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our furry feline friends….

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Thursday, October 14, 2004 at 10:11 am by flerly.

As if she could understand, for the 10th time this morning I have removed Motley from the top of Jim’s stack of boxes (from his router lab), removed the packing peanut from her mouth, and said to her packing peanuts are not real peanuts, not that you’d eat a real peanut…

Also, I dunno about the bell. For all the online advice on training cats, dealing with cat behaviors, etc., I have to say that I’m not sure it’s the best. The bell, worn by the more aggressive cat, is supposed to offer a warning to the other cats, when they are being stalked, about to be pounced, whatever… The problem is that Motley never seemed to give a shit about stealth anyway. She hasn’t cut down due to the fact that they now always know she’s coming, and in fact, the bell seems mostly to be to get us all in the Christmas spirit as she jingles around the house all day and all night. At least we can tell which cat is leaping across our bed in the middle of the night.

Kitty seems to be the most bothered by Motley’s constant “good-natured rough-housing,” which is to say, she hisses a lot and their encounters often end up as roll-around, cat-screeching, battles. No one has drawn blood, and I don’t really think they’re trying to scratch or bite, so it’s probably just play, but again, it’s not the best thing to wake up to at the foot of your bed in the wee morning hours.

Water squirt guns have long been good cat behavior modifiers, but Motley doesn’t seem to mind being wet. She’ll continue her fighting and then just go lick herself dry at her leisure. So, for lack of any better ideas, I’ve resorted to putting Motley into the big cat carrier cage for time-outs when I catch them fighting. It goes something like this: When I hear Kitty hissing, I seek them out to see what’s up. IF I catch them wrestling around, I’ll grab Motley and cage her for five minutes or so. Yesterday, after three turns in the carrier, she seemed to get it, and they didn’t fight anymore for hours.

The catch is, Kitty seems to have already caught on to the scenario. I was sitting, finishing up my book last night, with Motley curled in the seat beside me. When I finished and moved, Motley woke and headed straight across the floor to the kitchen for food. Next thing I know, I hear Kitty hissing, but when I look up, Kitty is sitting up on the stairs, 10 feet away from a Motley who isn’t even looking at her. Kitty hisses, then turns to look at me with a Well, go get her?!? sort of look.

So, I guess the trick is to always make sure they are actually fighting, but I have to wonder if Kitty really has figured it all out and might be more aggressive just to get her little annoyance thrown in lock-up.



  1. blistex has made a Comment

    We actually make our cat wear a bell for our own sakes, because we get some warning when she’s about to pounce on us. Also, it takes her down a peg or to since the dog will generally get up and go nose at her if she’s being really rambunctious.

    October 14, 2004 @ 3:25 am

  2. flerly has made a Comment

    maybe we need a dog! KIDDING. I think James and the roomies already think I’m running a zoo here.

    As for pouncing us, Motley is no where near as apt to do that as Kitty was at her age. Kitty used to stalk us majorly… hiding under the ottoman, under the couch, laundry baskets, in the curtains… wherever, just waiting for an ankle to come by to scratch. Motley generally only “plays” when you initiate it with her. She might be in the middles of attacking the evil curtains that separate our bed and bathroom area and accidentally get caught up in attacking the pant leg of a person who walks by, but she rarely just attacks people. Of course, there is the exception of my Old Navy pajamas with the drawstrings at the ankles. Wearing those around will still get me followed.

    Oh well. I know that she’s just playing, but I’m really at a loss for how to get her to tone down some. She is really driving Kitty nuts — which I guess is turnabout for all the driving Sam (and us) nuts that she used to do.

    October 14, 2004 @ 3:44 am

  3. infinite1der has made a Comment

    MY cat is smart. YOUR cat… well… isn’t.

    October 14, 2004 @ 5:32 am

  4. flerly has made a Comment

    I told you, we got the very best one… provided we were shopping for dumb cats, she’s the dumbest.

    At least my cat is sweet. =P

    October 14, 2004 @ 6:39 am

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