Monday, March 31, 2014

Cat Psychology 101

Arizona and I have been in our house for going on two years now, and we adore it. It's small enough that I can clean it in a couple of hours, and it's high up on a hill overlooking a source of fresh water, which appeals to my beloved's survivalist tendencies. (Our Realtor said it was the first time that 'defensible position' was high on a client's wish list.) Perhaps the finished basement means that storage is at a bit of a premium, but that works for me, because it means that when something comes in, something else has to go out.

Anyway, now that we're settled into our cute little house and have done most of the initial stuff on our 'to-do' list (you know, painting, carpets, new roof on shed, that sort of thing), we're starting to pick away at the little, non-critical improvements and repairs. The sort of things that don't cost much, but you step back and go 'why didn't we do that sooner?'

A few weeks ago, Arizona made one such tweak by pulling out a bunch of cords and tuners and setting up what turned out to be a guy-approved sound system. He hooked it to the TV, mounted the TV on the wall, and programmed the universal remote so we could finally divest ourselves of the separate remotes running the TV, cable, DVD player and tuner. Joy!

(As a side note--another thing on our home-buying wish list was 'no close neighbors.' This is a Good Thing now that Arizona has access to a subwoofer.)

But with improvements come new challenges, right? And thus we realized that putting the TV on the wall and putting the subwoofer out offered two new and interesting platforms for cat activity. And, worse, they created this neat stair-step effect out of the components. Cat heaven! Mind you, Arizona didn't exactly help this matter by, when Pixel T. Non-Kitten sat upon the cable box and looked cute, petting her and sweetly telling her she was being naughty. And I soon realized that my usual go-to of the squirty bottle wasn't ideal when we're talking about electronics.

Enter our dual moment of cat-training brilliance ... First, we decided that rather than (or in addition to) saying 'get off the electronics,' we needed to say 'why don't you come over here instead?' So we bought a cat tree. And then, knowing full well that Lucy and Pixel had scorned every store-bought cat toy and scratching post we had ever purchased in favor of wadded-up wax paper and the couch, we performed Reverse Cat Psychology. 

As Arizona built the cat tree yesterday, he kept up a running commentary, telling Pixel and Lucy (who were busy investigating this process) that this was for humans, and the kitties should really stay off it. Which, of course, resulted in this:

And, yes, that's my plotting board sitting next to the kitty tree. By tomorrow, it will be unfolded and covered in pretty colored Post-its, in preparation for starting a new story. Wish me luck!!


  1. I love that Arizona told the cats that it was just for humans. *takes down notes* ... Must tell white cat that the black shirt is only for cats..... then he won't lay on it...

  2. This is my theory! Your mileage may vary ... ;)

    1. Hi Jesse,

      Are you the same Jesse Hayworth who wrote the wonderful story "WriterChick seeks soul mate" from a recently published book for the Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Dating Game? The story, however, touched my heart and soothed my soul in a very positive way.

      Best wishes,
      Hamza Hassan
      Saudi Arabia

  3. Adorable. Love the cats. It reminds me of growing up with our three cats who could jump to the top of the fridge in one leap. Not all at the same time, which would have been cool, but I always found that so impressive. We have a Lab now, and all he can jump up on is the couch. Thank goodness. ;)