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Sep 21 2012

For Our Cats, We Rearranged Our Home — and Our Lives!

Catster editor: “We’re looking for stories about how people clean or rearrange their homes and their physical space to accommodate their cats. Do you have any stories like that?”

Me: Gales of uncontrollable laughter, verging on hysteria.

Comet her first day on the counterBefore we got our current batch of kitties, we spent days getting our home ready: getting a new cat condo, new litter boxes, and so on. The day we got them home, we spent hours following the little monsters around while they got into more and more trouble. As we hastily cleared off spaces it hadn’t occurred to us in our wildest dreams they could get into, we realized just how laughably inadequate our preparations had been.

Rearranging our space to accommodate our cats? We’ve rearranged our freaking lives.

Here are some of the highlights:

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Thus begins my latest piece for Catster, For Our Cats, We Rearranged Our Home — and Our Lives! To read more, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Reality Enthusiast

    Have you seen the Animal Planet show “My Cat From Hell”? I think you’d really like it. It’s like “The Dog Whisperer”, but with cats. Every episode someone with a “problem” cat is shown not only how to set up their living space to better meet the cat’s needs, but how to interact with the cat in ways that facilitate a closer, more trusting relationship. It’s very emotional and touching to see the transformation some of these cats go through. Highly recommended!

    P.S. I can’t believe Comet jumped on the stove while water was boiling! I’m always afraid my cat is going to do something like that.

  2. 2
    magistramarla

    We have a cat who has a fetish for eating plastic.
    We found out just how dangerous his fetish is a few years ago, when he became very ill. The vet figured out that he had an intestinal obstruction and had to do surgery.
    He found a small collection of bits of rubber bands, plastic bags, tinsel and a large piece of plastic (the culprit) that we couldn’t identify. Finally, we figured out that it was a piece of a soft plastic bathtub toy that belonged to my grandson.

    We have to make certain that we always pick up anything made of plastic before that cat finds it. We jokingly call him our toddler. Just a few weeks ago, our son was visiting and complained that he couldn’t find his toothbrush, which he had left in the bathroom in a sandwich bag. Sure enough, we found the toothbrush and the half-eaten plastic bag hidden away in a corner. Dax can be very secretive about his stashes.

  3. 3
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I think you need a few things like cake covers or restaurant serving covers or basting covers that you can plop over things so that you can leave the room. Even plastic spatter covers for microwaving or a clean, upturned pot or mixing bowl might help.

    I’ve also read (in “Is Your Cat Crazy?”) that cats don’t like the sound of aluminum foil and it’s possible to train them away from jumping on things by spreading sheets of it where they are likely to land.

  4. 4
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Also, I find a hiss works far better than yelling to express disapproval. They already know what that means.

    Try a water pistol, too; but be very careful not to let them see you shooting it. If it zaps them from behind, they think it’s the wrath of god. If they see you doing it, they’ll behave only when you are there.

  5. 5
    nurseingrid

    Magistramarla: we went through the same thing with our dear departed Lydia. Her intestinal obstruction was a ball of wire. It turned out she had swallowed a big piece of that Christmas ribbon that has wire in it. We could never leave shoelaces, twist ties, string, or rubber bands lying anywhere she might find them.

  6. 6
    morningperson

    Greta,your article’s description of Comet making sure Ingrid saw her before taking off with the toilet paper is hilarious. Brought back memories of when we only had 2 cats (we’re at 6 now) who took it into their heads one day to savage every single roll in the house. Three bathrooms, plus extra rolls stored in the cabinet, turned into or confetti or streamers decorating every room and staircase, all while we were at work. It never happened again, just the one day when they both went insane, but got it out of their systems. We’ve referred to it as the Day of the Long Knives ever since.

  7. 7
    magistramarla

    Yes, Dax likes to show his displeasure by shredding toilet paper. We will occasionally go out of town for a night, usually when I have to go to San Francisco for a medical appointment, leaving the food and water dispensers filled to the gills and making sure that the house is safe for our two.
    The first time that we did this, we came home to find the TP in both bathrooms shredded. We know that it was Dax, not fat and lazy Casper, since we’ve caught Dax doing it a couple of times.
    Now, when we leave, I make sure that I put all TP rolls away as I go.

  8. 8
    keusnua

    You may be able to protect your computer cables from chewing with some cable sleeving. We use it at work to protect against accidental cable damage with sharp tools. I don’t want to post any commercial links, but if you do a google for “Side Entry Sleeving” you should find several cheap options to try. I would definitely go for something that sells for under $1 or 2 per foot to test. Anything more expensive and you are likely overpaying. You want to get the ‘side entry’ type sleeving as it is much easier to install. Whole sleeving is basically impossible to get onto a cable that has connectors installed, unless you get a very large diameter, and at that point it will be cumbersome to deal with.

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