Monday, June 22, 2009 3:03 PM

Counter Crawlers

You know the scenario. You're sitting in your living room, relaxing. Perhaps you're watching a good movie, eating some delicious plain popcorn or puffed rice. Suddenly, you hear it: Pha-lumphf!
What the heck was that? If you're a cat owner, you know what it was, of course. It was the sound of a naughty cat jumping down from the kitchen counter. Of course, you never hear them jump up, since the sneaky devils are adept at leaping tall counters in a single bound, and silently, at that. You only know about the rule violation after it happens. When, as we all know, it is too late to discipline them! So, you just yell as loudly as you can, "For crying out loud, stay off the freakin' counters!" This way, you feel as if you've at least done something to let them know that they've been busted, even though you know darn well that they are just ignoring you. At least you didn't have to get up or turn off the movie, which, of course, would just be a total waste of time since they're going to do it again anyway, and probably soon.

It seems that no matter how well trained cats are, they just can't resist certain activities. There are a few of these, but today we'll address this one: Jumping up on counters. Now, I'll admit that we don't get too bent out of shape when this occurs. After all, our cats stay indoors, they are healthy, and wash themselves constantly. I also clean the counters constantly, since I know they're carousing up there. Truth be known, we're also kind of glad that they can still jump onto high surfaces without any problems, since they are 12 years old. What I'm saying is that we have become lax and for the last couple of years haven't enforced the "no counter" rule as consistently as we used to, since we figured that by the time they were 10 or so they wouldn't be able to manage it anyway. Ha! Fooled us, didn't they? They obviously know this, wily things that they are, and the evening parades continue.

There are others like us who don't mind counter crawlers. I've known many people who fed their cats on their kitchen counters, to keep either small children or other pets out of the cat food bowl. But others really dislike the idea of cats on counters and have tried tricks like spreading aluminum foil or cellophane on the countertops to scare them off the habit. Personally, I think I'd rather clean my counters more often than deal with the scratch marks that are sure to appear down the cabinet fronts when Frisky encounters that deterrent! I'm pretty sure it doesn't work anyway.

So, if you have cats, they're probably going to do things they know they're not supposed to, like jumping up on your counters, once in a while. Make peace with it. Just make sure you yell something like, "HEY! Cut it OUT!" whenever you hear them land, just so they know they're not fooling you. At least you know you don't have to get up and actually do anything about it. Relax! It's just a cat thing.

Summer is finally here--here's wishing you and yours a happy and safe one.
Chat later!

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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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