Saturday, November 21, 2009


My next door neighbor is the local mail carrier. Last week, he came to my door with a package I had to sign for. While I was doing so, he mentioned that he had taken some photos of my cats visiting his yard:

"I got this great shot of the grey one--she climbed a tree and sat on the birdhouse there while she watched the bear prowling around."

This is why my cats do not go outside unless it is A) during the day and B) I am at home. Since I work five days a week, and the days have naturally shortened, this limits the opportunities for a feline saunter in the New Hampshire woods. The cats are certainly aware of this, and they make their collective protests felt every morning I walk out the door and every night I return home again.

Worry not, the cat population is no where near bored.

The focal point of their interest and attention has shifted to the centerpiece on the coffee table in the living room. There are many unique and interesting elements to this self-created attempt at decorative art--sand, a bowl of water with floating candles, rocks, fake leaves and berries--it is almost too much for a cat without anything to do for eight hours five days a week.

When this became apparent to me, I attempted to ensure that the resulting mess didn't reoccur. However, I've discovered that the different ways I've addressed this issue have been approached as puzzles for the cat collective to work around.

The L.L. Bean Box:
Destroyed. Multiple sittings bowed the flaps adhered down the center of the back to the point that a few claw-sharpenings and tooth-applied shreddings later, the flaps were free from their adhesive, and they were raised in order to allow access to the coveted bowl of water.

The J. Crew Box:
I just rotated this replacement out. When I first looked the box over, I thought "there is no way they'll be able to pull this apart." I was wrong--entirely. First, they pulled apart a corner so a little borrowing would lift it just enough over a cat-sized body to get at the water. After taping that up again, they resumed their original approach to the previous box, with the same result.

The Milk Crate
When the crate fit perfectly over the square plate of decorative sand upon which the bowl of candles rests, I thought I had finally found the answer. I placed a set of books on top of it to make sure no one could shift it. Later, I discovered the evidence of an attempt at the bowl--sand was all over the table--cat paws fit comfortably through the grate in the crate, and pawfuls of sand had been scooped out and distributed on the table surface. I am sure it is only a matter of time before this method also is retired.

I can't blame them--classes were created around the Rubik's Cube puzzle. And, I'm sure the participants were equally without amusement.


Jo said...

"I got this great shot of the grey one--she climbed a tree and sat on the birdhouse there while she watched the bear prowling around."

Now, there's a sentence I don't read every day. What a hoot! I hope the bear doesn't notice the cat. :-)

Alicia M B Ballard said...

Sand + Greenery + Candles + water + cats?

Donno what to say except this was precious/funny!

Do you "facebook"?
Let me know to link up...

WitlessFool said...

Bored cats... indoors... sounds like a disaster waiting to happen!

Susan at Stony River said...

I loved this, and what perfect timing, because the kids are begging to have the Christmas tree up but the littlest one is going to pull down all the ornaments within reach and the dog is going to sniff around it as soon as we're all in bed and walk away wearing all the tinsel.

Maybe I should trade them all for cats? LOL

HeatherLynn said...

HA! They are addicts these cats...they have GOT to have some of that sand....!!

cats are natural problem solvers...and it's hilarious how they seem to "KNOW" what you're up to and are out of foil your attempts at any cost. Could they find SOMETHING else to amuse them...probably...are they going to...NOPE!

game of cat and mouse anyone? ;)


The villager: said...

We have quite an aggressive cat that never goes out......just attacks our Tibetan Terrier every few hours.....

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Silly cats. :P They could be amused with pretty much anything...and destroy pretty much everything. Sigh. Cute post!

JUST ME said...

I feel like the NH woods make cats feel like actual wild animal.

My NH cat NEVER comes in.
...Unless he's hungry.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Most cats go out when they say so.

Constructive Attitude said...

dont you think it's kinda creepy that your neighbor/mail carrier does that.

Carl said...

OK. you can be the cat whisperer for me and help me figure out how and why my kitten does this. She likes to root around in the basement and bring up the odd screw or piece of wire etc. I understand that she like to bat things around on the kitchen floor. I think she is satified by the sound it makes. One day we were totally puzled she dragged as large baking potato up tou our second floor bed room! We still giggle when we think of it.


booda baby said...

Ah, the old 'man v. cat' contest. I STILL play that game even though history shows I'll lose, crumble or concede every time. I'm starting to suspect that while we think it's all about the problem - a centerpiece, the crazy ass hours the cat wants to go out, the arrangement of drawers - the cat knows the game's about our resolve.

Oh, I just made that up because my FIRST instinct was to give up on your behalf: oh GIVE them the damned centerpiece. You know they're going to get to it!

This is NOT a good attitude to have.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pilgrimchick said...

Dear Anonymous--

Take your grammatically incorrect nonsense, and shove it up your A$$.

Thank you,

The World According To Me said...

It sounds like your cats had a very intersting day! Now I would worry if your neighbour had a picture of their adventures in your lounge! Just a thought!

Laids Livres said...

Somethning important to keep in mind for a person in your situation:
if one of your child looks like either your neighbour or your local mailman, well, then , you know....