Hoisting Petards


The association between cats and yarn is not a myth. There appears to be something about string that plugs directly into the play center of their furry little minds, and if it’s a ball of string — let’s just say that their brains are no longer engaged. But sometimes I think there’s a hint of cunning in their maniacal playing.

Our cats have been filching yarn for years, constructing elaborate monkey traps in the stairway as part of their ongoing efforts to disable us. They’ve learned that broken monkeys stay home and make good chaise lounges, so most of their efforts go toward turning us into furniture. Cats are jerks. Cute jerks.

Monday night, Bogart got into some yarn just as we were getting ready for bed. I’d already gone upstairs for my usual pre-sleep reading of comics, so Wendi was the one who discovered him sitting on the lower landing inside of several loops of yarn. When she laughed at him, Bogie ran upstairs, perhaps embarrassed at having been caught laying a monkey trap. But when he ran away, some of the loops of yarn knotted around one of his back feet. He tried to shake it off, and when that didn’t work he ran again. That only tightened the snare.

Wendi called me in to assist, and somehow I got the task of trying to pick the knot loose as Bogie kicked frantically. There’s nothing quite like having claws flailing an inch from my nose to make me focus. I managed only a few quick tugs at the yarn, but maybe that helped. Wendi picked up our little saboteur to get better control of him, and the yarn fell off.

Within seconds the furry fool had resumed his frolicking in the yarn, as though nothing had happened. Maybe they aren’t that cunning after all.

4 thoughts on “Hoisting Petards

  1. One fine evening, BugNutz decided to garrote herself. I heard a horrible commotion downstairs and found her cannon-balling around the room, knocking stuff of the walls, crashing into shelves etc, etc. All of this blind-panic done on three legs as one of the front paws was currently tied to her neck. As the property damage amassed, I sussed out the problem and went into action. Then, the personal injury portion of the program began as first I had to catch her, second, make her hold still while I tried to, one, convince her I was only trying to help, and two, remove the ever-tightening noose from around her neck. This pretty much failed both catastrophically and spectacularly until she finally collapsed from exhaustion, allowing me to move in and remove the offending cord with only a pint of blood lost. Several minutes later, as I surveyed the Nagasaki-level remnants of my basement, the cat was acting like nothing ever happened.

  2. Do you cats ever go into “Bouncing Betty” mode? Kind of like a land mine going off, where they spring into the air, splayed, claws out, fangs bared, do a 360, land, repeat, repeat, and then tear out of the room?

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