happen again any time soon!

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why not buy a catch-them-alive trap and find out that way?

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@dempsie: That's a good idea. Didn't think they had such things for larger animals!

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An update to anyone interested: Last night I kept lights and a radio on in the sunroom throughout the night & the food still remains in the bowl this morning.

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Clearly you have a baskerville hound infestation.

(Four days and nobody picked this low-hanging fruit already? You're slipping, wooters.)