Saturday, 27 October 2012

The sofa wars



Life used to be so peaceful.

The cat had his sofa:


And the dog had his:


Which he sometimes deigned to share with me: 



But the sofas were a horrible colour and had become scruffy and uncomfortable enough for me to consider replacing them.

I’ve always made do with garden furniture or cheap sofa beds in the past, which wore out really quickly, so this time I decided to buy myself some really nice sofas.  Not fabric, since that only seems to encourage the cat to sharpen his claws indoors, but leather, and sprung.  Chesterfields in fact, though not the kind with buttons since life is too short to spend time cleaning a hundred belly buttons on the furniture.

I did worry that the cat might still scratch, but my concern was needless.  He hates his new sofa, won’t go near it.  This is good news for guests, who will no longer leave my house with a behind covered in cat fur.  It has not been such good news for the dog though.

It’s been a bit like Goldilocks trying the three bears’ porridge.  At first, the cat couldn’t settle.  He sat on the loudspeakers, on the corner cabinet, on the table, in the wood basket, on the floor, in the bookshelves among the books, on the stairs and on the windowsill.

Then he tried sleeping on the dog’s sofa.  This had never happened before, and the dog was bewildered.  He knows he’s not allowed on the cat’s sofa, and he’s rightly scared of the cat so couldn’t oust him.  He had no alternative than to sit in his bed on the floor like a second class citizen, casting me pitiful glances.

But the cat didn’t like the dog’s sofa any more than his own, so then he tried sitting in the dog’s bed.  Now, the dog likes sitting with me on the sofa, but he also likes his bed – it is his after all.   So I had to buy another bed, so that they could have one each.  At the moment, the cat can’t make up his mind which one he prefers, so tries to occupy them both.  And things have escalated.  The cat has realised that he has found a fool-proof way to make the dog miserable.  When I came into my office this morning, he was occupying the dog’s bed there, too.

How complicated new furniture can be.

15 comments:

  1. I used to have a dog that would enter the room, turf every other dog in turn from its pitch before deciding which one he would like.

    Now the whole pack and boiling of them want to sleep in the box of old cloths for cleaning which I dumped on the balcony with the exception of the alsatian who is trying to push my husband off his day bed.

    Great incentive to get the kitchen finished so that the dogs can return to their normal lairs.

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    1. When I got the whippet, I also got a book on dog training (seeing as I had failed so spectacularly with my previous dog). One of the odder pieces of advice was to periodically sit in your dog's basket, to show him who is boss. I've never actually done this, but the dog you mention had obviously read the same book, and I supect my cat's been peeking at it, too. Not that my dog needs convincing that the cat is boss, mind you. If you click on the last picture, you'll see a bigger version, and you'll be able to see the scar on the side of his muzzle inflicted early on in his puppy days by the cat in order to clarify just who was going to be in charge around here.

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  2. That cat could get away with anything in my house. I love the oh-so-typical poses of cat and dog!

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    1. That cat does get away with anything - bullying other animals, shitting in the kitchen sink, vomiting under the sofas (hah! My new sofas are to low for him to crawl under!)...also sitting beside my computer while I'm working, always running to the door to welcome me home, and delighted to see me every morning...

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  3. Cats are clever minxes. Dogs can be clever, but, oh-so-dumb.

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    1. What my dog doesn't have an ounce of in his body is spite or cunning. The cat makes up for his lack.

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  4. ROFL! We have only ever had cats, but even they can be fiercely and unpredictably territorial. :-) Hope the turf wars are settled soon.

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    1. Me too! When I was a child, my mother always used to lament the fact that me and my elder brother didn't get on well together (we do now). Since I got the whippet (and have therefore watched the cat's campaign to oust him from the house), I've started to sympathise with her position.

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  5. We got some new leather sofas a few years ago and the cat does not like them at all.She much prefers fabric or, at the least, curling up on the blanket on the sofa.

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    1. Good to see you back! It's funny about the leather sofas, isn't it? I totally didn't expect it. He does have a blanket on the sofa, but even with that, he's not interested.

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  6. I think I have sat in our dog's bed, and it's good advice... like taking away his food before giving it back to him, or making him go into the house last, but your post made me laugh!

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    1. Unlike my previous border collie, who used to push me out of the way as she barged into the house, the whippet has always been a gentleman and stands back to let me in first.

      Now I come to think of it, though, that's probably self-protection rather then good manners, because the cat's usually just inside the door waiting for us and he's decidedly unwelcoming if the dog gets in first...The cat has also taught him not to be possessive about his food: the dog has to sit back and wait if the cat decides he'd like first option, on pain of a claw stuck in his nose. And now the bed business...the cat's doing a better job of training the dog according to the books than me!

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  7. Hello Pueblo Girl, I found you on Perpetua's page and thought I'd pay you a visit. Like what I've seen here. Axxx

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  8. We just have two cats and the furniture situation is already hopelessly complicated. I can only imagine if we had a dog.

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    1. I published this in October of last year...things still haven't settled down...

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