It’s never simple to walk up or down the stairs in our house.
My dogs travel as a posse with me, sticking as close as a security detail, flanking me wherever I go. Thus, a trip downstairs to put something in the wash can be treacherous: holding the laundry basket in front of me, with limited feet visibility, I can feel the dogs pour past me like a waterfall. I walk slowly so I don’t turn into a human fall.
Going upstairs is a whole ‘nother issue. I can usually see the obstacles ahead of me — which often include plush toy pelts that have been abandoned by one of the dogs, or a cat toy or seven that someone (or someones) got bored with.
Often the stairway is occupied, particularly on a winter day, when the sun shines in at just the right angle to create sun puddles on the steps. One of the cats can usually be found lounging across the stairs in elegant comfort, wearing a look that clearly says, “I will not move. Don’t even ask.” It’s always only one; apparently “share” isn’t in the feline vocabulary, particularly when it comes to the staircase. One might think that with fourteen stairs, there are enough for four cats. One would be wrong.
Sometimes whoever is currently reigning as Stair Czar will close the borders. None shall pass. One look at the big, dark eyes and the twitching tail, and it’s easy to decide that you didn’t really need to head upstairs right then. Even Jasper and Tucker have learned not to pass the cats when the felines are in a protectionist mode. Lilah doesn’t care though; her dense fur offers protection from sharp and pointy bits.
If I truly need to ascend or descend, there are a few ways to encourage free passage. The crinkle of a treat package, or the squeak of The Drawer of Magical Cat Toys as it opens are quite effective in encouraging the guardians of the stairs to give up their posts.
Do your pets rule the stairs?
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