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Bernard and Grapes

The cats Dinah and Bernard know they aren't allowed on the cupboards and tables.  We can tell they know because if one of us enters the kitchen or dining room unexpectedly and one of them--usually Bernard--is on the cupboard, said cat immediately scrambles down and bolts from the room to escape the inevitable consequences.

We get lots of other evidence of Bernard's incursions.  (Dinah is rather better behaved.)  We keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter for snacking.  Often the bowl includes grapes.  But something about the grapes just drives Bernard bananas.  He can't leave them alone.  If we leave a bunch of grapes unattended for more than an hour or two, we'll eventually return to find them scattered all over the kitchen floor with puncture marks in them.  I think Bernard likes how his claws sink into them, and the enticing way they roll across the floor.  It means we can never leave grapes out, which also means we often forget we have them and they rot in the fridge.

Water squirtings, duckings, head-thwaps, and other punishments haven't stopped the problem.  The cats know they aren't supposed to be up there, but they go anyway.  Every day I have to clean the counters several times.  Litter box paws where I prepare food?  Digusting!

Finally, I resorted to more drastic measures.  I went to the office supply store and bought a set of chair mats.  You know--the vinyl thingies you put down on the floor so your desk chair will roll around without damaging the carpet.  The underside of these mats is set with hundreds of prickly little tacks so the mat will grip the floor and not scoot around.

I turned the mats prickly side up on the cupboards and the table.  Now when an unsuspecting feline jumps into forbidden territory, he'll get a painful surprise.  The picky parts won't draw blood, but they will hurt.  We'll leave the mats out for a few days, until the cats grow used to the idea that cupboard = pain, and we can remove them.

And then we can put out grapes again.



Nov. 20th, 2015 02:23 am (UTC)
I like that. That may be next for Bernard.

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