couch wars

“Living on love, buying on time; without somebody, nothing ain’t worth a dime…It doesn’t take much, when you get enough, living on Love.”

Alan Jackson

*Please note: it really pains me to quote something that contains ‘ain’t’ because I am firmly against that particular non-word. But I really wanted to use the quote, so there you go. Incidentally, the quote is from one of my favorite songs that always reminds me that I am truly lucky in Love.  


We got a new couch; isn’t it lovely?

What? You think it’s a little ghetto? Doesn’t seem like our taste?

Maybe this will help:

I made those pillow covers; aren't they nice?

We’ve had our old couch for almost 15 years, and it was looking pretty rough. But we kept hanging onto it, at first because we had little kids who spilled things, and later because we have two cats who decided it is their own personal scratching post.

Then we walked into Burke Furniture and saw this red beauty. Immediately we began embracing denial:

  • Cats don’t like leather (or fake leather, as the case may be)
  • We’ll trim the cat’s nails and then they won’t want to scratch ever again
  • The cats only like to scratch our brown couch, so maybe if we buy them a large piece of brown carpet and lay it near the new couch, they will scratch that instead
  • Perhaps if we drop some cash at Home Depot and build them a new super-duper scratching post…

You get the picture. We didn’t just dance with denial–we took it home for a one night stand. And then we woke up and the couch delivery people were knocking on our door.

I had prepared a spray bottle of water (to train the cats) and moved a few files so I could work from the couch for a while. But I still didn’t really think the cats would bother the couch. But in the time it took for me to sign the delivery papers and close the front door, one cat had already dug her nails into the side. Game on.

Although I did my best, I have to admit I didn’t go into full combat mode. The stress of keeping my eyeballs peeled for furry invaders soon wore me down, and eventually I had to leave my post to use the bathroom. By the time John got home, there were a few tiny (I want to emphasize tiny) marks where the cats had snuck by me and had some fun.

Now, you all know how much I adore John. I do not think I need to waste a few paragraphs of your time going on and on again about my favorite person in the world. I say that to emphasize that I mean this next thing in the nicest way: The couch thing made John crazy.

If I had thought it was a game with the cats, well, to John it was war. He spent the greater part of the evening monitoring the perimeter of the den. Around 9, I found him building a fortress out of kitchen chairs and blankets, to keep the cats completely out of that room. Ultimately, he went with complete coverage of the couch, as seen in the first photo, above.

As I write this, I do not know what will happen with the couch. I do not even know if John will still want to be my friend now that I insinuated he acted crazy and posted it here for all of the internet to see (I’m assuming my blog will go viral).  I do not know if the cats will eventually give up trying to take the couch, or if we will eventually give up trying to have nice furniture.

But I do know this: We may have to live on the floor (as we have no place to sit), but we will be living on Love.  I’m not sure how many times it will take me to figure that it’s not about ‘things’ and how nice a fancy red couch looks in my den. I would rather toast a glass of bourbon with my best friend on a worn out, ugly couch than disagree over how to protect a brand new one.

And so, I pledge to you here, I will not buy another piece of furniture….until the cats destroy this one.


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One response to “couch wars

  1. Linda

    agree on the larger importance about love, bourbon and your best friend. but you can also consider that special double-sided sticky tape that is made to prevent cats from scratching furniture. it is not suppose to harm the finish on most furniture; you’d have to check the label for your material. but some cats don’t like the feel of sticky tape on their paws and will avoid it.

    that’s all the advice i have, other than declawing the darlings, which we did to ours. your mileage will vary.