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Just another cat story


In our household of two single girls and a small cat, it's become clear to me that Pony has decided that Carly is the dad, while I'm the harried stay at home mom. In the evening when talking to my roommate, I have a kitten constantly attacking my thigh, my knee, my ankles, and/or my shins, while he ignores Carly's legs entirely. I try to firmly but persistently remove his sharp teeth and claws from my pants and/or flesh, but my attempts are apparently just part of the fun.

Carly looks at him, says "No" once, and he bows his wee kitten head apologetically.

This is likely because Pony and I are always involved in epic battles over what he can and cannot bite, and he tires of my refusal to let him have his fun. Most of our interactions throughout the day look something like this:

Pony: I'm going to attack that plant!

Karina: Don't do that, please.

P: I'm going to attack that plant!

K: Hey, I said not to do that. Why don't you go over here and play with a mousie?

P: I'm going to attack that plant!

K: No. Leave the plant.

P: I'm going to attack that plant!

K: No!

P: I'm going to attack that plant!

K: NO!

P: *acts casual* Oh, okay, I'll just go over here and ... I'm going to attack that plant!

And then we continue in this manner for half a bloody hour. One doesn't want to reward the insane behaviour of one's adolescent cat, but he gets this look in his eyes that says, "I am a creature running entirely on instinct, and you're standing between me and my plant," all you can do is get out the fluffy-thing-on-a-string and make him run and leap wildly until he lays panting on the kitchen floor unable to do more than wave a weary paw in the direction of the puff ball dangled before his face.

Or, you know, go hide in your cat-free sanctuary of a room and emerge a while later to discover that he has viciously gutted a pillow.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
wood_dragon
Sep. 9th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
I shouldn't laugh, really I shouldn't.

Have you tried catnip with him yet? Some cats get very mellow. (Maggie was the opposite.)
ksumnersmith
Sep. 10th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
No, but I'd like to. Perkins didn't pay catnip the least attention. I think Pony'll be a different story, though. *g*
(Deleted comment)
ksumnersmith
Sep. 10th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC)
Thank you, kitten pointers are much appreciated!

I have been worried about the idea of rewarding his bad behaviour. The only issue is that when he's in "plant attack" mode, he is *insane* -- literally bouncing off the walls crazy -- and the only thing that's ever really made him knock it off for more than a minute or two is exhaustion. I'll give the bathroom a try, though. Can't hurt to try, at this point!

And I like the noise maker idea. We've been using water, which he hates, but so far has only had the effect of making him cringe while attacking the plant, sneak up on the plant as if I won't notice, and/or trying to protect himself from the oncoming splash of water by putting the plant pot between him and me. Clever little thing, he is.

I'll let you know how it goes. :)
seabream
Sep. 9th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
*amused nasal hissing noise*

I sit in awe of your dedication to the continued survival of the plant.

And now another cat story from a different perspective. Some of the other Wind Tunnel Dreams are nice too, but at least a few read in ways that seem to me to have a similar feel to things that you've written that I don't know that you want to read them if that's the sort of thing that disrupts your process.

edited because I forgot to preview and missed a formatting error. grr. Sorry for the extra notification email.

Edited at 2008-09-09 10:55 pm (UTC)
ksumnersmith
Sep. 10th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
What can I say, it's a really nice plant. And also very big (mid-chest height).

And some of the Wind Tunnel Dreams are quite interesting -- and of course I can't help but enjoy the jewellery/writing combo. :) Thanks for the link!
mindyklasky
Sep. 9th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the laugh. As a recent stay-at-home writer, I fight the same battles every day. (With me, it's Poppy trying to leap across the Chasm of Doom from one bookcase to another. I've blocked her path with books, but she'll spend *hours* trying to figure out a way around my puny human construction.)

Good luck!
ksumnersmith
Sep. 10th, 2008 03:51 am (UTC)
And aren't these battles so much more fun than the day job? *g*

I'm just hoping that Pony never, ever figures out how to climb the bookcases. (The very thought -- *shudder*!) Of course, he's a cat, so I'm sure I hope in vain ...
brashley46
Sep. 10th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
Plant mister bottle. Set to stream rather than mist or spray. Kitten attacks plant, SPLASH. Wet kitten. They do learn.

Or put him in the cat carrier for the timeout. Nothing to eviscerate in there!
ksumnersmith
Sep. 10th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
Sadly, we've been trying this. He hates water, and so cringes and tries to put the big plant pot between me and him, but is overall undeterred. Persistent little thing.

I'm trying to make him not hate his carrier (good luck, though, as we have only been using it to take him to the vet ...), but Jaime suggested locking him in the bathroom for a bit, which sounds worth a try.
bradipo
Sep. 10th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
We learned to be very limited with the mister bottle. It's fine when the cat is just testing us--gives the message that, no, she's still not allowed on the counter. But when the cat is unable to control herself (as when june bugs are flying into the window screen), misting her just diminishes the future value of the mister as a deterrent.

On the other hand, I do wish we'd been a bit firmer when she was a kitten. She was just so cute climbing up a pantleg when she weighed six pounds. At ten pounds, it's not so cute.
wolfpurrs
Sep. 10th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
I'm afraid this is not a laughing matter. It is serious business.

I am therefore not going to let you know that, here in my seat somewhere in East Tennessee, I am currently huddled up giggling like a fool.

And for my two cents' worth - some cats cannot be reasoned with. I find that mine, however, responded well to stuffed, bean-filled animals hurled at close range to his head when he went for things like potted plants, the toilet, the bathroom sink, my prom dress, and so on and so forth. Generally speaking, if you scare the shit out of them a few times, they learn real fast to leave things along.

Or you accidentally brain them with a beany baby and they understand immediately.

I was not an abusive cat owner. I was just very firm.

Very firm.

Like, iron grip firm.

...He also had me wrapped around his little toe like a wet noodle. T.T
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )