Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blind cats in high places: How to keep your kitty safe

Lucy the blind cat in a very high place
Lucy demonstrating her climbing ability.
Most of the pictures on this blog show my bright yellow workroom, mainly because that's where I sit all day long and I'm too lazy to get up and snap pictures in any of the other rooms in the house. But, there are indeed other rooms in this house. And there is one large stairwell that culminates in a big newel post.

When I moved into this house, I knew that post was going to be a problem. It's about 10 to 12 feet off the ground on one side, bumping right up against the ceiling, and it's easily accessible by little cats who want to walk across the handrail. If they make it across, they have a perfect view of the entire first floor of the house, and they're bathed in heat because they're close to the ceiling.

I've been here 1 1/2 years or so, and the only cat brave enough to make it up there was Maggie. She's young and agile, so I didn't have an issue with that. She's also a loner, so I thought she might like the opportunity to have her own space.

Unfortunately, Lucy has also decided that this is a good place to sleep. This is the problem I knew was coming.

As a blind cat, Lucy startles easily. She tends to spring off and run if she's worried, and one spring in the wrong direction off this post means a 12-foot drop and a land on a bookcase below. Not a great idea.

So, once again, the Cat Scram saves the day. I bought this a few months ago (and wrote about it here) and since that time, I've found all kinds of uses for it. Anytime the cats are going anywhere they should not go, the Cat Scram is soon to follow. Now it is sitting on the railing, and Lucy is back in her bed where she belongs. (The downside is that Maggie is also banished from her sleeping spot, but here's hoping she'll forgive me in time. I'm giving her extra catnip in the hopes of wiping her memory of my betrayal.)