It's unfortunate and I really wish I wouldn't have to say this, but I really like human beings who have suffered. They're kinder.

~ Emma Thompson ~

I Fought the Paws But the Paws Won

January 19th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 40 secs

My cat Scally

If you have a cat or two or…er…three, then you’ll know the dilemma. It’s more than the fur, kitty litter, and caterwauling. Those we can handle. It’s the cats’ scratching that causes calamity.

Yes, we have tried scratch posts. But apart from making my nails shinier, they didn’t do much. Our cat Scallywag took one look at the first scratch post set up by the settee, and he just looked at me. I didn’t think it was rocket science. But he was clueless. So, seeing another teaching opportunity, I got down on all fours and well, you know.

Aside from Ruth bursting into laughter at the sight of me scratching on the cat’s post. Scally just kept on looking at me. Perhaps he was thinking, “Hm, that’s good. Dad is doing his nails. About time.” Or maybe he was thinking, “Show off!”  I’ll never know. But after making the couch cover look like shredded wheat from clawing, a week or so later, they clicked. Being cats, it all has to be done with stealth. Privacy means waiting a discrete duration before pouncing on the concept. So next thing you know, all three cats were doing the claw post rock.

Now, as every cat owner knows, this isn’t the end of the story. Oh no. Cats like to test the edges of what is doable. So one scratch post stopped one corner of the couch being clawed. But now two, not content with some casual pole dancing, our cats adopted two new corners. They became the scratching hot stuff of choice.

I don’t know what other people do. Do they quietly talk to their pussycat and gently rub their little paws on the post like some scratching serving suggestion? Or do they tell them where to go…in the politest possible way. I tried those long ago but no go. Since then, it’s a loud and definite, “Stop it!” Technically incorrect as this is, for cats aren’t meant to be stressed (Owners, it seems, can be as stressed and strained as they choose. But, oh no, not the cats).

So what happens then? Well, our cats look at me alarmed and pause before digging in their claws for a least a moment. Then, with a few, final shreds they abandon couch and sink into the background. Blighters!

Unfortunately for me, I haven’t worked out a good answer. Only more scratch posts. They work. But now we live in a lounge room full of cat scratching posts.

This is a sad state of affairs that would make an interior designer throw their creatively gesturing fingers up in the air in despair.

Before the declaw brigade suggest something nasty, I did come across something of a solution. That is, of course, if you are prepared to keep paying up to keep putting colored claw covers on your cat’s claws. Lasting for up to six weeks, I believe, these feline fashion accessories prevent the blasted beasts from turning your sofa into a ragged wreck. At last, an answer to cat owners’ prayers everywhere.

Such a shame it’s too late for us. Yes, you better go on ahead without me. You’ll just have to leave me behind. I’ll be all right. Only, think of me one day when you get through it all and all the good times we used to have. For me, it’s all a few claws too many. What’s the point of pussy pedicures when our loveseat is on its last legs? Having been shredded to threaded bits for our convenience, it’s all but over.

So one day in a time far away we will get a new couch and start afresh. Not now though. Not with two boisterous teens and three rambunctious cats. For now, it’s clearly a case of cats one, Dad none. Goal!



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