Alban's Chair

Dad retired from college teaching last summer (1995), and is starting "projects" to fill his spare time.

One which he started recently is re-finishing the dining room chairs, whose varnish started disintegrating over a decade ago. He got one done in two weeks in the middle of summer. After he started the second, he got side-tracked trying to finish up a grant that's left over from school before he had to ask for yet another extension, which he eventually did. The second chair was only finished today (Oct. 16). This is not a surprise, at least not to Mom and me.


Anyway, he got one chair done quickly. It's got a brand new coat of varnish, and new foam in the seat, and new cloth covering it. It's really nice. Alban thinks so, too. At first he didn't pay too much attention to it. Then he noticed it was softer to sit on, and started sitting on it preferentially. Everyone else liked it best, too, but we quickly decided not to fight Alban for it, not when he has such sharp claws and teeth which he's already to use to defend HIS chair.


So Alban was spending more time on this chair. Then he started kneeding it with his claws -- sharpening them on it, really. Apparently he really liked the feel of it, cause he started doing this more and more. At first, he didn't do any damage when he sharpened his claws, but after a week and a half I noticed little pulled-up threads. Apparently he was getting more energetic about this. Well, I showed Dad, and he wasn't pleased: he'd _just_ re-covered it, and only had two spares, and if Alban was going to scratch them up, they weren't going to last long enough to ever have a matched set.

Mom suggested putting a tie-on cushion from some chairs she had on there, in hopes that would stop Alban from scratching up the chairs. Dad figured it was worth a try and tied it on.

As Dad was showing it to me, Alban came along, took one look at the chair, went around behind it, reared up on his hind legs, slipped his front paws right under the cushion, and started scratching vigorously.

Dad was not pleased. Dad was not at all pleased.

Next, Alban came around the side, and jumped up on the chair, cushion and all. He sniffed everything very thoroughly, and settled down on the now-even- softer chair. The "solution" definitely had Alban's stamp of approval, at least.

Now that chair is over three times as soft as it was because of the cushion Dad added. Alban, of course, noticed this, and took over the chair completely. He didn't even try to steal anyone else's chair at AD&D the next Sunday, although he went back to doing so occasionally later. For a while, he had HIS chair, and that was that! He still goes around behind to scratch it occasionally, but not _quite_ as frequently. He does pull threads when he does, so Dad's looking for another "solution," but he hasn't found one yet. I'm wondering if the next one will be any better.... and I suspect Alban is, too, although not the same kind of better.

[wry grin]

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(c) 2000, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin, Hilo, Hawaii
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