The cats versus the vacuum cleaner

food versus fear

Because Midnight, the black cat, is so food-obsessive, I’ve mused on how to slow him down. If I’m going downstairs, whether to feed him or not, he’ll barrel down the stairs. It’s why I hold on to the railing, lest he knock me over.

And when I’m actually in the process of feeding him, he, more than Stormy the gray cat, seems to be constantly underfoot, no matter in which direction I walk.

I tried an experiment involving the vacuum cleaner. Both Midnight and Stormy are afraid of it. When Midnight starts chewing on the window shades or clawing the furniture or climbing onto the dining room table, I wheel it toward him, and he generally retreats. And usually, I don’t even have to turn it on. Stormy hisses at it; it is not afraid.

I placed the vacuum in the kitchen so that they couldn’t enter the room without passing the appliance, and turned it on. Perhaps I could prepare their meal without distraction. But no such luck.

Apparently, Midnight’s need for sustenance is greater than his fear of the machinery, for he galloped past the red menace. He only gallops when hungry, and he’s been in the basement, attic, or other room, and it’s near or past mealtime.

The intruder

Often, Midnight and Stormy are at odds. But they recognized another enemy. Something clearly was on the front porch. , though I didn’t know what. Midnight was peering around the window treatment, Stormy was scratching at the window.

A couple of summers ago, my wife bought new chairs for our front porch. The first year, they were still like new. But lately, we noticed some hair on one of them recently. Sure enough, I saw a gray cat, a lighter shade than Stormy, resting on the chair on the porch. It left when Stormy repeatedly banged her head against the window, driving the intruder away. They acted in harmony when an external threat was on the horizon.

The black cat next door, who sometimes hangs out on our porch, they are not fans of either. But the gray cat SITTING on our furniture was just too much for them to bear.

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