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Life in a Cat house

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Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House

Our cats had a rough start to last week. They really dislike company and run to hide when somebody comes. A short visit from strangers is bad enough, but when people they don’t know are around all day it’s even worse.

What really makes it high level stress for them is when the strangers are doing things to change home life as the cats know it.

Such was the situation last Monday when a couple of guys and my wife, Vivian, took on tearing up the bedroom carpet and replacing with wood tile things. That familiar old carpet has been in place for many years, long before Skittles and Ozrow were born. It’s the only bedroom floor they have ever known. Then, suddenly, here were strangers ripping it up. The carpet was fastened to the floor using the old standby, Elmer’s Glue. That meant lots of scraper work to get the dried glue off the subfloor and make it smooth enough for the new to go down level.

Skittles likes to hide under the bed when strangers come. That didn’t work this time because the strangers lifted the bed and moved it to get to that section of the floor.

Chests of drawers and nightstands were shuttled around, too. From a kitty point of view, the entire room was transformed into a disaster area of epic proportions.

The closet is a good hiding place for anti-social cats, but not this time. The new floor would extend into the closet a few inches, so the doors were flung open with strangers sticking their heads inside.

Skittles went to hide upstairs, burrowing into one of her secret spots reserved for emergencies.

Ozrow went outside, which was not as it should have been. A pickup was parked close to the house and strangers were dumping old carpet and scraps into it. All in all, it was a traumatic day for both cats.

By Monday afternoon the main part of the project was finished. The new floor was in place except for some trim work around heat vents, the doorway at the hall and a narrow strip in front of the closet doors. The strangers left and life settled back into more or less normal.

The cats really didn’t pay much attention to the new floor. They have spent thousands of hours on the carpet but once it was gone they accepted the new, harder floor without any hesitation. It was the work that bothered them, not the finished product.

Tuesday was a day of rest for both Vivian and the cats. Skittles still hid out upstairs all day, just in case. Then, just when it appeared the turmoil was over on Wednesday, one of the guys came back to finish around the edges of the floor. Ozrow hung around outdoors while Skittles went back the relative security of upstairs.

It took a couple of more days for life to return to normal. We’re all growing accustomed to the new floor and the cats are content as long as no more strangers show up to totally disrupt their lives. Their fear of anyone but us makes their lives difficult and they are both happy it’s just us again, at least for now.