Monday, February 05, 2007

But he was always so quiet!

Look at this face.

Isn't that just the most precious thing ever? Isn't it adorable? Surely an ickle sweet fluffy pussycat like that wouldn't try to kill his owner.


*cue scary music*

That ickle sweet fluffy pussycat has a bad habit of trying to escort me down the stairs and getting under my feet instead. I've been thinking for months that I'm going to trip over him and fall to my death sooner or later, and this morning it nearly happened. I was going down to turn off the heat, he was trotting down half a step ahead of me and weaving in and out of my legs, and then I slipped while trying not to step on him and fell halfway down the (thankfully short) flight of stairs.

I took the bulk of the impact in what might delicately be described as the "lower back," but was really more like the "upper butt." OMG, the pain! My ass is going to look like a Goth rainbow in a day or two -- seven different shades of black and blue. I suppose it could have been worse: two inches to the left and I'd have broken my tailbone, two inches higher and I'd have pulverized a kidney. It hurts anyway. Plus, now I know that my cat is a homicidal maniac.

I hate Mondays.


FosterAbba said...

This is going to sound inhumane.

I'm sure I'll get lots of hate mail on my blog for suggesting this.

But, sometimes, it's a choice between your safety and your pet's momentary discomfort.

I once had a puppy (and a cat) that had this annoying habit. Everywhere I'd walk, I'd end up tripping and stumbling on one animal or the other. Once, I tripped in the kitchen, and nearly lost a glass baking dish full of food. I managed to save the food, but went down on the floor, narrowly missing gouging my eye out on the corner of the kitchen counter.

I complained to my dog trainer, and I will share the advice she shared with me:

The next time Fluffy gets in the way, deliberately step on him. Don't step on him hard enough to injure -- just stomp on a foot or a tail hard enough to really hurt. As you do it, give him a cue word or make a specific noise that you want to use to tell him to move. (I used the phrase "beep beep!") Once you have stepped on your cat in this fashion once or twice, I guarantee he will never, ever get under your feet.

My dog, who grew up to be a wonderful, obedient old lady, never forgot that lesson. Even when she was old and arthritic, the phrase "Beep, beep!" would cause her to scamper out of my way. It was a painful lesson she never forgot, but I think it made us both safer in the house, especially in the kitchen.

Vanessa said...

He got good and scared when I came crashing down the stairs -- hopefully that'll convince him not to do it again!