The Bad Cat List

It needs a new entry or four. Things like “The trackball mouse is not a kitty toy. I will not knock it off Dad’s desk so the ball pops out and rolls around making a neat noise so I can chase it.” That one has cost the Husband a replacement trackball mouse because we couldn’t find where they’d managed to put the blasted ball.

As a corollary, “Mom’s wireless mouse is not a kitty toy. I will not knock it off Mom’s desk so I can take the back off and get the batteries out and roll them around the floor.” I’m currently waiting on delivery of the replacement, since I managed to find everything except the little plastic bit that keeps the batteries in place (and most of the dust out).

For that matter, “I will not chew the cord of Mom’s/Dad’s headphones. Broken headphones are Bad and Mom and Dad will growl at me.”

And “I will not step on the power key of Mom’s laptop. She growls at me.”

And “I will not play with the keys of Mom’s laptop. When I pull them loose it’s a real pain for Mom to put everything back together and she’ll growl at me all day.” Seriously. Dell laptop keys are a right bastard to put back together. I needed to find videos that showed the general process plus several almost-there how-to pages – not to mention the teeny plastic bits that were almost impossible to see properly and had to be seated just right.

The end result was me getting a laptop stand and using a different keyboard just to stop the damage from when Westley (he’s the biggest offender) flopped on it and performed a hard shutdown or caught some completely bizarre control key combination, or highlighted all of the several thousand emails in my inbox then opened them all (that does one heck of a job of eating all the memory in a machine).

There’s also “I will not chew cables. I don’t know which ones are live and will give me a shocking experience if I chew through them.”

And “Mom hides the ribbon because she doesn’t want me to play with it. I will not climb the shelves and knock everything off until I find it. I will not untie it and drag it all over the house.”

And, of course, the ever popular (or unpopular) “I will not puke on the electronics.”

For those interested, the full compiled list (I found the site again after a lot of searching) is at BadKitty.pdf ( – it’s gotten so big they don’t even keep it as a web page. It’s a 145 page PDF file, most of it similar tales of kitty misdeeds.

Oh, and the featured image shows one of the reasons why I got the laptop stand and the separate keyboard. Westley is “helping”. Again.

17 thoughts on “The Bad Cat List

  1. Too bad ESR’s “Moggyguard” doesn’t work on laptops.

    One good side to the, ah, series of events that led to a bedroom being turned into an office, was that without the bed to use as a launch platform, Athena T. Cat could no longer be bothered to get on my work desk.

    1. Ours are still young enough to have no issues leaping from floor to desk. Not that they won’t use anything else that comes to paw as a launch platform, but they don’t actually need it.

      Mind you, it is rather cute watching the butt wiggle as they gauge the jump.

  2. When I had house cats (and I’ve had a dozen or so), I had a different solution: they were trained to stay the heck off my stuff, and leave my things alone. It’s amazing what a little sharp discouragement can accomplish, provided you’re immediate, consistent, and it’s stronger than what the cat is willing to test.

    Funny story… long ago we had a toy poodle, who was very clean, and a tomcat, who shed dirt like Pigpen. Therefore poodle was allowed in the living room, and tomcat was not. So he’d wait until the poodle was in there, then guard the carpet line (that he wasn’t allowed to cross) and not let her out… he wasn’t mean, he’d just block her, and he was twice her size. So she’d trot over to the other doorway and he’d dash down the hall to beat her to it. Then back to the first doorway. This would go on for hours, or until someone rescued the poodle. But the tomcat never, ever went into the living room.

    1. It’s stopping them when you’re not around that’s the issue. That or hiding anything that they’ll get into – I’ve found cats that will behave themselves when the humans are around to see, but as soon as they’re not…

      (We won’t even mention the dog who wasn’t allowed upstairs but would be “tiptoeing” upstairs as soon as my parents left for work…)

      1. For keeping cats off places you don’t want them to go, a strip of tape laid sticky side up makes an effective deterrent. Cats HATE tape. Two or three run-ins with the evil stuff usually convinces them they really don’t want to go there.

        I used about a foot of 2″ clear packing tape, because I’ve got a couple of rolls. Haven’t had to lay any out in years.

    1. My curtains sympathize. I currently have them pulled high enough up that the cats aren’t tempted to leap up and dangle from them. This means I get sunlight in my eyes late in the afternoon, but it’s still better than having feline acrobatics destroying the curtains.

  3. Ours is trying to train me to give her my undivided attention while petting her.
    Looking away for any significant amount of time is evidently *not* the proper degree of adulation.
    So she nips.
    I don’t take the correction well.
    So she spends weeks sucking up, until my guard is down.
    Then she attempts to restart the training.
    Flipping felines.

    1. This I believe. They are a lot smarter than a lot of people think.

      I know damn well that Westley has figured out that knocking the Husband’s mouse to the floor with enough force means he can knock the trackball loose and play with a rolling ball toy. We named him well. He is indeed the Dread Kitty Westley.

    1. If I did that I’d need to include the very strong recommendation that they only use machines they can flush and rebuild afterwards. Feline fuzz testing is so much more destructive than the regular kind.

  4. For me, no cats, no dogs, no pets more lively than rocks. They aren’t worth the trouble and expense, especially when I can barely take care of myself.

    1. I don’t blame you! I love the little imps, but they can be a lot of effort.

      Of course, with my luck a pet rock would prove to have hidden destructive tendencies anyway.

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