What do you Do When Your Cat Decides to “Customize” Your Furniture?

Cat

Everyone loves custom-made items. Believe me when I tell you that growing up and living life in the south means customized everything; we love a monogram and we have so many monograms on our belongings it’s almost safe to assume we’re all so forgetful we simply need the reminder. J. Crew offers custom monogramming on their shorts for only $10 extra; put my monogram on it baby! Beautiful beach hats without a custom monogram added by my exceptionally talented mother-in-law, why not? Beach towels that not only reflect the tastes of each of our children but also have their monograms; yes, please. A custom door wreath for the front, check. A custom welcome mat at the front door monogrammed with our family name, check. Monogrammed designer luggage, shirts, shorts, bibs for the babies, head bands four our daughters and toy bins for every single item owned by our four kids, you got it.

Customized everything is essential here. It’s so essential we can’t even get away with lying to you about the fact that even our cat has customized a few things for us. For example, we have his custom scratches in the banister at the top of the stairs where he likes to lie down and rest but occasionally overshoots and manages to claw his way back up (this cat has way more than 9 lives). He has managed to leave his mark on our leather couches – he was declawed for that one. He’s even left his mark on top of our kitchen cabinets where he likes to jump up and watch the world pass him by; we find hair ties and other little objects up there all the time.

Cats have a way of making their mark on things you own. The good news is that they don’t spend time urinating on things in your house that you can’t ever really get clean, but they do find a way to customize things that are not theirs. It’s almost impossible to have nice things with kids, cats or other animals in the house unless you lock them up at all times and only let them out to feed and relieve themselves. Since that’s kind of illegal for kids and not very nice as a whole, you often have to come up with creative ways to keep your cats from customizing your belongings. And sometimes you just have to find creative ways to hide things they’ve already customized (also favorable is the fact that they don’t exactly color on the walls, like the kids sometimes attempt to do).

Do your cats do the same thing? Our cat is all by himself. He’s all we can handle. We’ve tried twice to have another animal in the house, a friend for the cat, and he’s chased them off. Quite literally he has actually managed to get both animals evicted in a matter of days. It started with a kitten that had to go live with my parents because the cat was so mean to the kitten that the kitten became so afraid of people that we could not get it out of hiding, ever, and it began to stop eating and taking care of itself. At my parents where it’s just them and no one is home half the time, the kitten thrives. In fact, I sometimes have to get my parents to send me a photo of the cat just to prove to me they still have it because it’s so terrified of people.

Then we got a dog, and Twitter decided he would make an effort to customize the dog. It was two days before Christmas and we adopted a lovely four-year-old pit bull mix. She was very well-trained, very sweet and very good with kids and other animals according to her previous owner and the shelter in which she’d been living for months. But then the cat decided after about an hour he did not like the dog, so he jumped the dog from the top of the fridge and attacked. The dog did, to her credit, lie down and ignore the cat – which is easy considering kitty has no claws. But then the cat remembered he has no claws and made the decision to bite the nose of the dog. The dog immediately put the cat in her mouth and began violently shaking the cat around the house – in front of my kids. Just over $700, a collapsed lung, failing livers, an updated tetanus shot and the promise from animal control that they would not euthanize the dog but train her and list her for adoption again as a dog that does not get along well with others (and I checked, and they did what they said), we still have a cat but no dog (before you judge, my kids weren’t going anywhere near that dog ever again after witnessing that, and I do what’s best for them before anyone else, period).

That’s how our cat customizes things. He likes to chew on cords. He likes to jump up on the counters and see what’s for dinner. He likes to lick the trays of the baby’s high chairs no matter how clean they are after the twins’ eat that we have to wash them before and after every feeding. He doesn’t like to listen, but he does like to lie on our decorative bed pillows and lick himself.

Our cat ‘customized’ everything in our home to the point that we’re almost grossed out by his custom-doings. Does your cat do the same thing? If so, how do you hide the fact that the cat makes such a mess and does so much damages to so many of the things that you own? And why do any of us even own cats now that we all realize just how messy and inappropriate they really are? I mean, seriously? What’s wrong with us? Oh yeah; they’re sweet and cuddly and loving and that’s why we keep them around despite their customization skills.

Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

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