When we adopted Garrett and Tansy five years ago, we put a gate at the top of these stairs. The cats stayed up. The hounds stayed down. We did it for safety reasons. We did it for convenience. It made sense at the time, despite the nuisance of it.
It's been almost six months since Fred's passing and I finally took that damn gate down. I have little tolerance for barriers these days. Keeping things in. Keeping things out. Tear 'em down, I say. Let the chips fall where they may.