No, this is not a blog about cats. But, our cats are doing quite well, thanks!
See? They get along splendidly now.
If you don’t want to hear anymore about what they’ve destroyed or how much UPS is making off of my deliveries for products to keep them happy and our apartment in order, stop here.
(And maybe just look at a kitten! picture. Eeeh! The cuteness hurts my teeth.)
Ok, you’ve been warned.
Things have settled down and, other than an occasional tryst on the kitchen table, the two have become a team united against us in begging for food, shedding all over the place, dominating the guest bathroom/catbox room and claiming a couch for their very own.
Having two cats that keep each other company has its benefits, but there’s a price. Doubling our cat population has forced some issues that we’d been able to ignore up until now:
These two shed a lot of hair, especially now that the summer season is in full swing. Their constant play activity rips out extra tufts by the bagful. These wayward furballs roll around the hallway, gathering momentum and bulk like a demented hybrid between tumbleweed and snowballs. We’re searching for ways to deal with it, but haven’t attained any high levels of enlightenment. Yet.
We try to furminate them whenever possible, but both get so squirmy and excited, brushing them is a two-person job. When you can get them to sit still, this thing really works. I mean really. Maybe too well.
I managed to pull out a wad the size of a basketball off of Fergus while he was sunning on the balcony. A big gust of wind came by and knocked it down to the neighbors who always complain about noise. Guess we gave them something new to complain about.
Also, this is not good for use when judgement is impaired (like knowing when to stop).
We’ve also upgraded to massive lint rollers from Muji. Looks like a paint roller, it’s easier to use than the wand versions and the storage holder keeps it from sticking to everything in the cupboard. This thing is kind of awesome and the best instant-gratification hair tool so far.
We’ve been planning to kick it up yet another notch, but for several reasons those plans haven’t solidifed yet into reality.
With vigilance, we’re muddling through ok with the fur situation. But then there’s also The Claws.
Here things start getting tough. Alone he was too lazy, but now that Fergus has a sidekick, the cats are going for the furniture with a vengeance. This is not so bad as long as we hate the furniture they’re going after. But soon we won’t have these as decoys anymore. Check out this gallery of horrors in this article on Modern Cat. We’re not at that point yet, but I have been known to put aluminum foil on chair arms these last few months (which makes me sad).
Clipping? Nah. Both cats are good at submitting to manicures, but that only reduces the damage to furniture, and doesn’t erase the urge. I’m admitting defeat in thinking I could get around having something for the cats to scratch, but I’m not quite ready to surrender and buy a cat tree/condo monstrosity. Anything we get we have to look at every day, multiple times a day. I can’t face this thing on a daily basis, so…
I’ve been looking at some other options. There is a lot of ugly stuff out there. I want a cat scratcher that looks like people furniture, or at least doesn’t scream CAT FURNITURE! (This one below fails on that point.)
I don’t have kids but I think I know how I would have felt in the 80’s with only clown print crap to put my kids in.
This is where being abroad becomes frustrating. I can find a lot of what I would like online in the US. And if I could keep more than half my paycheck, I’d have an easier time with the price tags. But I’m in Germany, so this is what I found after a lot of online research and espresso.
These guys at Modern Critters make a series of cat scratchers that can be fastened to or mounted on the wall, which could be great for our apartment, if only we’d had the wall space (and could swallow the international shipping price). But on the whole, I like!
Using Flor carpet tiles alone might have been an option for some, but where to put it? That remains a mystery.
We might get somewhere with a cardboard scratcher, and there are some nice ones out there, but they are either too far away, like this one from Marmalade Pets out of Seattle,
or this kind dorky, if well-intentioned “green” Cardboard Design option out of New York.
This is one of the very few providers in Germany that I’ve come across that has a style that works for me. The folks at Cat-On aren’t totally on target, but they’re close.
I may come back to them once I’ve confirmed for sure that my first choice, my well-researched purchase, has totally and utterly failed. I went for these wall-mounted tiles because 1) they look good, 2) you can switch out the carpet squares, 3) we could fit them onto almost any wall in the apartment, 4) they were flat easy for mom to pop in the mail.
Behold, my best of intetions that didn’t pay off:
I got exactly the same thing as pictured, but apparently the cats don’t care for mohair. I’m going to switch out the carpet squares and see if that helps. In the meantime, I keep them entertained by lining up cat treats on top of the frames and letting them go after them like monkeys.