I try not to let “things” control my life. I want to live simply, staying as healthy as possible, laughing lots and experiencing all the joy the world has to offer. I don’t need a Gucci watch or a Northland 72″ side-by-side custom refrigerator to be happy. Having said that, I also don’t want to live in a cardboard box. (And I wouldn’t turn down that refrigerator if someone just left it on my doorstep.)
Sometimes, I want nice things – nice pieces of furniture, and nice articles of clothing. Besides, nice things – or things that are made well – generally last longer than not-nice, cheap things. Can you say that stupid IKEA desk and those even stupider IKEA lamps?
Anyway, I’ve been doing a little shopping lately. We have a basement that is sitting pretty much empty, and we needed a new couch at least, and some chairs, and an end table or two, and possibly a coffee table, and there was this pair of jeans that I saw…
OK, OK, so one of the items that I bought was this beautiful coffee table/trunk. Now, here’s the issue. Because of the cats, we can’t have stuff that’s made of fabric. The cats destroy things like that faster than my kids make a mess of the kitchen when they are having a snack.
My husband says we could get rid of the cats. He says that somebody would pay a good dollar for three of them. He says the fourth, we’d have to actually pay someone to take, and they still probably wouldn’t. Jackson is just that strange. My husband is kidding – sort of. I gave him a hard shot in the arm after he said what he said.
No, any new furniture coming into our house can only be made out of leather, wood, or concrete. Yes, concrete. I’m not joking about that. As indestructible as possible would be ideal. It might not be comfortable, but it would definitely be a money-saver. My kids and/or my cats can wreck almost anything without even trying.
So yeah, I bought this coffee table/trunk type deal. It’s custom made, leather, and expensive – REALLY expensive. I wanted it to be something we’d have in the family forever, you know, to pass down to my children and my children’s children. It’s also a heavy motherfucker. And when I say heavy, I mean three hundred pounds of “the two of us could barely carry it down the hall and it almost crushed my foot” heavy.
Break in the story here just to say that what happened next is the perfect example of how things operate in my house.
The coffee table/trunk heavy son-of-a-bitch arrived the other day. My husband and I unpackaged it. We then struggled to get it inside and to put it into place. We’d just set it down – literally JUST set it down – and we’d turned our backs to clean up the mess of styrofoam bits and pieces of cardboard that had followed us down the hall, when Lionel (our one cat) came over, sniffed it once, and then dug his claws right into the top, leaving a few gashes in the smooth chocolate brown leather.
I’m still angry. I can’t even talk about it. Sure, I can write about it here on my blog, but don’t ask me to speak the words “my cat defaced my new coffee table/trunk two seconds after we brought it in the house” out in the open, or I just might cry. I feel like I’ve been abused or violated somehow, and by my best cat friend no less.
Ahhh, but he looks so cute…
And even though Lionel was sitting on my lap moments after it happened, and I was patting him and talking to him in that silly baby cat voice that my husband hates so much, not everybody in the house was calm. My husband “roiled” – I don’t know if that’s even a word, but it’s the best I could come up with to describe how he reacted – his way down to his office where he then sat plotting. Don’t worry, I’ve calmed him down since then. No one is going to the vet to have their claws removed. I’d never let him do that. He’d have to move out first.
I am however, off to the craft store to buy some pieces of poster board, and lots and lots and LOTS of double-sided tape. You know, to put on top of the coffee table so that if the cats jump on it, their paws get stuck and they immediately jump off. If you wanted to teach your cats to stay off your brand new leather, expensive, coffee table/trunk, what would you do?
Any suggestions are welcome.
P. S. The water squirt gun is on stand by.
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