Yesterday Lion went to the doctor for his back. He had to strip down to his undies and he was concerned that the cage might be seen. I told him that’s what the emergency key is for. Luckily he was given a gown so he was hidden anyway.
Not that he goes to the doctor all that often, but I was still at work with no real possibility of leaving for at least an hour. I couldn’t have met Lion to unlock him. Even if I could have left I would have had to stop at home to get my key and, with traffic, it would have taken me too long to get there. This is why I insisted he take his emergency key with him. (He was only bringing it with us on our trips in case I forgot mine. That defeated the purpose entirely.)
I think he sees it as a source of pride that he has never had to remove his cage. Or tried to escape, for that matter. He tells me about people who buy cages just to try to get out of them. My Lion is not a Houdini. Even in the face of being discovered he was reluctant to use his key. When he said he had an appointment I never thought about the cage. Why would I? I’m not wearing it. I was more concerned with the fact that his back was hurting enough that he needed to see a doctor. If I had thought about it I would have told him it was ok if he needed to remove it. He probably wouldn’t have, but it would have been fine. Had he removed it even without my prior approval it would have been fine. He’s a big boy. He knows what constitutes an emergency.
In hindsight, I should probably be more aware of the cage in these circumstances. I should have told him to take the cage off. Giving him permission adds an element of decision on his part. He’s allowed to take it off but does he have to? Theoretically he wouldn’t be able to argue if I tell him to. Lesson learned. Now all I have to do is remember it in the future.