Tag Archives: bad behavior

Chris’s New Bad Habit

I mentioned before that Chris started knocking his bowl over because he was too lazy to get up and eat standing up. It was limited to the Bowl on the end so I started keeping very little food in that bowl. Of course, as usual, whenever we compensate for one of Chris’s bad behaviors he compensates for our compensation.

My wife sometimes doesn’t sleep well and gets up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. She was up very early this morning and came back to bed when I got up. When I walked out to the dining room I saw all three cat bowls sitting on the table and a bunch of cat food on the floor inside the catch-all mat. I picked up the mat and dumped all of the food back into one of the bowls and put it back down on the floor.

A little bit later I looked down and saw this.

Rose told me later than he had dumped over all three of the bowls. We now need to compensate for his compensation of our compensation. Perhaps I will look for those bowls on a raised wooden block like we had before.


There’s No Hiding the Catnip

A few days ago I took the blender out of the cabinet and before i could close the door, Chris was in the cabinet. I knew getting him out would be difficult but I was certain I could lure him out with cat treats, so I took them out of the cabinet, that was right next to Chris, and made a big announcement that I had kitty treats. Puck and Frankie came running but Chris held his ground.

bad cat chris in cabinet

I passed out the treats to the boys, thinking Chris would not be able to resist, but when I looked back, he was gone. He didn’t leave the cabinet but made his way the five or six feet, over all our clean dishes to the other side. The cabinet above the sink has three large doors and no dividers between them. When I opened the door on the left, there he was chewing on the catnip bag. I moved the catnip there after he managed to find it in one of the drawers. (see “Catnip, I Have You Now“).

I took it away from him and thought about pulling him out of the cabinet but that would have resulted in some of our good dishes crashing to the floor. Instead I had to reward his bad behavior with the catnip.

Could This be the End of Outside Adventures?

We let our cats outside again on Sunday for some backyard fun. This time nobody caught a lizard and Frankie did not get on the roof (although he came close), but there was trouble nonetheless.

Both Frankie and Chris went through the fence to the property next door and the both came back on their own but then Frankie went through the fence again and led me on a drawn out chase like last week. During these chases, I have discovered that Frankie tires a lot faster than I do and then I think that I can just wait until he is too tired to run and then scoop him up, but it is not that easy. This is because Frankie has discovered a trick from Chris’s old playbook. He crawls under cars where I can’t reach him. He did that last week and he did it again on Sunday.

Our cat Frankie under a car

Our cat Frankie under a car

At one point I noticed that he was panting very hard and I worried he would overheat. I was also tired of playing his game so I made a decision that I regret. When I saw that he was close enough to me, I decided to grab him and pull him out from under the car. I knew it would upset him but I thought it would be quick and he would get over it. I didn’t realize how much fight he had in him and I only managed to scare him and piss him off. After that I was his mortal enemy which made me feel like a real jerk. You can watch what happened at the 9:45 mark on the video.

When I was finally able to bring Frankie inside, the first thing Rose said to me was “No More! I’m not doing this again!” Apparently, while Frankie was playing hide-and-seek with me, Chris and Puck were playing hard-to-get with Rose. Perhaps if we do let them out again, I will have to put the leash back on Frankie.

Fortunately, since that incident, Frankie has forgiven me and we are now friends again.

The Baddest Cat You’ll Ever Love… or Not

I have always found Chris’s bad behavior to be annoying but at the same time loveable, like a toddler that is more adventurous than most. Lately though, that bad behavior has gone from cute to  somewhat mean.

Chris and FrankieI’m talking about Chris’s treatment of our newest addition, Frankie. No longer, it seems, is he the cute, mischievous child but he now acts like the ruthless corporate executive that needs to stay on top at all costs. Okay, that last part is a bit exaggerated, but he has put himself in a position of being “less lovable.” Rose has even used harsher words than that when referring to Chris.

I don’t want to imply that there is a war going on in our house. It really isn’t that bad. Most of the time Chris and Frankie can be in the same room without a problem, although they are by no means friends.

The problems usually occur in the evening when Rose and I are home trying to relax. It starts with Chris wanting to get close to Frankie for a good smell. Frankie, not sure what Chris is up to, gets nervous and starts to hiss. This triggers the fight or flight response in Chris, only Chris doesn’t have a flight response.

