The impenetrable cereal box fortress

I care about my cats quite a bit. They are indoor cats, they eat overpriced grain-free cat food, they are theoretically calmed by an expensive electrical diffuser that imitates kitty pheromones, and yadda yadda yadda.

When we moved into our new house, with its multiple direct-outdoor-access doors, I dug out these collars that I’d frivolously bought them a couple of years ago when we lived in New York. Designer collars from this cute pet shop in the West Village, complete with custom tags engraved with their names and my phone number.  Collars that were completely unnecessary, at the time, for a pair of apartment-dwelling felines. Collars that ended up in a box under the sink, because the clink-clanking of the bells and tags was obnoxious in our tiny apartment.

But now? Even though I would never intentionally let them outside, it eases my mind to have them carry identification. Just in case, you know. Especially since we’ve had countless contractors in and out of the house lately.

This weekend, there was a weird and scary moment where my husband and I both realized that we hadn’t seen either of the cats all day.

“Did you feed them this morning?” I asked.

“No, I thought you did,” he replied.

And we both looked down at a pair of empty, crusty food bowls. A situation that would have, under normal circumstances, inspired a feline uprising.

“Shit,” I said, and we each headed to opposite ends of the house in search. As I bounded up the stairs, worst-case scenarios swam through my mind: a roofer had left a door open, a curious kitty had wandered outside and into the adjoining yard of our neighbor – the owner of an ill-trained Rottweiler who growls menacingly at me every time I leave the house….

I heard my husband’s laugh before I heard him call to me that he’d found them.

So: our bedroom is currently kind of a mess. Truthfully, we’re 31 years old and have never owned an actual bed; so I ordered a simple metal model from CB2 a couple of weeks ago. It was attractive and reasonably priced, but apparently the downside is that it’s a bitch to assemble. So this half-functional bed frame, along with the enormous box that it came in, currently presides over our bedroom.

On top of it, in it, on it, around it…it appears that this box is the best thing that has ever happened to our cats.

It’s kind of hilarious. Although our two kitties have always gotten along, they have never exhibited BFF behavior…until now. I’ll peel up the corner of the box top and see both of them sitting in there…almost conspiratorially. I immediately feel as if I’ve interrupted an important meeting, and leave them to their conferences, gently replacing the box’s lid so as not to scare either one in to thinking they’re in trouble.

So the inevitable question becomes: what am I going to do when we finally figure out how to put the bed together? And then it’s time to get rid of these boxes? It will break their furry little hearts.

Of course, there’s no reason to feel sorry for an animal living in this household. Our cats are as doted upon as a cat can be. But it still makes me shake my head when I think of the money I’ve spent on pheromone diffusers and catnip toys and all sorts of other implements to keep them calm and happy during this transition….

Really, all they needed was a big ass box.

In other news, I ran 8 miles this morning. That is as far as I’ve gone since the Gansett Marathon, which was over a month ago. It was slow for me (around 9:00 pace), but I felt okay. I think my legs are still recovering from last Thursday’s hard weight session. They felt heavy and sluggish. Meh.

Bed time for me…I’ll be back tomorrow with a weigh in and weekly workout recap, among other things. Hope y’all had a good weekend!

11 responses to “The impenetrable cereal box fortress

  1. Awwww. I want a cat so badly. my roommate says she is allergic. :/ So I guess it will have to wait and I will have to enjoy our cats at home when I visit.

  2. That is so freakin’ cute.

  3. We too keep our cat inside only. I worked as a vet tech for a long time and saw too many horrors of cats who met an ill fate while going outside. We have a running joke in our house when we haven’t seen the cat in awhile (OMGHEMUSTHAVEGOTTENOUTPANICPANIC) – but he doesn’t even try to dart out these days. And cats and boxes is like cats and catnip. Random and hilarious

  4. They’re just like children- often enjoying the box more than anything else. My friend Mon’s cat fell in love with her moving boxes so much. Now, she’s not moving, but still kept two of the boxes solely for their enjoyment.

  5. Too cute! I have a box in my living room that I haven’t been able to get rid of because my cat loves it. And isn’t that how it always is? Spend tons of money on fancy toys and they’ll always beeline for the box and wrappings. Which, as I learned recently, includes burrowing into a giant empty toilet paper bag I left out as a reminder for myself, dragging her toys in with her.

  6. Ha! I could have written this. I spend way too much $$ on my two kitties, and, if I had to choose, would save them before saving a human.

  7. Remember this incident if you ever decide to have kids. They love boxes, too. Maybe even more than iPads.

  8. Happy cats = a happy household. :-) Don’t worry, when the box is gone I’m sure they’ll find some other unexplored crevice or play area in the house to enjoy.

    8 miles is way further than I’ve run since my 1/2 a few weeks ago. Ug. Time to get back to it!

  9. My guess: They will climb into any other available box they ever see. Doesn’t matter how big the box (though obviously the bigger the better) (#twss); now that they’ve discovered the miracle of box-cuddling, things will never be the same.

    And if there are no boxes, the laundry basket is probably next. Best if it has clean and recently de-furred laundry in it. Case in point: My cats, right now.

  10. Hello! I am a longtime lurker of your blog. I see that you have moved to Atlanta, which is awesome; I live in Athens. Anyway, have you had any Terrapin beers yet? If not…find some. Welcome to GA!

  11. I used to think the cat in a box thing was cute until I started running a business out of my house. One of my cats is CONVINCED I have started this business for his sole enjoyment, and every box that comes in or goes out must have him in it at least once. I swear it would be easier to have triplet 3 year olds running around while I work than it is to have this one freaking cat. With my luck I will end up getting sued by a customer with extreme cat allergies, since god knows there isn’t a box leaving this house without at least one cat hair in it. With all that said, I’m obsessed with him and probably will have to put both of us in therapy to deal with separation anxiety in the event I have to go back to working a “real” job.