A House Is a Dangerous Thing

When you bring a new pet home you have two immediate safety concerns: protecting your pet and protecting your house.

Even though the kitten may be a tiny little thing, there’s very little out of her reach. To get a proper perspective on how a kitten views our world, get on your hands and knees and crawl around a little. Come on, don’t be embarrassed—no one’s looking. Do you notice how your perspective changes? Look at how those dangling electrical cords, that you as a human never notice, are now in plain view? And look at that sewing basket by the chair—from here it’s a basket of yarn, thread, and other things that a kitten could hardly resist viewing as toys. Now, bear with me a little longer, and go from being on your hands and knees to lying flat on your stomach. Now, look around. The perspective changes again (and now you’re truly kitten height). What do you see? Perhaps you notice the aspirin tablet that you lost last night when it rolled under a chair. Oh, and there’s a needle on the carpet next to the sewing basket. And there’s that jelly bean that your daughter dropped yesterday. Perhaps you even notice how there’s enough space behind the refrigerator for a kitten to get stuck. And look at those dustballs rolling around—uh-oh, better get the vacuum cleaner out.

The next exercise I want you to do is look up, way up, from your current position on the floor. (If someone walks in on you, just tell them you’re doing your yoga exercises.) From this position, you’ll be able to see how a little kitten could find many ways to climb to where all the interesting stuff is. After she scales the back of the couch, what’s waiting for her on the end table? Is an ashtray full of cigarette butts sitting there? A candy wrapper with half of a chocolate bar left inside? Once she climbs the curtain, will she reach an open window without a screen?

We have a lot of work to do!

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