Counterintelligence

After seven years our two cats have finally discovered that they can jump on the kitchen counters. They made this unfortunate discovery just as Kelly and I were preparing food for a dinner party. Kelly chopped some cheese and went to take care of something in another room. When I stepped into the kitchen one of our cats, Buck, was up on the counter and happily noshing down on that cheese.

Few things in nature are as deliberative as a cat making a call on jumping. The assault on our kitchen counters actually came in two parts, somewhat like finding an alternate route up Mt. Everest. The first step came two weeks ago when the cats figured out they could jump on the counter adjacent to the stove. From there they must have spotted the other counter and a week later made the dinner party assault on cheese summit. Perhaps someone will come up with a cat jump rating similar to the climbing grades used by mountaineers?

In a parallel cognitive leap, the cats also figured out how to explore the cabinets and remove lids from Tupperware containers. Looks like we’re going to have to give up cooking and eat all our meals out.

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18 Comments

  1. It is quite amusing, although a little cruel, to see a cat that misjudges a jump. Our old cat once jumped onto a small table that fell over when she landed on it. Her reaction was to pretend that it had never happened and to groom herself furiously. Just ignore this, people. Nothing to see here!

  2. LOL! Mine, when he was younger and more spry, would only jump on the kitchen cabinets if I’d brought in a bunch of greens from the garden. I don’t know why he loved greens, but he would tear into kale, collards, and lettuce like no other!

  3. LOL:)
    This looks very familiar. I keep a small spray bottle of water nearby as a deterrent. All I have to do now is to pick up the spray bottle and the cats scatter. No spraying necessary.
    Of course, I can only guess what goes on when I’m not home. I can sometimes tell by what has been knocked on the floor. One time, I came home to find my floor lamp knocked over and the glass shade broken. I moved the lamp to a place where it’s harder to knock over.
    I also have claw marks on the wallpaper border in the living room where one of my cats likes to get on a tall piece of furniture and chase moths.

  4. I too have a spray bottle of water to keep my cats off but they still don’t understand that they are suppose to stay off ALL the time. As soon as my back is turned they are there again. They love to steal bottle caps and pens and pencils and hid them under the throw rugs. I had to install latches on all the cabinets as they also decided that sitting in cabinets was ideal, and would they would scoot the dishes out to make a place. It was as if one cat showed the other how to do it. “monkey see, monkey do.”

  5. Our cats will jump on one counter but not the
    other (every single cat we’ve had has adhered to this
    cat-created rule). A steak could be left out all day
    as long as it wasn’t on THE counter. I can only
    assume that because the other one has a lot of stuff
    permanently on it it’s too hard to ascend.

  6. AIYAH. Our cats have been counter-surfers for ages, the little bastards. And now I have to either put things on the top shelves in the cupboards or put them in jars. We discovered that they could open cupboard doors when they discovered the bag of bulk grated parmesan on the lowest shelf.

    You could run a string of aluminum cans along the counter edge, which will scare hell out them when the jump up and knock it over. The drawback to that is that it will scare hell out of you as well. Especially at 2am. Ask me how I know this.

    • OMG! Cats just LOVE Parmesan cheese! Ours like whipped cream and smoked turkey lunchmeat too, but they haven’t yet figured out how to open the fridge.

    • Great idea. We tried using a spray bottle with no success. Buck just glanced over with an angry glance as if he was a mountain lion chowing down on a deer. Then he went right back to eating the cheese and didn’t seem to mind being wet.

    • You do have to use a string to link the cans, so if one goes, they all go. Our cats were not deterred by a can or two falling when they jumped up, but the cacophony (catcophony?) of the entire line sent them tearing out of the kitchen.

  7. You and Kelly are lucky that it took your cats seven years to figure this out; ours were on the counters as soon as they got big enough to jump that high. Charlotte’s recently worked out how to open the door to the kitty treat cabinet, cheered on by the rest of the gang who are looking to share in the loot. Thank goodness cats don’t have thumbs or they’d be as destructive as toddlers who can climb.

  8. Cats on counters? Of course!
    We had a cat, Marcel, who could open the cupboards and when he didn’t get his way about something would pull dishes out. He always did it at night and the sound of breaking china would wake up up. We gave up on having matching sets of dishes.
    He also could manage doorknobs, so a closed door wasn’t a deterrent.
    He’s been gone 8 years and we miss him!

  9. I have a chicken who’s sure she’s meant to live in the house and she’s finally figured out how to use the cat/dog flap if it’s ajar. So some days I get home and there are no crumbs on the counters- but there may be chicken poop!

  10. By the way, your cat has mastered a sweet and innocent kitty face. (Who, me?) How could anyone accuse him of eating the cheese?

  11. Ha! Clever little chaps! Similarly: After five years of staying in the backyard like a dog Ginger realized she is actually a very springy cat and started jumping the waisthigh fence into our neighbor’s backyard. Fortunately, they’re cool with it. And then, after six years, she realized that she could beg for people food even harder if she got up on the table itself instead of milling around on the floor nearby, much closer to the food! Like your cheese-seeking mountaineers I found her on the table helping herself to my buttered toast one day, much to my surprise. I’d left it unguarded because she never got up there before… It only took her half a lifetime to realize what a good jumper she is. I am curious to see where she ends up next. Maybe in the upper cupboards! Ha! Your cats….

  12. Your Buck and Trout are a very handsome and appealing pair of banditti. As an earlier commenter said, who could resist those faces? (Also, refresh my memory: Are they litter mates? If not, they certainly could be.)

  13. Your cats are very handsome but cats on counter- or tabletops give me the creeps. However, I’m more interested in your very pretty tile counter tops. I’m wondering if they came with the house or if you had them installed.

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