Gracey’s Place of Refuge

All cats need a refuge within their home from time to time. This is especially true when you will be hosting a party, expecting a group of visitors, during loud celebrations such as the 4th of July fireworks, and  during thunderstorms.

This area of the home should be in a quiet area where your cat  feels safe and protected.  New people in the house can be stressful to your cat.  Do you have a strategy in place to keep your cat comfortable when visitors stop by your home? This is how we provide Gracey’s refuge.

We prepare our Gracey for visitors by sticking to the master plan. When visitors arrive, some may be lacking the feline fervor gene, so we tuck our little girl safely inside our master bedroom.  This works best for Gracey, for us, and for our visitors.  We don’t have to worry about her being stepped on, frightened, or worse yet getting ticked off and scratching or biting someone. After all, think of the germs that she would be exposed to if she were to run amok among our guests!

To make Gracey’s bedroom sabbatical more enjoyable, we complete the following tasks.

We set up her food and electric water fountain in our master bedroom. Yes, electric water fountain.  Cat’s like fresh running water and that is the method of drinking for which she has grown accustomed.  I am used to the eye rolling and the occasional quick glances of pity by cat-less friends as they assess Gracey’s standard of living.  I have even overheard the occasional; well they don’t have children comment by dear friends as they make excuses for what they consider our cat’s indulgent lifestyle. It’s all good, we don’t expect them to understand and we don’t feel the need to explain.

Next we set up her litter pan in the master bathroom.  This is good for both visitor and the cat.  The visitor does not have to view or smell the box and the cat’s privacy is not invaded.

We then take her bed, where she takes afternoon naps, into the bedroom along with almost all of her toys, but especially “cocktail weenie” and a colorful array of toy mice.

We relocate her orca shaped scratching post, spread out our pajamas on the bed, turn on the television with the volume low, kiss her on the top of the head, and close the door leaving her in the serenity of familiar surroundings.

We are then free to enjoy our guests, and our not so fond of the feline friends are free to roam about the house without worrying about violating any cat house rules.

When I think about our plan of action to keep Gracey safe, I am reminded of a story told to me by a colleague upon his return from a family reunion in a small Mississippi town. This particular August week-end he said the humidity was as high as the temperature.   When they arrived at his grandmother’s house, they noticed two things; no air conditioning and that all the furniture except for one chair had those thick plastic slipcovers with the diamond pattern to protect the upholstery.  Maurice said he regretted wearing shorts wincing at the thought of prying his sweaty legs off those plastic covers. He made a bee-line to the uncovered chair, but there was one problem. Grandma’s big cat James was taking a nap in the uncovered chair.  As Maurice attempted to shoo the cat, Grandma piped up “The cat’s at home.  You’s just visitin’ Take a seat on the davenport, son.”

I think we can all take heed to Grandma’s words.  When we are visiting other people’s homes, we need to respect all the living beings that reside there. We should not expect to inconvenience or displace any member of the household.  As hosts, it is our duty to protect our loved ones, as well as entertain our guests.  With your own master plan, you can look forward to peace and harmony during future visits from either feline friend or foe.

Photo by Patty Wycinski