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Life in a Cat house

Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House

My wife, Vivian, has been cutting my hair for the past 30 years or so. It was never a big deal until the last time, thanks to our young Amelia Jane kitty.
Of course, we don’t have a barber shop at home. Vivian just has me plop down on a kitchen chair and her only tools are a comb and a pair of scissors with very sharp points at the ends of the blades. I have learned that when she is snipping around my ears and eyes it is a good thing to hold perfectly still.
Holding still is kind of hard to do when you have a cat climbing your legs and trying to get higher. Amelia Jane loves to climb on us and this was a perfect opportunity with a captive climbee. I couldn’t move away or try to shoo her away and it took her about two seconds to figure that out. All I could do was sit there and holler “quit that.”
Vivian usually has a pretty steady hand, but her control kind of slips when she is laughing. Which, naturally, she was as she looked down at the antics of the cat and the cat’s victim of the moment. She always finds it amusing when Amelia Jane starts to pester me, which happens several times a day.
I finally said maybe I needed a muffin pan on my lap. I guess that takes some explaining. We’ve been trying to teach Amelia Jane not to jump up on places cats are not allowed. She fully understands the word “no” but kept doing it anyway. Vivian came up with a way to get the cat’s attention.
Because she usually leaps to the same spots, Vivian started putting muffin pans upside down in Amelia Jane’s landing zones. With table spoons stuck between the peaks of the pan, hitting one creates quite a clatter. Like most cats, Amelia Jane is skittish about sudden loud noises, so when she hears the racket she runs away. It isn’t even necessary to pull a pan off to the floor, although that really throws her into panic mode.
The cheap foil pans won’t work. They have to be the solid metal kind to be effective. This setup worked well, but we only had two pans. Vivian was so pleased with the results she decided to buy a couple more just for the cat because there are several places in the house she should not go. A couple of the locations are dangerous if she should slip. Other spots, like the dining table, are for people, not cats.
Amelia Jane is learning, although we still hear a muffin alarm at odd times. The noise is immediately followed by us seeing a streak running to hide. Of course, the shock wears off in about seven seconds, but she does remember.
Since all the pans were in use elsewhere, I had to try to ignore the cat during the haircut. Somehow we managed to get me trimmed with no injuries from the scissors. Amelia Jane naturally thought the whole thing was great fun. She probably wishes we’d do it every day.
It will be a while before I need another haircut, but I fully expect a repeat performance when the time rolls around because Amelia Jane loves having a captive victim.