At this point Frankie has hidden himself behind the chair or some other object and Chris in now in hunter mode, pursuing his prey, which happens to be Frankie. This ends any chance we have to relax and one of us has to deal with disciplining Chris. I will usually grab Chris by the scruff of the neck and hold him down until I think he is more concerned with what I am doing and will stop going after Frankie. I also want him to know that there is an alpha male in the house that is not named Chris.

This sometimes works but usually Chris just gets up, gives me a piece of his mind, and then starts looking for Frankie again. Now it is time for Rose to step in. She picks Chris up and puts him in “time out.” In other words, she puts him in our bedroom and closes the door. She did that last night and when she let him out we discovered he had broken a picture frame above Rose’s jewelry box, and he did it without even knocking it off the wall. Somehow Chris always finds a way to counter what we do to try to stop his bad behavior.

While I am concerned about Chris losing his lovable status, I did hear something that may keep it intact. We went to the other coast of Florida to Visit Rose’s dad on Friday and when we came back on Saturday our cat-sitter, who is also our neighbor, said her little boy loved coming with her to visit Chris. Apparently, Chris played with the boy and gave him attention while Puck and Frankie stayed away.

My Surrogate Botheries

I hadn’t fully noticed it before but I tend to be the main point of interest when Chris is in the mood for attention. This does not include the morning ritual of bothering Rose while she puts her make-up on.

Rose worked only a few hours on Friday morning and then met her father and his wife who drove here from the east coast. Because they are over three hours away, they only make the trip here once or twice a year.  We see them a few more times when we drive there but for Chris and Puck, they are virtual strangers.

Chris, as regular readers know, has no concept of stranger danger. As soon as her father came in the house, Chris was all over him. He was even on his shoulders like he found a replacement for me after only five hours. Rose told me about it on the phone and I wanted to get a picture when I got home so I could show you all but it was not to be. As soon as I got home he forgot about my father-in-law and jumped on my shoulders.

This afternoon I left for an hour and a half bike ride. While I was gone, Rose tried to get some work done for her job but Chris wouldn’t let her. He kept lying on her papers and knocking things off the desk. She would then get frustrated with him and put him down. Chris would respond to that with some curt meows and then proceed to bite her legs.

When I returned from my ride, Rose said he was in much distress after I left and then he wouldn’t stop bothering her. Again, I wanted a picture of that but by then he was no longer interested in Rose. In my absence, she was a surrogate receptor for his bad behavior.

Now that I am home and trying to write a blog post, Chris is here with me treading, biting and stepping on the keyboard. It is his way of saying, “Welcome home, I missed you.”

…and the Bad Shall Lead

When I met Rose, we both had an eight year old son living with us. My son, Chris, was somewhat easy-going and spent too much time indoors playing video games. (Just a side note: Bad Cat Chris was not named after my son. That is the name he had when we got him. See “What’s in a Name“) Rose’s son, Nick, was hyper-active and it was difficult to keep him in the house. When we all moved in together, we thought Nick would motivate Chris to go outside, but instead, Chris got Nick interested in video games. I don’t know if undesirable behavior is more influential or not, but in our household, that seems to be the case.

Take Puck for example. He came to us as a kitten and had surprisingly good behavior, but lately he seems to be picking up some of Chris’s habits. Recently he started jumping on my shoulders. I don’t consider this a bad behavior but I think he learned it from watching Chris. What he didn’t learn was how to stabilize himself. Chris is a natural and never seems off-balance but I have to move carefully when Puck is on my shoulders because I fear he will lose his balance and dig his claws into me, which has already happened a couple of times.

The other day he picked up another trick from Chris’s playbook and used me to get onto the refrigerator (See “Chris’s Springboard“) and from there to the top of the cabinets. Now he skips me and hops onto the counter, then the fridge and up to the cabinets, just like Chris. He hasn’t yet learned to jump from the fridge to the cabinets on the opposite side of the kitchen but that will probably be next.

Bad Cat Chris and Puck on top of the Cabinets

Bad Cat Chris and Puck on top of the Cabinets

Now Puck is starting to bother us when we are sleeping. He is not bad yet but if he gets to be like Chris, I won’t feel guilt about shutting the door and keeping them all out at night.

Update: I created a motivational poster using the image above. Click here to see it.