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The Oak Court Cats are considerate, sort of.  The back corners of the living room sofa have been shredded by the daily stretch and scratch routine.  They are considerate in that they decided to use the back corners.  Unfortunately the sofa is not against the  wall; it sits in the away from the wall where all who pass through the house see it…

Shredded Sofa

I’ve tried all the tricks to stop their scratching.  One person suggested using a strip of clear packing tape; the tabby figured how to pull it off.  At the pet store they suggested this spray.  Well, it slowed them down a bit but did not stop them.  A third suggestion was also useless; I attached a piece of denim material to the corner and, once again, the tabby pulled the material off.

So I went out and bought a scratching post, a cat tower with carpeting.  It seems that the Oak Court Pride likes the sofa more than the $200 cat tower for scratching.  The tower is a great place to play or sleep but not for scratching.

Another suggestion was to buy those door knob hangers that are essentially carpet with a loop for hanging.  You’re supposed to “season” them with cat nip. Nope.  The tabby “marked” it….

Not a lot of success in the battle; the pride decided that the sofa was the best place for claw cleaning and it wasn’t open to negotiation.

So I tried one last thing.  In the cat store I found these corrugated cardboard blocks.  Like the door hangers, they are “seasoned” with cat nip and tossed on the floor (cats will not be interested in anything that is purchase for their use).

Cardboard Scratch Blocks

These cardboard blocks cost around $5 and last about 6 months.  The cats (well, most of the cats) love them and shred layers of  on a daily basis.  I toss a handful of cat nip on them every few days and clean the area up with the vacuum a few times a week (they tend to get messy).  Precious the Predator rolls around the floor, tosses them into the air and, in general, trashes the area by the time she’s done.  The Tabby and the Big Guy spend a few minutes on the blocks, usually just after I’ve freshened up the catnip.

So, while the sofa gets torn up more every daily, they tease me by shredding card board and rolling around in catnip.    I’m going to live with shredded furniture for a while longer and, in the mean time I’ll keep buying cardboard and catnip.

Time to vacuuum things again, later.

John

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The Oak Court Cats are early risers; usually awake long before I get out of bed around 6 in the morning.  I don’t even know if they sleep throughout the night.  With their strange sleeping patterns (cats average 16 hours sleep within a 23 hour day), these guys are up and down all night.

Regardless of the fact they are not on the same sleep cycle as the human inhabitants here, they expect to be fed when the first human wakes up in the morning.   It’s as if they assume the human gets out of bed just to feed them.  If they don’t get fed, they take it upon themselves to make noise, create havoc and wake someone up.

This morning was no different.  I worked late last night and decided to sleep in.  I didn’t set the alarm clock.  Never gave it a second thought.

They did.

At 6:05 Missey hopped up onto the pillow.  a few minutes later the Predator, who was sleeping on my bureau, jumped off and onto my legs. The tabby followed a few minutes later, chased in by the big guy.  At 6:15 I gave up, put the glasses on and got out of bed.  The four of them followed me out to the kitchen and waited patiently as I cleaned the bowls and filled them with  wet food.

It’s the daily routine; doesn’t change at all, day in and day out.  It’s been the routine for over 18 years now.   I don’t know what happens when I’m not here;  not sure who they wake up.

Now, just in case you might think that the switch to daylight savings can put them off their schedule, you’re wrong.  I need to find out which of them can read the clock.  A few weeks ago, on the morning of the time change, they were just fine, waiting for me at the appointed hour.  Scary, isn’t it.

So, when I go to bed tonight, I’ll not set the alarm.  I know the feline alarm clocks will wake up up for breakfast.  Now, if I could only teach them how to make the coffee….

John

It’s  springtime and the Oak Court Cats are not happy.  With warmer temperatures and longer days at hand, the cats begin the annual process of shedding the winter fur.  The Oak Court Cats started a few weeks ago and have been leaving little piles of fur scattered around the house.  When I get home after work I can usually tell where they’ve spent the day by the amount of fur in any given spot.

Missey’s favorite nap spot is on the corner of my bed, where she sleeps in the sun most of the day and has left quite a handfull of gray and black fur.  Precious, the predator, tends to spend the days sleeping on my bureau and it is covered by strands of mottled brown fur.  Tabby fur covers the dining room table and the big guy has left a small mountain of his hair on the sofa.  Before I can start dinner I need to go through the house with the vacuum cleaner.

They each have their own way of dealing with the scratching.  Missey will wake up from a nap, scratch furiously for 5 minutes then go back to sleep till the next attack.  The tabby prefers the dining room table while the big guy is happiest rolling around on the carpet where he can leave a pile of hair on the  floor.  Precious doesn’t do a good job of preening herself; she prefers to be brushed and will demand a good brushing usually while I am trying to eat.

To help then through this process I brush them nightly (that yields another pile of cat hair) and wipe them down with those cat cleaning clothes.  Missey doesn’t allow me to brush her, she prefers my son’s brushing.  Precious puts up with some brushing while the tabby will stay still for long periods of time as i brush.  The big guy doesn’t’ care who, just brush him.  While brushing, we look for telltale signs of fleas.

Anyone who has been around cats in the spring understands what I’m talking about.  Shedding is rough enough by itself; add the fleas and you have 4 miserable cats.

So, the cats get a dose of some goo between their shoulder blades and the carpets get sprayed with some other flea-killing chemical and then we wait.  In the mean time the cats scratch, whine, growl and are no longer pleasant to be around.

A few days after the flea treatments we start brushing again and, in a month, repeat the process again.   Usually takes 3 cycles to eliminate both the shedding and the fleas.

It’s late and Precious reminds me she’d like a brushing. Nite.