The Responsibilities of Being Owned by Cats

By Jo Singer

Cat sleeping on steps

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

In my opinion being chosen by cats to be of service to them is a great honor. Since not everyone meets the stringent requirements necessary to obtain this lofty position, we who are happily employed by kitties are indeed fortunate. No matter when our tasks at times become arduous, we must always remember to focus on the benefits we derive that far outweigh the drudgery that is included in our job description. After all we were blessed the moment we were hired by our remarkable felines, and put on the payroll as their loyal and devoted kitty staff that our cats considered us to be.

While among my friends it’s common knowledge that I love my job; and many folks will agree that I do it well -however I must confess that there are times when I get so exasperated with petty things, that I have been known to throw my hands up into the air in sheer exasperation.

For example: With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, those celebrating are getting ready to party hearty. And since we are expecting a few close friends to come over to the house to help us ring in 2014; in preparation for the festivities I thought it would be wise to do a little “winter cleaning” to ensure our place was spiffy enough for company.

But the other day I had a total melt-down when I ran across the huge mounds of light-colored cat hair that was seemingly “growing” out of our dark brown sofa. My poor head was aching just thinking of ways that I could begin getting rid of the mess. It was indeed fortunate that Bonny, my dear housekeeper, friend and kitty-sitter was there helping me to get our home in shape.

Bonny’s first strategy was pulling out her special vacuum cleaner attachment designed to clean fabric. Naturally upon hearing its sounds the cats scattered in all directions leaving us with even more of an abundance of freshly shed cat hair with which to contend. While this final blow left Bonny chuckling- it left me dissolving into tears of frustration. However, the attachment seemed to be working its wonders until Bonny turned it off. But when I checked it out, much to my dismay the sofa was once again covered in cat hair.

Changing our battle plans- I ran into the bedroom and grabbed my husband Marty’s lint and hair removing tool, and started running it over the sofa; peeling the cat hair filled strands of the sticky paper off as quickly as possible. But after several attempts to get that furniture clean, it started to dawn on me that more hair was growing on the recalcitrant sofa.

Since nothing we tried so far was working, as a last-ditch effort we started rolling moistened paper towels all over the sofa; assuming that it would do the job to magnetically grab up the fractious fur; but to no avail. We finally had to surrender and bow to the fact that our dark brown corduroy-textured sofa attracts cat hair like moths to a flame.

But this experience taught me a lesson which will help make me a far better and more compassionate kitty servant. To preserve my sanity and make my job easier, my Mew Year’s resolution is to never purchase furniture (or for that matter carpeting) that doesn’t match our cats’ colored fur. I will forever be spared the sight of a cat-hair growing sofa ever again.

What are some of your “pet” peeves in being a kitty servant? Share them in a comment.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

52 thoughts on “The Responsibilities of Being Owned by Cats”

      1. Sorry, I took that too literally. I think it is way past my bedtime. It is difficult to commit to sleep at times. 🙂 Goodnight.

    1. LOL–You said it! You know, I might just embroider that on a linen pillow for my couch, “Cat hair, the gift that keeps on giving.” Thanks! 🙂

  1. The Furminator works well on my upholstery to collect as much as possible. And yes, start by furminating the cats! Now, what to do with all of that wonderful personal fluffy stuff? here’s something very important that I didnot know, you can make neat little crafts from collected cat hair. Just find a safe place in your livingroom, bedroom, wherever to stash it, b/c it does take a while to accumulate enough, I think. I googled “uses for cat hair” and came up with some interesting sites and ideas. My favorite: beads for necklaces and bracelets. Here is just one of many websites and a book by Ms Kaori Tsutaya:

    1. Neat idea, using cat hair. I’ll have to write a page on it. Thanks Caroline. I didn’t know that the Furminator was good as collecting cat fur from upholstery.

      1. Really? I love that idea, Michael!
        Yep. My housemate came home one day w/a Furminator(sp?) and the cats went bonkers. Eventually I discovered, in frantic-mode, that it works great for cleaning fabric. lol

        1. Ar last count, we had six cat brushes, all different, one for each room, incl. the bath. But, being female with long hair, I still use my hairbrush. They seem to not mind. 🙂

        2. Caroline!

          Thank you for that great idea. I am going to give it a go.

          Our kitties love the Furminator- and sit patiently, purring all the time when being groomed. I finish off the session rubbing the kitties down with a chamois cloth- what a lovely shine they get with a coat that is incredibly silky.

  2. Oh… I must add one piece of advice that when and if we move from Florida back up North- in our new house there will be NO carpeting- only fake wood floors and area rugs OR dark carpeting- sort of the color of cat puke…

    Never invest in light colored anythings- even white cats puke dark colors.. LOL..

    Sorry for being so… um… graphic.. but just got finished cleaning kitty puke in several places around the house with a Shamwow- a hugely important kitty cleaning tool. it is what divers in the Olympics use to pat themselves dry..

  3. Not gullible just another servant of the cat. We who like and love cats and animals will always be soft-hearted towards cats. A cat never abuses that soft-heart. They just take what they can get and if they can’t get it, it’s no big deal.

  4. My answer to cat hair is duct tape. I keep a roll in my car and before I head to work I tear off a strip and go over my black uniform pants just to be sure the hair is gone.

    Laura uses the Furrminator on the red cushion on the bar. It gets covered in a days time. And of course anytime she does this Furby INSISTS on being brushed. Then the OTHERS start lining up to be brushed. I either have smart cats or a gullible daughter.

      1. You are exceedingly well trained. I can talk mind you. As soon as I walk into the bedroom, if he is on the bed, he’ll wake up, get on to this three legs and ask for food, no, demand it. Total training. It is the old adage ‘who is training who?’

