Sneaky Amber sticks to plot

Local | Georgina Noyce 25 Jun 2019

It’s a waste of time and emotional energy getting annoyed with Amber the once-feral cat, but there are times when striding around the house threatening all sorts of dire consequences for her behavior can be cathartic.

Waving my arms around and muttering the ruder words in French won’t make an ounce of difference to the animals. They don’t know the bad words in English or Cantonese either, but at least I can use them without offending my own ears.

Amber’s transgression is not so bad when compared to murder, lying or cheating, but it is incredibly frustrating to have a lovely new chair turned into a cat’s scratching post. She doesn’t even think of it as a scratching post; it is simply another surface to stretch against that offers a satisfyingly scratchy noise when her nails dig in.

Covering the chair with a blanket didn’t work. The sneaky cat studied the situation, then methodically hooked her claws into the blanket and dragged it off the chair. With the blanket pooled on the floor, Amber jumped on to the chair arm, stretched her lithe ginger body to its full extent, dug in her claws and scratched at the poor armchair.

Ugly, but necessary, a nylon string was tied around the chair, holding the blanket in place – surely even this cat couldn’t work out how to untie string! Wrong, with almost a smirk, Amber nosed around until she found a way under the blanket at floor level then proceeded to take her reward with a lovely scratching sound.

A spray bottle with water was our next resort, but that only worked if someone was in the room when she started clawing – not only in the room but ready for action with the concealed spray bottle.

Double-sided tape crisscrossing the chair was the last resort. Even uglier looking than the blanket and string, cat experts assured us that Amber won’t like the sticky feel on her pads and will stop getting on the chair and using it as a scratching post.

Wrong once again – Amber, like a young offender from the 1980s’ glue sniffing craze, has become a glue addict. She happily walks all over the sticky tape making disgusting sucking noises, then snuggles into the armchair to clean her feet, making strange popping noises as she uses her raspy tongue and teeth to clean under her glue-infused nails.

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