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.



My hairdresser always asks me if I have any big plans for the evening. I’m fairly uncommunicative, so she has to use such gambits to drag me into conversations.

When I was in last time, I told her that Wendi had plans so it would likely be just me, a movie, the couch, and the cats. This reminded her of her unfortunate cat, and she told me about the poor fella’s recent ordeals.

Seems that a neighborhood tom took a strong dislike to him and inflicted harm that earned a vet $400 to repair. On returning home, he went out and promptly had another encounter with his tormentor. This time, things got very personal.

According to my hairdresser, her cat had been forcibly neutered.

A lot of thoughts crowded into my head meat: poor kitty, the advantages of professional neutering, relief that I kept my cats indoors. Mentioning this last one seemed unwise, as she still had scissors at the ready.

One moral struck me as being of the most general application; always wear pants to a fight.