The Wrong Side
I am confident in saying that no cat past, present or future likes being on the wrong side of a closed door. And, of course, the wrong side is the side not occupied by the cat. Fiona and Giulietta, especially, find this situation totally unacceptable. Fiona sets to whining, and her sis starts scratching the door. And they never get tired!
Noise-cancelling earphones can diminish this caterwauling, but even with this miracle invention, remaining cloistered requires nerves of steel and a tenacity to complete the task at hand. Many a nice, soothing bath (not a place for earphones) has been interrupted and ruined by their insistence to be included in whatever activity they suspect is being performed without them. It doesn’t help that Giulietta is one of my “water” cats and knows what I am up to when she hears the tub filling!
The task at hand today was gift wrapping Christmas presents. This is a favored kitty activity, and when I was younger (and dumber) I allowed Kitties Blue to help with this project. All the wrapping paper had claw and teeth holes. Every piece of tape had cat hairs stuck to it. (This, however, is always the case whether pusses are present or not.) And forget about tying bows unless you have some special knack for removing the cat dangling from the end of the ribbon she has dragged across the room. Even if you give your furball a ribbon of her very own, she’ll still persist in attempting to steal yours.
Decorative bags have become quite popular, and I often have resorted to using these if they haven’t been torn apart by an investigating cat. However, this means the exposed tissue paper has been clawed, chewed, ripped and drooled upon before the gift can be presented to the recipient.
The ideal place in our house for wrapping gifts is the dining room table, but I must eschew the convenience of this locale. Dad Tom, choosing ease of place, often selects to do his wrapping there. But with open access to the rest of the house, this is begging for mayhem. I only use it in a pinch if I have left wrapping to the last moment before delivering a gift.
In & Out & In
Ideally I would have put all the furballs outside so I wouldn’t have needed to close the door, but Lily Olivia was enjoying a morning nap in the kitchen. (She seems to be alternating between spending one morning in and the next out.) Also, the temperature and the wind were not cooperating. Though the sun was out, everyone was constantly on the wrong side of the kitchen door and demanding to be let in and/or out ad nauseam.
Astrid was in the mood to be even more of a pest than usual. She couldn’t let more than two minutes go by without wanting to change her inside position for outside or vice versa. The backdoor has 12 lights (panes of glass) in four rows of three each. When outside, Astrid pulls herself up by her front claws to the ledge below the bottom set of windows. Then she climbs to the next ledge until she is standing on the bottom ledge with her front claws clinging two ledges above. She stares at me pathetically and whines. As soon as I make a move, she jumps down. This is why I have not been able to snap a photo of her antics. I hope you can picture it in your mind’s eye.
Finally at about noon, I gave up on waiting for a warm-up and left the door cracked to the outside so Kitties Blue could come in and go out at will. (This occurred before the installation of a cat door to the catio.) I sequestered myself and spent a couple of peaceful hours wrapping and watching the movie, Failure to Launch.
I had a small wave of guilt as I know of hardly anything on earth more fun for a kitty than wrapping gifts, except possibly for “helping” on the computer. But I also know helping decorate the house for the holidays and unwrapping gifts on Christmas follow closely behind as super fun cat activities. So, with this in mind, I am hoping you will join me and Kitties Blue next month for 12-days of cats celebrating Christmas.
Update: If you follow “The Adventures of Periwinkle & Stinky,” you will have seen that wrapping moved back to the dining room table in 2022, thanks to COVID-19.