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the Door Into Summer


Cats asking to go out of one door will sometimes take one look at the weather and decide they'd rather not go out of that door into the snow, rain, or whatever other inclement weather is out there.

Quickly brushing aside the fact that they've inconvenienced the human by getting the door open and then declined to use it, the cat may ask to try another door. The assumption is that the weather just might be better out of that door.

What bad luck! The weather turned out to be awful out of that door too. What a shocking unlucky coincidence that the weather should be bad out of different doors at the same time! You'd think at least one of the doors would have nice weather through it?!

This phenomenon where cats believe the weather to be different if going outside via different doors of the same house is known as "The Door Into Summer" after an intriguing science fiction book by Robert A Heinlein.The Door Into Summer by Robert A Heinlein In the book, people as well as cats experience this kind of thing as it is a time travelling technology. The book was written a long time ago and features the future as seen from the past, a future which has turned out with interesting similarities and differences. If you'd like to buy the book to see for yourself, you can try typing/pasting the title "The Door Into Summer" and/or the name of the author Robert A Heinlein in to Amazon, or you could try and see if the book is any different if you buy it from WH Smith! Here's a link for The Door into Summer at Amazon UK and here's Another Door into Summer (UK) and here's another one to The Door into Summer (USA)


Heinlein's cat used to do this trick of checking several different doors to see if any of them had better weather. The idea then became incorporated into the story.

If you've got a cat, you've probably noticed this behaviour.

I've seen cats do this myself, and I've seen people be disgusted when the cat declines to go out and requests to see the other doors. As a curious experiment I once carried a cat around to inspect the views out of all of the doors and windows to see what the reaction would be. The cat was surprised I was willing to indulge its whims so, but was keen to examine every view out of every window, like a judge at some kind of climatic talent show comparing the levels of drizzly freezing wet sleet and slushy filthy snow in comparison to all of the others. The cat's optimism never faltered, and even the last window was worth a look just in case it was gloriously warm dry weather out there!

Also see Catflaps.com!

...and if that doesn't work, there's also the Space-age Cat Toilet!

For a more scientific inspection of the weather, you can get a USB weather station from the Maplin Catalogue