  5. The one thing they sometimes do that’s a little exasperating is to jump right in the freshly scooped litterboxes; one or the other have also been know to have a furball right before I’m expecting company or getting ready for an appointment; but those are little petty things, as you say, compared to the privilege and honor of being able to serve and love them! (I know a lot of people have ethical concerns on this, as do I; but my ex and I finally decided on leather furniture after he took my brocade sofa to the dump. It had been clawed down to the bare wood. The cats hardly ever jump on the leather furniture and of course, it does not attract fur at all. A good vacuum attachment and also a special sponge called the GONZO are very helpful in picking up loose fur; another thing I’ve found helpful is to gently run our cats’ slicker brush over the furniture. It collects the fur just as it does when you brush your cats! Try it.

    1. Leather furniture and cats. That is a good subject. There is the animal connection which is a problem for a cat lover but as you say leather furniture stays intact pretty well when you have a cat in the house. I have leather furniture. My armchair has claw punctures in it but I regard them as “patination” – making the chair look more used and interesting. It is a good way of mentally processing claw damage.

  6. Great article, Jo!

    For the most part, I had to give up on getting peeved long ago for the sake of my sanity. There’s a pretty decent degree of acceptance here, on my part not theirs. They are who they are and, maybe, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I know and accept many things:

    I am not in charge
    I will never pee alone
    Every thing is a cat toy
    There are things of mine that I will never find
    Somebody will pee in the kitchen sink
    Nothing has its own place
    I have swallowed and inhaled enough hair to make 10 coats
    My vacuum will never suck up all the hair and scattered litter
    Time is a hot commodity
    My bank account will always be low
    There is always a crisis around the corner


    I will never feel as loved from anyone as I do from these crazies I live with

    1. You are loved by us too. You look after many more cats than nearly every other cat lover. So, you need more admiration than the others. For sure, you are definitely, you have to be, a servant to your large cat family.

    2. Not peeing alone happens at my house too. Only it’s my dog Cujo who interrupts me. He brings his tennis ball into the bathroom and drops it down my pants leg as many times as possible before I stand up 🙂

      1. Yikes!! Sorry, I completeley spaced that this was a cat site. Yes, Holly is a very gentle dog. She is one of three dogs that live with us and our seven cats. She was a rescue. She was in her 11th hour and we took her before she was “helped” to the Bridge. She is now a certified Therapy Dog in addition to being my emotional support dog. We also have a ten year old blind Collie and a 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd.

  7. Hi Jo! Great article! You had me in stitches about the fur on the sofa. I have solved that problem by putting decorative throws on the furniture. They are easily washed weekly and can be quickly removed when company comes.

      1. Thank you, JMUHJ. I got lucky and snapped the photo just as Marlbes yawned. The other cat, K.C. HATED the other cats when she first came. You’d never know it now, though. I chose this particular throw for the couch because it was dark and had so many colors, you’d never see the fur on it. 🙂

  8. Ahhh cat hair…. where? Anywhere and everywhere! And so it shall always be! I have rinse off sticky rollers, cat grooming mitts (which work on my duvet cover but not so much on the cats!) and of course a vacuum….but there is just always going to be cat hair around. My vet has a sign in her waiting room that reads: No outfit is complete without cat hair.. and I agree. Same goes for furniture…..LOL

  9. Love the story. We gave up years ago trying to find furniture that matches the cats here. We had a black and white cat along with tigers, gingers, snowshoes and black cats. Our philosophy now is….our house …the cats are our children…. I cleaned….deal with the hair. LOL

  10. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    What a lovely photo! I see ‘The Last Supper’ on your wall too Rudolph. Matata looks very content there 🙂

    1. Ah….Rudolph, this is a lovely photograph. Happy Christmas, by the way. I haven’t discussed this with you before, but are you religious? You seem to be and so does that gorgeous cat of yours, Tomcat Matata 🙂

      1. Ruth and Michael thanks for the compliments and wishing everyone on “P.O.C” a belated Merry Christmas. I have been continuing with my “Family Traditions” and although i am a practicing Catholic definitely not fanatically religious. The “Infant Jesus” crib and the “Last Supper” was purchased by my father from Barcelona in the 1960’s and are family religious heirlooms today.

  11. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    What an amusing article Jo lol I loved it!
    The battle of the cat hair.
    Well my advice would be to only have guests who love cats and who come along with hairs of their own so they don’t notice if they collect a few extra from your furniture 😉
    Seriously though we have throws on our couch and armchair, we can whip them off at the last minute when someone wants to sit down.
    I don’t think I have any pet ‘peeves’ I am the willing slave of our boyz and they know it and take advantage of it, but I do lecture them about wasting good food and tell them cats are starving elsewhere. It falls on stony ground, they still walk away from food they ate every scrap of last time.
    Almost 40 years of servitude now, but like all true cat lovers, willingly given 🙂

  12. How long a list of pet peeves do you want? 😉

    Just kidding. As you say cat hair never goes away. Once I have hoovered the bed and take a close look afterwards, it is still there! Some of it. Or it collects in little balls along the skirting boards (I have a hard floor).

    My toughest job in being Charlie’s loyal manservant is making sure he is happy with his breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffet bar has to be just right and he likes something new whenever possible.

    Occasionally I rebel and try and become the boss. It never works. I invariably give in and quickly return to the role I was born to play: owned by a cat.

    Thanks for the article Jo, Nice one. Very tender, humuous and friendly.

    Next I’ll have to make some new year resolutions.

        1. Michael’s. He’s turning into a grumpy old man right before our eyes. Someone needs to go give him a good dose of laughter. Maybe brainwash him or something 🙂

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