We have a sort of New Year resolution…for the cats. They are no longer allowed to get on the counters. They weren’t supposed to be on the counters before, but we were (I was) a little lax about it.
Eric heard someone say that they used mousetraps positioned underneath newspapers strewn on their counters. When the cats jump up, the traps spring and snap! and deter the cats from getting on the counters again. I thought it sounded dangerous and scary and inhumane, but Eric bought the traps to try it out.
He did tests, first, with his own fingers. Human trials, if you will 😉 He found the right thickness of newspaper (two sheets is too heavy and will spring the traps early) and the correct placement for the traps (in the middle, not at the edge! If the paper is moved, by errant wind or a frisky kitty, it could snap on their paws!). And so the traps were set…
It’s been about two weeks since we started this experiment. The hope was that the cats would jump up onto the counters once or twice, get scared by the sound and movement of the springing traps and never get on the counters again. This hasn’t happened.
At first, the cats were startled by the springing traps. They would pause and look, carefully, for a way back down. So, we’d hear snap, pause, thump-thump. Then, they started avoiding the papered areas: the stove, the ledge in front of the sink, to get into our leftover dinner or drink the good water from a dish in the sink (weirdos). So, we had to trap and paper the sink ledge, too. We decided against papering the stove!
Mainly, this endeavor has deterred the cats very little or not at all and caused Eric and I irritation and elevated heart rates. Like when I set out a bowl for cereal a liiiiitle too close to a trap, SNAP! “Aaaaughggh!” Or when I lean so carefully over the sink to rinse my dish and I brush the paper just slightly and SNAP! “Aaayiyi!”, and the newspaper with trap attached falls to the floor and I kick it farther for good measure and leave it there as I let my pulse regulate.
I think this trial will last one more week, at most. Then, I don’t know what we’ll try. But, it will officially drive me crazy if the traps are there any longer. It would be nice to have a place to make a sandwich again. Plus, my birthday’s coming up and I don’t want to have to explain it all to my party guests 😛