Tuesday, October 18, 2011

When cats attack (the dining room)

So before I dive into the ridiculousness that is our current dining room setup, how about a sweet cat and craft photo first?

Okay, Fanny's actually looking rather honey badger-ish in this photo. But the pumpkin! I want to paint every pumpkin I see now. Or gold-dip furniture legs. Or something, as long as I can continue to use this paint.

But we should probably move on to the real story, aka "Why Fanny Might Be Wearing That Bitchy Expression." See, we bought dining chairs. But not the ones I said we were going to buy. Instead, I came across the 2nd-choice-but-originally-more-expensive nailhead chairs not only on clearance, but an additional percentage off clearance, plus I had a coupon. (Making you proud, Mom!) So despite the fact that we originally preferred other chairs, we decided it was meant to be.

So at this point you are probably asking yourself, "Why are the chairs wrapped in plastic? I knew she was concerned about stains, but c'mon." Props to those of you who thought my saran-wrapped dining chairs have anything to do with preventing stains, because that would be logical, however unlikely.

Here's the cold, awkward, weird truth: we are engaged in a battle of the ages over here. Humans Vs. Cats. And I refuse to let the cats win.

The dining chair fabric is every-so-slightly textured, which it turns out is the feline temptation equivalent of me home alone with good cheese and a bottle of wine. Imagine us snuggling on our couch watching tv and all of a sudden, the worst sound new owners of dining chairs can imagine... riiiiiiiiiiiip. Then imagine us leaping off the couch screaming at the cats, trying to gracefully run around our hulk of a coffee table in our tiny living room, and face this sort of expression (old photo, but you get the point). Mood ruined.

Kitten doesn't give a sh*t

Our first step was wishing we could employ a spray bottle, but the distance logistics don't work for immediate punishment sprays, so that's a no-go. Our second step was an anti-kitten liquid upholstery spray meant to deter cats, but it did nothing. Our third step is where we are today, trying to both deter them from the chairs and provide them with a pleasurable scratching experience elsewhere. So the full set looks like this freakshow:

(Head chairs to come... maybe red? Maybe an un-scratch-worthy material?)

And you'll see that we've also gathered every scratching implement in the house and placed them around the table, offering a wealth of scratch-worthy surfaces dusted with fresh catnip.

Neighbors and pedestrians outside our windows are puzzled

The cats don't seem to like the feel of the plastic, so that's good. But I'm pretty sure they're mostly just laughing at us. And how long am I going to put up with this saran wrap, anyway? I'm not sure. It's been a few days, and the cats have left them alone. But I have zero confidence that we've fully turned a corner. De-clawing our beloved furballs is of course out of the question, and we already clip their nails regularly. But seriously... trying to watch high-quality programming like "Revenge" while steeling myself against the sound of claws the whole time is also out of the question. We shall see. And in the meantime...

I don't have buyer's remorse.
I don't have buyer's remorse.
I don't have buyer's remorse.

97 more recitations to go...


  1. Oh man that plastic would drive me crazy, but it's better to keep them safe for now! "Kitten doens't give a shit." LOL.

  2. What about slipcovers for the chairs made out of heavy fabric they can't scratch through? Not only would it protect the chairs from claws, but would make it easy to have fur-free chairs when guests come over. Not a cheap investment, but if these are your permanent dining chairs, would probably have a great long-term payoff.

  3. So I read in some sort of "getting ready for baby" something (book? blog? scary chatboard?) that you can deter cats from furniture by using tin foil? I didn't delve any further since we are a feline-less family, but maybe it's worth a Google?

  4. I have fought your battle...and surrendered my beloved bench chaise to King Kitty. I did however win the battle of couch v. kitty and chairs v. kitty…although I have no idea how. And I laughed out loud when I saw all the scratching posts because I have done the same thing many times. It’s amazing what we will put up with in the name of kitty snuggles. Don’t get me started on the time my cat started refusing the litter box…now THAT was an epic battle! (I won…mostly)

  5. i love the photo with the saran wrapped chairs and scratching posts everywhere! that sound, the sound of cat claws tearing up upholstery, is the worst and i can recognize it 5 rooms away!! (if my house was that big)

    i've actually read the foil thing too. and i used it on our couch so the dog wouldn't get up there-i just put a sheet of foil on each cushion. but i think your cats are smarter than my dog.

    let's come up with more things to paint gold!!

  6. R.e. the aluminum foil suggestion: so far the plastic works to keep them away, but what about when I take OFF the plastic? The foil has the same limitations, no? Or am I missing something? (I would like to enjoy my new chairs sans saran wrap/aluminum foil/slipcovers.)

  7. The tin foil is supposed to scare them away for good. Put it on for a while and they'll lose interest. I did it on the kitchen counters for a while. Eventually my cat realized it wasn't up there anymore though and it was all "heck yea, i'm on it" again. Now he's too fat.

    Back to the point... have you heard of soft paws? They sell them at pet stores but they're covers for the cats nails. If your cats will let you put them on, then they might work. Or your vet can put them on for you. They'll fall off as the nail grows and then you have to reapply. They really piss some cats off, but most of them get used to them. My cat has them on his back claws and doesn't even care.

  8. My friends used foil on their baby's crib mattress after they set up the nursery, but before baby was born. Their cat HATED it, and he has never tried to get in the crib since then...

  9. I feel for you! We've had the same issues with rugs. We've bought 2 rugs for our sunroom that were both ruined by our cats within a month. Our issue is hairballs and vomit instead of claws. Have you had any issues with your rugs and cats? Are yours made of wool (the rugs, not the cats)? I just feel like I'm at a loss of finding a rug that can actually be cleaned with carpet cleaner. If I had to get mine professionally cleaned every time they vomited on them, I might as well not have rugs. I hope you win your war!

  10. You should get Soft Claws! http://www.softclaws.com/index.php?pet=cat
    They are totally safe and a great alternative to de-clawing. You can apply them yourself or have a vet or groomer do it for you..

  11. While they make extraordinary mates, this breed is most likely not best for those searching for a cuddly cat that likes to be held. kittens for sale


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