Tiberius is our youngest cat, and like most youngest children, he is Special (capitalization intentional). I've already written about his penchant for water, but when he was about six months old, we learned that Tiberius is also a professional tightrope walker.
Well. Tiberius was a professional tightrope walker.
How it all started is unclear, but one night, Tiberius decided to hop up on top of our fabric-covered headboard and walk, loudly, to the other side...then reverse and walk backwards back to where he started, tail held aloft for maximum balance. He'd dig his little claws in for extra traction, which, in the middle of the night, sounds a lot like someone undoing Velcro shoes four hundred times in a row. Soothing.
The first time it happened, Scott and I laughed, mostly because he looked so silly walking backwards across the top of the bed. The second time, we were decidedly less cheery, as people tend to be when awoken at 3AM. By the thirtieth time (can you tell we're not parents? We let this go unchecked for far too long...), we were sleep-deprived enough to devise an action plan.
The next night, I walked into the bedroom to see something unusual sitting on our bed. Immediately, I knew that Scott had had enough. It was time to throw down our trump card, and our particular card happened to be silver, shiny and come in a convenient roll. Tinfoil.
Cats hate tinfoil. It freaks them out for some reason...maybe because it makes noise when touched or it feels strange on their paws. Either way, we knew that a certain kitty's tightrope walking career would be derailed by a well-placed sheath. Scott tore off two pieces of foil, wrapped them over the headboard and scrunched them a bit so they'd stay put. With our trap set, we went to bed.
Sure enough, right on time at 3AM, Tiberius padded into the room. He hopped up on my nightstand, and I could hear his little butt wiggling before he pounced up to the headboard. Poor thing. He had no idea.
What happened next was simultaneously comical and a little sad. Tiberius made contact, which sounded a bit like someone hitting a cymbal vigorously. Tiberius freaked out. Tiberius ran out of the room.
A few minutes later, I heard him try again, this time approaching from the opposite side. Crash. Thud. Scamper.
It's too soon to say if our trap has been entirely successful. For all I know, Tiberius will practice on the tinfoil while we're both out of the house and soon be ready for another nighttime performance. But for now, the cat circus has left town...and if it comes back, well...I've got a lot more tinfoil.
Author's note: This morning, I woke up and realized two things:
1. Tiberius did not attempt to tightrope walk last night.
2. I missed a prime opportunity to make a zinger of a pun in this post: we quite literally foiled his nighttime plans.