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Cat helper

Posted: December 17th, 2005, 11:26 am
by Thaadd
So when I settle down, to record a session of book - my cat goes nuts. She's part siamese, and the VOLUME this cat can produce, with weird yowls, as she tears from one end of the house to another, leaping into boxes, chasing her tail, and bouncing off walls is amazing.

And here I thought I was planning well, to record when no kids were around.

Posted: December 17th, 2005, 12:21 pm
by thistlechick
oh, Thaadd, that must be very discouraging for you. Have you tried playing with Kitty for a while to wear her out? Do a round of string on a stick or something before you record. Or try giving her a pile of catnip to work on... after the initial charge, she might mellow out for a while.

I'm lucky, my cats don't even notice when I'm reading... they usually sleep right through it hehe

Posted: December 17th, 2005, 12:22 pm
by kayray
Lol, Thaadd. True quiet is hard to come by. In my recordings you'll hear, very faintly in the background, the sounds of piano lessons, clarinet practice, telephone converations, the dog barking outside, the turtle's water filter (I _try_ to remember to turn it off), garbage trucks, people stamping around upstairs, etc. etc.

Tell your cat to settle down! ;-)


Posted: December 17th, 2005, 1:49 pm
by Izze
Get a tank with mechanical fish in it (I have one, it's so cool!), it will entertain nearly any cat for hours!

Of course, my cat never gives me problems, she's usually outside hunting... or in another state. (Thank you college dorms and your no cats rule! :x )

Posted: December 17th, 2005, 2:11 pm
by Gesine
Clearly a case of under-exposure! :) Your cat is just not used to your reading voice - or it doesn't appreciate that you're not reading for it, hence the attention-seeking ploys. Read to it often (with the mic in place) and the cat will get bored. Cats always get bored, eventually. Or tired.

Having said that, they also always seem to know when something special is happening... for instance, on the rare occasions one picks up a (real) pen, there they are sitting bang in the middle of the paper, and refuse to budge. Or one wants to type an urgent mail and they're all over the keyboard.

I have long suspected that cat owners must have a secret wish to be tyrannised and dominated. By their cats, at least. :)

I hardly dare suggest this, but locking the cat out of the recording room is not an option? Maybe you still value the furniture in your other rooms, or the door is not sound-proof. Hmmm...

Sonar, the yowling cat

Posted: December 17th, 2005, 3:45 pm
by Thaadd
Once, when I first got the cat (Named 'Sonar' for a reason, she echolocates) I tried to lock her out of the bedroom. I'm asthmatic, I really shouldn't have a cat sleeping in my bed. (however, I have three cats)

I went to bed, and she meowed forlornly at the door.

Two hours later, she was still meowing at the door.

At three hours, I got up and let her in. She won. Period. In a small house, the only place else I could lock her would be the bathroom, which would not be a pleasant thing for the other people who want to use the bathroom. I've heard her meow until her voice went hoarse. She's been witnessed by roommates to actually crouch on the other side of the door, and meow into the door/floor gap. Once, when she was meowing for me to wake up, over and over again, I lost my temper (bad parent) and picked her up, and held her under the bathtub faucet. She was then too busy licking her fur dry to meow.

It's her general habit to wander around the house, after me (generally not more than 5 feet from me) conversationally meowing. She does it when I'm on the phone (trying to hop up onto a table or dresser if it'll get her closer to me). She sits on the top of the monitor, like this picture

and watches me alot of the time. This is proof, that even if future societies have paperless books, cats will still find a way to sit on them. Note the helpful tail, as I was trying to proof text at DP.

Posted: December 17th, 2005, 4:07 pm
by Gesine
Pretty cat. Ever considered a flat screen? ;) Of course she'll adore that monitor - it heats up nicely, possibly even has a fan at the top - it's Sonar's impression of Marilyn Monroe over the subway grille.

Holding the cat under the faucet to keep her busy is _very_ clever. Why did I never think of that? Only downside is that to do it one has to get up... which means cat wins (yet again).

How do the other two cats feature in this little domestic drama?


Posted: December 17th, 2005, 6:18 pm
by Thaadd
We have flat screens for some of the basement computers (I live with a pro geek, so I think we're at about 7 computers in all) - but down there, there is the water heater, the furnace, and other things that like to rumble at times.

She does like warm though. Her new hiding spot is behind the swing of the bathroom door, because it's dark and there is a heat vent to sit on.

The cat drama around the house is generally pretty mellow. I have an old fat tortie cat who is my prime 'lap cat' for reading, a little blond one who will do anything to get your undivided lap attention (sits on books, bites pens, has even been known to try to sit on the mousepad, because your hand goes there, and hands mean petting...).

Peppermint extract is your cat?s new nemesis.

Posted: December 19th, 2005, 12:19 am
by Rev. Steve
I have one cat that likes to sit at the bottom of the stairs and meowwwww at... best I can tell ? nothing. It is REALLY aggravating. But I keep my squirt bottle handy, and when she meows, she gets a squirt. Not only does this stop her meowing at the moment, but it dramatically decreases the frequency of her recitals. She may not like it, but that is the point.

For those of you cat owners who don?t understand why this works, or who haven?t learned the power of the squirt bottle ? remember ? your cat hates water. As a result, the squirt bottle is the best disciplinary tool ever invented for cats ? for just about any cat-discipline issue. You can get them from across the room if need-be, and it does them no harm ? they just hate being wet. It is easier than putting them in the sink ? and you run a far smaller risk of being scratched / bitten ? and you don?t have a drenched, pissed off, cat running around your house.

If you want to take it a step further, and REALLY take care of most cat?discipline problems put something in the squirt-bottle water that is edible, but has a strong smell. It is a good idea to use something that you do not find objectionable, but will never smell like yourself. I use peppermint extract ? while I like candy canes, I am not likely to smell like one very often. It is important that you use the same ingredient all the time. You do not have to use very much of it ? just enough to lightly flavor the water ? I use less than an eye dropper-full, a few drops, mixed with a full squirt bottle, and it is very effective. If you use a squirt bottle laced with ? whatever you have chosen ? for most of your cat-discipline your cat will QUICKLY learn to associate the misery of being wet, with the smell of whatever you have chosen to use in the water ? and they will have to deal with the miserable flavor as they lick it off too ? multiple modality learning if you will. The trick then, is to put a few drops of whatever you are using (peppermint extract in my case) wherever you want your cat to avoid. Cat meowing under the door ( I had one that did that too a few years ago)? A few drops of peppermint outside the door, near the jam, and she picked a different spot. Cat clawing the sofa? A few drops of peppermint extract on the area that is being clawed ? and she will pick something new (less repulsive) to claw. Cat in the Christmas tree? A few drops of peppermint extract around the tree and on a few lower branches cures the problem in a jiffy. It also ads a festive aroma ? for about a half hour. Your cat will smell it for much longer than you do.

Be firm, and you can go from being staff, to companion, in your cat?s eyes.

Posted: December 19th, 2005, 7:59 am
by Jessie
I only wish the squirt bottle worked on my cat like it does on yours, Steve. I tried the squirt bottle faithfully for a month and by the end of the month I swear my cat was purposely turning his head toward the spray and opening his mouth!!!


Posted: December 20th, 2005, 2:07 am
by Rev. Steve
You must have the rarely seen but frequently spoken of, AquaCat; the prince of cats, he who delivers the tuna, and sleeps where he will.

My condolences, that breed always has a big attitude and a chip on its shoulder to match. You will have to find some other way of annoying it.