This is Bella.
In many ways, she’s a wonderful cat and a loyal, albeit sometimes aloof, companion. She’s been with me for nearly five years and I love her to bits.
Although mischievous, as most cats are, her behaviour has never caused me much difficulty or frustration.
Until this past week. After years of ignoring my audio equipment, Bella suddenly decided that my amplifier would make for an excellent perch and a comfortable lounging spot.
It’s understandable, I suppose. After all, the amp, left on all the time, gets warm and the temperature is starting to drop a little more each day here in Toronto. It’s also placed on top of a 2×2 Ikea Expedit storage unit that is short enough for her to jump on to.
We first spotted her sitting on it last Wednesday. We chased her off and gave her a squirt with the spray bottle kept on hand for feline discipline, hoping she would learn the lesson. Unfazed, she has now made it her mission to jump up on the amp whenever we’re not home or not in the room.
Trying to curb this new habit has left me exasperated. We’ve squirted her with water, locked her in the bedroom with us when we go to bed, scolded her, withheld love and affection…none of it works. Mostly I just feel guilty for drenching her with water after she looks at me with startled, innocent eyes.
The easiest solution, I think, would be to get a proper audio rack. It would be taller and all of the components (apart from the turntable on top) would be inaccessible to Bella because of the shelves above.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any room for one. Theoretically I could place a rack between my speakers, as many people do. But one of my compromises with the lady of the house when we moved in to this apartment and I set up the listening room was to ensure she could have her rocking chair in the bay window that is behind the half-way point between the speakers. So, until we move to a larger place, I’m stuck with imperfect solutions.
One such solution was cooked up by Sue. We discussed using some sort of barrier(s) to keep Bella from jumping up.
I noted my concern about using anything that could be knocked over and scratch/damage either my turntable, speakers, or the amp itself (the turntable is on the storage unit next to the amp and one speaker is adjacent to the storage unit the amp sits on).
So, Sue took some heavy duty paper she uses for arts and crafts, rolled up a few pieces of varying size, and taped the edges to make them into tubes. We then stacked them in front of and top of the amp, turntable, and storage units.
It’s an inelegant solution but an effective one. First, it has kept Bella off the amp. Second, it’s easy to gather up the paper cylinders and put them aside when I actually want to listen to records. Third, they are so light that I have no cause for concern with them stationed on or near any of my equipment. Even if Bella were to try to jump up and knock one down, the paper would do no harm to anything.
A small victory in the constant struggle with feline mischief.