Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How to Decorate With Cats

[Sorry! Wrong photo! This one's from the book "How to Decorate Your Cats"]

From the age of fourteen until now, except for a brief few years in the early 1990's, I have always had at least one cat in my home. In fact, once, when I had two cats, the naughty female Houdini'd her way out of the house and we ended up with nine after her kittens were born. (Despite what your crazy Aunt Carole might say, nine is way too many cats.) None of my cats, even when there were nine, have been allowed on the furniture. Ok now, wait. Before you call PETA or the ASPCA to report me, please know that all pets in this household are loved and cared for, get their own comfy beds, cute dishes and toys and, for the most part, have the run of the house—so long as they are running on the floor. "No animals on the furniture" is simply my personal preference.

That being said, this is how I would
decorate with cats:

[This quirky collection of mid-century ceramic and glass collectibles includes a sleek, black kitty. Image from]

This, is not:

[While this cat looks remarkably like my first cat who I loved so much, Freddie would never have been allowed to recline among the collectibles. Photo via]

Good cat decorating:

[Cats on pillows and cat portrait in the amazing London home of antiques dealer Peter Hinwood. Via "Rooms to Inspire in the City"]

Bad cat decorating:

This is Marley.

Marley has been our house guest while my daughter is out of town. Obviously, the rules at his house are a little more relaxed. So far, we've discovered him lounging on desks, the dining table and assorted chairs and sofas, teetering on shelves and boxes in a closet, perched on top of bookcases and—like a high-wire trapeze artist—tip-toeing across the top of the master bath shower door. I believe this photo represents the only time he has actually sat this still and, even then, as you can see by the blurry outcome, I was certain it wouldn't last long enough to bother with proper exposure or focus. As he is a guest and we are good hosts, (and because it seems that we really have no choice), Marley is being allowed to make himself at home. How many more hours are there til midday Thursday?

From decorating on cats and decorating with cats to decorating by cats...

By the way, there is no such book as "How to Decorate Your Cats". But you knew that, right? (please say yes) There was, however, a calendar called "Cats in Hats" from which the top image was borrowed and for which at least twelve unsuspecting and surprisingly docile cats were thoroughly humiliated.


An Urban Cottage said...

What a cute post. I wish my cats would let me put hats on them.

the gardeners cottage said...

Hi Tracy,

I'm with you. I've never let my pets on the furniture. I know, the animal lover is cruel! But my pets have always shed, and they smell and didn't know how to wipe their feet. So pet beds for them. This infuriates a lot of people but it's my house, right?


maison21 said...

if i could train richard not to lounge where ever he likes, i would be a happy camper. alas, no matter what i've tried, he does what he wants (he thought the sprayer bottle was great fun to attack), so i will continue to decorate with cats in inappropriate ways, (ie, letting him run amok) and love him anyhoo.



Averill said...

Tracy, you've got to tell me how you've managed to keep your cats off furniture. I've managed to scare our older cat off the sofas, but she still has the run of countertops, tables, etc. The younger cat, seems completely oblivious to my entreaties and does as she likes.

...And I seriously HATE that the cats get on the countertops. Gross.

Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury said...

For Averill and others who may be wondering...
There's no cat-whisperer magic going on here. Just persistent "no's" and squirt bottles when the cats were young. I'm also beginning to think that maybe I've just been lucky enough to have very compliant cats! I did have one cat that would not stop scratching a particular piece of furniture no matter what I did to stop it so I had to give up and live with it while she was with me. And, truthfully, for all my efforts, I have no idea what my pets do when I'm sleeping or not home, though whatever that might be, they're very good at hiding the evidence.

Jennifer, Inside Out Colour and Design said...

Ha, ha, ha. Very cute. You realise you have to back that up with "How To Decorate With Dogs" post, for all of us dog lovers.

Jennifer xx