Kitty LeFey’s Cosmos: Objets des Chats

Kitty LeFey’s Cosmos: Objets des Chats

Our world is cheerfully cluttered. Objets d’art pique curiosity and start conversations.

Objets des chats…well, they are something of a different matter. Are you wondering “what, exactly, are objets de chats?” If you are, you probably don’t share your home with cats. Everyone else is giggling and nodding. Either way, let me explain.

Those of us who share space with cats are all too familiar with tripping hazards. Often, these come in the form of the cats themselves (take care on the stairs!).

However, they also come in the forms of balls, wands, and crinkle mats. Favored or forgotten, objets des chats are often strewn across floors, creating haphazard obstacle courses.

At Tabby’s Place, efforts are undertaken to apply some amount of strategy to the placement of certain objets, such as cat trees, beds, and play tubes. This is done to allow humans and cats freedom of movement, and sometimes to break up large spaces into less formidable, cozier spots.

But, the cats are of their own minds. High-speed dives into tubes, expansive ball hunts, and overall enthusiasm when engaging with various objets often translate into redecoration and, sometimes, even a bit of reconstruction. Beware the unwary!

Despite best efforts, entropy happens. Enrichment toys are presented for a limited time and typically packed away before day’s end. But, life happens and things happen, and sometimes a forgotten collection of objets become a bit overmuch. The floor can seem more like a Jackson Pollock painting than a place to stand or walk. And, sometimes, certain objets (generally referred to as “toys”) are joined by other, less…um…pleasing objets des chats, which are arguably more reminiscent of a chimpanzee’s fingerpainting or political smear campaigns.

Objets des chats of this kind are often the fault of something amiss. They can be due to a miss here or a miss there when it comes to litter boxes. Or, they can be due to “uncomfortable tummy syndrome,” (UTS) which is not a thing, but is also all the things from too much morning coffee (strictly humans) to IBD (pretty much any mammal and maybe one or two birds, who are too embarrassed to discuss it). Sometimes serious, often not, hairballs and other such objets des chats keep us on our toes as much as the trip hazards do.

Fortunately, at least at Tabby’s Place, the best cleaners (persons and products!) are at hand to eliminate (pun intended) all evidence of contrarian bellies and bladders.

The removal of such objets at lightning speed is part of what amazes first-time visitors to Tabby’s Place. Mostly, the sanctuary smells of nothing particular or of cleaning products. Occasionally, when other aromatics “freshen” the air, the scent is transitory anyway (Hey, the litter boxes are there for a reason, people.). Once in a great while, an aroma lingers a little longer, and that’s usually because an adult male cat has recently been separated from some very personal objets. No matter (except to the cat in question).

What does matter is that objets des chats are carefully cared for. What needs to be cleaned is cleaned in whatever manner is best. What can no longer be cleaned is discarded. Each day, the objets are scrutinized and sanitized. In terms of matted fur, UTS (see above), or other unwanted issues, the most precious objets needing care and cleaning are the cats themselves. Depending on the individual, these ministrations are met cheerfully or with loudly voiced objections.

Either way, the cats are and will ever be the objets des our unbounded, unconditional affections.

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