Tag Archives: scratching

A New Level of Badness


“If this behavior continues, I will take that cat to the animal shelter so fast your head will spin!” Yes, those words actually came out of Rose’s mouth on Thursday morning. She wouldn’t really do that but she was very angry, and rightfully so.

To explain, I need to back up this story to last weekend when we got new furniture for our patio. We got a sofa/sleeper along with a baker’s rack and a dinette set. The sofa came with a sign in cat language that said, “SCRATCH ME,” so Chris and Frankie complied.

our new patio furniture

I covered it with a blanket and a couple of towels over the arms, not just because of the scratching but also to keep it clean and free of cat hair. When guests would come for a visit, we could remove the covers and they could wonder how we keep it so clean with three cats.

The covers didn’t completely stop the scratching. Chris would get under the towel and scratch the edge. That prompted Rose to buy a product called 3M Petcare scratch protection film, which is basically wide packing tape for ten times the cost. I put in on the corners and have not seen any cat scratch there since then.

Rose must have decided that the blanket was ugly so she folded it in half and placed it over the top of the couch only, leaving the seat cushions exposed. By now you probably see where I am going with this.

Thursday morning I did my usual chores. I gave the cat’s wet food, made coffee, scooped the boxes, swept the litter, put down fresh water and dry food, etc. Shortly before we were to leave for work, Rose walked onto the patio and said, “It smells like poop out here!” For this story, I have decided to substitute the word “poop” for another word.

“Can’t you smell that? Someone has pooped out here!” I did clean the boxes but they do tend to use them when they are clean.

“Oh my God! There is poop on the couch! Chris has pooped on my brand new sofa!”

Sure enough, there was a pile of poop on the seat cushion. That was bad enough, but instead of a nice hard poop that would be easy to clean, this was like soft serve ice cream. What a mess.

Chris has long had a problem with pooping outside the box but that problem went away two years ago when we moved into our last home. He always had a chronic loose stool but around the same time he stopped pooping on the floor, his poops got better too. I hope this doesn’t cause Chris to fall off the wagon.

To make matters worse, we hired a painter to paint our cabinets. He was here Wednesday and removed all our cabinet doors and drawers and brought them to his house to sand and paint them. With no doors, Chris was in the cabinet with our food, probably looking for treats or catnip. That happened right after he was yelled at for pooping.

bad cat chris in cabinet

 

I had enough and yelled at him and tried to pull him out but he put up heavy resistance. I finally got him out and finished getting ready for work. When I was leaving, I gave him a little pet goodby and he growled at me. I pet him again and he growled some more.

I don’t know why but I was actually upset about it on the way to work, even though I wasn’t the bad guy.

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 New Scratching Chair


Rose: Don’t even think about scratching my new chair, Chris. You ruined the last one.

Bad Cat Chris scratching new chair

Chris: I’m just looking at it. Besides, it wasn’t all me. Frankie helped ruin the other chair.

Rose: Just behave, and don’t be a bad cat.

Bad Cat Chris scratching new chair

Chris: This is really nice fabric. I’ll bet this was expensive.

Rose: Chris! What did I just tell you?

Bad Cat Chris scratching new chairChris: Check out the workmanship.

Rose: Chris! Stop it! Stop scratching the chair!

20150321_Cats_1104Chris: Mom, this chair is really nice. I would talk to Frankie about keeping his claws off of it.

Bad Cat Chris Versus Spray Bottle


Most cats hate to get wet so a handy spray bottle with water in it is a great tool for curbing bad behavior. At least that is what we thought when we bought one to keep Chris from getting on the counters.

Whenever he would jump on the kitchen counter, one of us would squirt him and he would immediately jump off.  We thought after getting wet a dozen times or so he would stop jumping on the counter. Unfortunately, that idea may work with other cats but Chris seems to be immune to many of the behavior correcting techniques  that you might read about.There were times when we had to squirt him three or four times within a five-minute period and still, he would come back for more. It was as if he had no long-term memory and would immediately forget what just happened. I know his memory happens to be fine though because many times he would jump off the counter when he saw one of us just pick up the bottle. I think the urge to be bad is just to overwhelming.

Bad Cat Chris and Chuck
Only photo I could find that shows both counter and stairs (upper right).

The problem got worse when we moved back to Florida because our kitchen counter was not only bigger but it was within jumping distance from the stairs. That meant that he could skip traveling all the way down the stairs and get off at the half way point. That worked in reverse too. He would jump on the counter and then to the stairs.

Then there was the new furniture we got shortly after moving in. Chris took a liking to Rose’s chair and started scratching it. I tried spraying it with a no-scratch spray but again, these “cures” were designed for normal cats. That left the old spray bottle as our only line of defense.

For some reason he would only scratch the chair while we were sitting in the living room. Perhaps he wanted to show us what a bad cat he could be. Sometimes he would scratch the back corner of the chair and other times he would lay on his back, dig his claws into the fabric, and pull himself around the perimeter.

Whenever he would scratch the chair we would squirt him which would end the scratching for about two minutes before it started again.

We even bought a mini spray bottle to keep in the bedroom so we could spray him when he would not let us sleep. That bottle didn’t last long.

I don’t know if it was a willful act of defiance but Chris would chew on the spray bottles. He chewed the small one so much that it was unusable a few weeks after we bought it. The larger one took more time but he kept working on it. After the small bottle stopped working we brought the big one to bed with us. I sometimes had it on the floor next to me and would grab it when Chris was being especially annoying.

When we were able to sleep, Chris was busy chewing on the nozzle. Once when I tried to use it he had turned it to the closed position. Another time he had completely unscrewed it and yet a third time he was able to unscrew the main filler cap without knocking the bottle over. I did that when I grabbed the bottle to spray him. The sprayer went with me and the water dumped onto the carpet.

Eventually he was able to chew the bottle beyond repair so we had to retire it. We never bought another one. It took awhile, but he won.

In other news, I got an email the other day from a british company named Parthenon Entertainment. They want to use a Video of Chris that I had posted on YouTube (http://youtu.be/iFnHCcrlrnI) in an upcoming documentary for National Geographic called “The Wild Side of Cats.” They are collecting more videos than they can use so he may not make it into the final cut, but if he does, that would be really great. Even if they don’t use the video, it is nice to know someone is interested.

I also want to mention that there is no change in Abbey’s condition. The vet said it is “irreversable liver damage” but I don’t have a high level of faith in today’s medical community, human or pet. Don’t get me wrong, I respect what they do but often if there is not a drug that can fix the problem, we are told the problem is unfixable.

Abbey last year

Abbey last year

Abbey now

Abbey now