Our sofa is the central cat. Target has his giant batik pillow on one end, and Inkie and Tic Tac are sleeping on the arms. When we humans lie on it, cats are happy because then they sit on us and have their ears rubbed.
So when our old couch finally fell apart, our first concern was what kind of replacement the cats would like.
It had to be traditionally wide rather than fashionably narrow to accommodate Target’s cushion, and it better be a three-seater to fit us tall humans with cats on top.
More importantly, we’ve spent the last few years fishing for ping pong balls and other toys from below. Therefore, we decided to opt for a sofa with a minimum free space of 10 cm, allowing the cats to collect their belongings.
Finally, with Target being ginger, Tic Tac white, and Inkie black, we debated colors.
I’ve always dreamed of a leather sofa, one of those huge monstrous things that envelop you when you sit on it. Additionally, you can simply brush the fur and fluff it.
But as Tom pointed out, Inkie has a habit of quickly sneaking into a claw before dinner. He knows it’s not proper, he has two scratching posts from floor to ceiling, but he does it anyway.
It wasn’t easy, but just like parents give up their cactus collection when toddlers start walking, I sacrificed my dream of a leather couch.
While browsing furniture online, my inner clown was briefly tempted by harlequin patterns. There is something very appealing about garish clashes of purple, pink, emerald and blue diamonds.
However, after a thoughtful pause and the horrified gasps of my exasperated other half, the taste prevailed. A stone gray is reasonable and Target’s batik highlights it.
Luckily, we have a great family furniture store nearby. I texted them, and they said they had the perfect model in mind, so we rushed to see.
It was perfect. They also had a lovely second couch, but the space below was too tight for Target, Tic Tac, and Inkie to easily slide under. Their salesman, Mr. Roni, blinked when we told him it wouldn’t suit our cats, but he took it pretty well.
A week later, the cats stood on the stairs, their tails twisted in horror as the movers took away their precious couch. Seeing the new brought, they watched with interest as the legs screwed together.
When the intruders left, all three came back down.
The target strutted and snorted. Tic Tac was bravely at his shoulder, curiosity winning over nervousness.
As the two cats inspected it, I rolled a tricky ping pong ball under it. Tic Tac stared, stretched out his paw, then his little blue eyes lit up. She picked it up, kicked it, then, with a cry of joy, dove under it. Inkie was with her a moment later.
By the time I installed Target’s cushion on one end, the cats had claimed the new sofa as their own. We bipeds were filled with pride, convinced we had done a good job, but within days our flaws were clear.
First, Target decided that the two sleek buttons on the back cushions were a personal affront. Attacking them with his teeth, he was determined to remove them.
Fortunately, our boy is very affectionate. I had a word with him, gently putting a hand between his fangs and the offending buttons, and after two or three times he agreed not to chew them. He still looks at them from time to time, but a soft no is enough.
Inkie is less biddable. Our tuxedo boy has increased his casual claws and started a new game. Lying flat on the marble, he hooked a claw into the cotton and quickly pulled himself up to the ground.
I had a word with him, pointing out that tearing up furniture is uncivilized. Immense yellow eyes of joy and the sonorous and hoarse purr of triumph, I was not going very far.
Instead of stopping, Inkie dove below into the darkness of the cat pit. Lying flat on his back, all four legs in the air, he positioned himself carefully. Then, the purring quickening, he mewed loudly to signal that the claws were in before clawing quickly along the couch.
As he emerged from the bottom, I tried to scold him but I didn’t have that in me. By the wild eyes, flat ears and superior purr, Inkie was having fun like never before. It was just too sweet for words, and I ended up laughing and patting her ears as I halfheartedly told her.
Seeing his brother’s antics, Tic Tac decided to play too. It took her a few days to figure out how to scratch fast, but she’s a dedicated girl determined to succeed.
So now we have dual runs where Inkie dominates the dark inside lane and Tic Tac shoots his cute tail on the outside lane. Target sits above, towering over them both from his batik throne.
I’m a massive failure at discipline, but I’ve come up with a cunning plan. To save our couch, I distract our cats by teaching them newspaper games.
I build newspaper tents above Inkie, encouraging her to come out from below, ripping and clawing the leaves into confetti.
Fortunately, it is a success. Inkie takes advantage, bounding with shredded paper in his jaws like a wild panther, and Tic Tac joins in with excited squeals.
It won’t end couch races, but it will help. The main thing is that we all have a lot of fun.
Sandy is a big kitten, barely a year old, neutered, sterilized, vaccinated and in good health.
This sweet and kind girl is calm and likes to relax somewhere high. But she comes to cuddle visitors when they approach her.
Sandy started life on the streets as a wanderer. She was part of a TNR program in a local residential area. Due to some complaints from local residents, she was handed over to PAWS. Interested adopters please ask Sandy, Tag No.: C181 (2022.10.20).
She is at PAWS Animal Welfare Society, Lot 93316 – 93317, Jalan PJU 1A/20, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor (mobile: +6011-2193 5651/ GPS: LNG 101.570268, LAT 3.123971).