Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:34 PM

Of Wet Floors and Cat Paws

Once again, as I was mopping floors last Saturday, the cats had to get themselves involved. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, for instance, the Bear comes pha-lumping down, obviously unable to wait until the stairs dried. What is it about wet floors that makes cats need to get from point A to point B immediately, while leaving paw prints all over the damp floor?

For one thing, I think it has to do with curiosity. Cats note when something different is going on, and usually feel required to check it out. One might think that cats would make an exception when it comes to wet floors, since many cats dislike getting wet. That being said, I have never had a cat that disliked wet paws enough to avoid walking directly through a freshly mopped surface. Also, I have been mopping these floors on a weekly basis for the entire lives of these cats, yet they still get nosy about the procedure.

Another of my theories is that they just want attention. I have noticed that the closer to their supper time the floor washing occurs the more they tend to run across the damp floors. Yelling doesn't help, of course. They're willing to put up with it because they know they're going to get fed, no matter what. Plus, they get to annoy me into the bargain!

Years ago, before I realized that less is more when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors, the cats involved would get much wetter feet than the current bunch do. I remember my other cats doing the leg-shake, then madly licking their paws, ostensibly to dry them faster. They really weren't all that wet, plus they could have avoided the whole thing by just staying out of the room. But, cats are single-minded creatures, and determined to do things their way. It's just one of those little things we love about them.
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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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