Kitty Capers

I thought it was high time to write a little story about one of my fabulous felines. Some of you will recognize this story, but it may be new to others. Read on to find out more.
The room was plunged into complete darkness other than the street lamp outside which was tucked behind the curtain, eeking a small amount of light into the room. My husband and I were nearly asleep when we heard a strange sound like scrabbling claws on the wall. Was a cat actually bouncing off the walls? We always noted that they wanted to play when we wanted to fall asleep. I rolled onto my side and closed my eyes, ready for sleep to overtake me. I heard the sound again as light from the hallway flooded through the open door of the bedroom. A scrambling pitter-pat, then nothing. I sat up slowly, allowing my eyes to adjust to the sudden light. I stood, ambled to the doorway, and peered into the silent hall. I couldn’t find a single cat, not even one displaying the innocence of a toddler next to a puddle of spilt milk. Who had turned on the light? I knew it wasn’t my husband as he was still in bed and knew better than to interfere with my sleep.
It didn’t happen every night. It was, in fact, just as sporadic as other can behaviors because cats never want to be accused of being predictable. Whichever cat it was always waited until all the rooms were dark and I couldn’t figure out why a cat would want to turn on a light, particularly since they are considered nocturnal. Once again, cats don’t want us to presume anything about them, and this was just one of the many ways one of them was telling us this. Then one day, the cat either got sloppy or decided to reveal itself. Anyone who has ever owned a cat knows they always try to convince humans that they know exactly what they are doing. It was a cloudy day in late February and the light slipping through the windows was minimal at best. The darkness was already beginning to set in that afternoon as the days weren’t longer quite yet. I was on the phone with my mother, passing time until my husband returned from a meeting 1 ½ hours away. I heard the sound again: a light thud with scrabbling claws on painted drywall. It was coming from the hallway. I glanced to my left and from my position on the couch I saw the kitchen light come on as a small, light grey blur tore down the hall, hoping I hadn’t seen her. The sound of stampeding paws stopped as she got to the end of the hall, more than likely slipping under the bed.
Iris is a slip of a cat and barely weighed 6 pounds or so at the time of this incident. She was barely 9 months old and we had just gotten her the previous July. I had no idea she could even jump that high. I couldn’t believe she’d been the culprit the whole time. Mom was trying to figure out why I had suddenly burst into laughter in the middle of our conversation. In between giggles, I relayed what I had just seen. I’m not sure she believed it either, truth be told.
When I had Iris in for her annual checkup (she now weighs 8 pounds and still looks like a kitten), I told Dr. Kim about her little capers. She, too, thought it was humorous, not to mention unusual. She said most cats that turn on lights do so from a table or other horizontal surface, but what really challenged the vet’s knowledge of felines was this: Iris later figured out how to also turn the lights off. I would be working in the kitchen and suddenly be left in darkness with only those scrabbling claws as proof of Iris’s hand in it. But then, just seconds later, the lights would come back on and I would hear her stampeding down the hallway. Dr. Kim said she’d never heard of a cat jumping for the light switch, let alone one that could turn them on and off. Iris got so good at it she could hit the switch on the first try.
Now Iris jumps for them, but doesn’t switch them on or off as if to say, “I could still do it if I wanted to.” I don’t take my chances, though. I still work in the kitchen with the range hood light on just in case she ever decides to plunge me into darkness again. The threat still lingers each time we hear those scrabbling claws. As I mentioned earlier, cats don’t like to be predictable and I sometimes wonder if she is just waiting for the right moment, waiting for a time when I forget to turn on another light. But I’m not taking my chances.
Has something your pet does ever caught you off guard? Is there a hilarious story about your pet you would like to share? Please leave a comment below!



  1. Marsha, you are such a good writer. I really enjoy reading your stories. Have you ever thought about publishing any of them?
    I have a story to share about Furbie. I’m not sure if I ever told about this before. Furbie is always very interested when I change the trash. However, it is not the bag of trash she is interested in, but the empty bag I put in the trash can. After I put the bag of trash in the trash bin, she watches me walk to where we keep the trash bags. Even before I pull out the trash bag, she starts barking. She barks even louder when pull out the trash bag and start opening it. She continues to bark until I have put the new bag in the trash can. What a goofy dog! I think the reason she barks at me opening the trash bag is that when she was a puppy, she saw an empty trash bag blowing across the back yard, which drove her nuts. Really, Furbie barks at anything that is out of place or something that is not supposed to be there. When she was a puppy, she barked at a lawn mower sitting in the yard, which she had never seen before. She also barked at a grill sitting in the yard.
    Furbie also thinks she is bigger than she really is. She has been known to chase a deer and a woodchuck!
    What would we do without our pets? They amuse us with their antics, keep us company, and love us unconditionally.

    1. Shari,
      I am working on a memoir now that I hope will eventually be published. I may even try launching a freelance career at some point. Thanks for the compliments and for sharing your story about Furbie. She is a kooky little dog! Like you, I don’t know what I would do without pets. They are so entertaining and such great little companions. Thanks for reading my blog!

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