Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to Train a Cat

Many years ago, when dear little Malaika was a young cat, she developed a fascination for the collaged wooden door stop used on the bathroom door.  Mind you, she never payed any attention to this during the daylight hours, but when we were trying to go to sleep at night an overpowering urge to play with this seemed to overcome her.

As we turned out the lights and settled in for the night, first came the small sounds of Malaika batting this way and that, trying to free it from under the door.  The door stop scuffed back and forth, millimeter by millimeter, until it was free.  Then, of course, the door would swing slowly shut.

Malaika clearly enjoyed this nightly ritual.  We enjoyed it less, because if the scuffling noises did not keep us awake, the slamming door would awaken us.

One day I conceived of a brilliant plan to put a stop to these nighttime shenanigans once and for all.  Very carefully, I balanced a metal measuring cup on the doorknob.  With the door stop in place, the proximity to the wall kept the cup in place.  We went to bed that night, chuckling softly, waiting for Malaika to begin her routine.

Bat, scuff, scrape; bat, scuff, scrape - then CLANG!  The cup hit the floor, and the next sounds were Malaika doing one of those cartoon “Feet, don’t fail me now!” attempts to gain purchase on the slippery linoleum and get as far away as she could from that dreadful metal monster.

The poor dear was humiliated by our admittedly triumphant laughter and would you believe - she never touched that door stop again! 

 My, doesn't she look innocent?