Friday, 2 April 2010

Do pets and a vintage home mix?

I recently bought this pretty little vintage rug. Last night I thought "awwh".. when Lilly settle on it and happily lay there on her back with her four paws in the air.

However, today...Larry had different ideas...

"Well what's wrong, why are you looking at me like that, can't I have a bit of fun?"

" I know that look.... I'm off.."

"Why did she have to do that? I was having so much fun"

I love my cats and wouldn't be without them. I also really like vintage things, having a nicely decorated, clean and tidy house BUT with 2 cats and a child it's not easy having it all as you picture it in your head.

Take the windowsills and the white painted floor boards for instance, when it rains, it means constant cleaning as they come in with muddy paw prints. (I knew all that when I decided to paint everything off white)

Even though we have an absorbent door mat in the kitchen (where the cat flap is), it's amazing how much mud/water they still bring in!

We live in the countryside, our road is a single track lane used by tractors quite a lot which results in this when it rains...

You can imagine the state of the paws when the cats come back in. To add to this, Lilly has a bit of a droopy tummy so it also comes back wet and muddy...

The other issue I have about having cats is furniture scratching! ;-((
Our sofa is about to be replaced and I do not want this sight for the next sofa!

I have put some citronella essential oil in the areas where they like to have a good claw sharpening session but that hasn't worked! Cats are supposed to dislike that smell and it should have put them off but it hasn't. I would love to hear from any of you if you have found a successful solution to this problem.

I know that a lot of people would say that if you have pets and children you should furnish and decorate with them in mind. I'm not inclined that way...I would rather do that extra bit of cleaning/work and have the furniture & decor that I like.

The mop is on stand by as it is pouring down with rain again today! I forgot to mention that the cats are not put off by the rain. Amazingly, they don't mind it!...This means that they go in and out several times throughout the day (I keep them in at night) instead of staying in the dry and warm house like sensible cats would....

Despite all that extra work I wouldn't be without them!

I hope that you all have a good Easter weekend!

A bientôt!

Isabelle X


melanie said...

Lol, I have the same problem! We have 2 dogs and a cat, and honestly, I am forever cleaning up after them. we are going to tear the carpets up and paint our floors white, so I see more cleaning ahead, but hey, thats the price you pay when you want a nice home, with pets in it. :) xxx

Annie said...

I totally sympathise, I also have white painted floorboards and am forever cleaning up wet muddy paw prints. Since painting our hall white Josh has come in wet from a walk and shaken his long muddy fur all over it, he has scratched the windowsill where he has jumped up to look out of the window and he has gouged the freshly painted inside of the front door with his claws when the postman has come. I wouldn't be without him though and have resigned myself to regular touching up with the paint brush. Love your rug by the way.
Ann x

marigold jam said...

I have two cats and I did have a child (she's now flown the nest) so I do know what you mean! I have no solutions to the playtime with the mat as our Tom does the same with the bathroom mat but re the scratching the settee - do you have a scratching post? Ours love theirs and so far (fingers crossed ) we have no problems with that although Bambi does enjoy a bit of a strop on the bottom stair! However all this is very small beer compared to the phase we went through with Bambi weeing on the settee! Again fingers crossed this seems to have stopped now but I am afraid to buy the new settee we so badly need in case she feels the need to do it again! Cats who'd have them? We would of course!!


Hen said...

Hello Isabelle,
Oh, I so know how you feel, couldn't be without my cats but they are very naughty and messy! They have clawed our sofas and chair too but as they were Ikea/Habitat buys I am not so bothered (don't get me wrong, I'd rather they didn't but what can I do?) The bottom stair carpet is their favourite, such a mess. The only thing I've found that works is sticking on double sided tape (clear), they really do hate that but it looks not so great. I keep the guest bedrooms shut and a crocheted throw over our bed, otherwise, I just put up with it. I have to confess I am not so house proud with the boys and 3 cats as I was when I was on my own!
Happy Easter to you all.
Hen xxx

ted and bunny said...

I do feel for you- I have just the same problem-
In the end I bought a kitchen flooring and hall carpet that matched muddy paw-print colour, hoping that by the time they got to the sitting-room they'd be clean :)
Our cats also need to fight the "rug monster" it must be ingrained in cat psyche!
As far as scratching goes, I never had success with cintronella but a water pistol is MUCH more effective!
I love the look of the little rug (I love the look of your home)

Kissed by an Angel said...

Oh dear, I did smile with Larry and your lovely rug!! I've never had a cat, so I can't give you any advice I'm afraid!! I do have a tiled floor in my hallway, and although it shows the marks when it's wet etc, it really takes no time to mop it over!! So You have made the right choice with your painted floors!!!
Happy Easter.

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Ah...your kitty was having such a good time! Starla likes to play like that too...with the bathmat! Just think how empty your home would be without your pets and child! It is well worth the extra effort for all that extra joy!
The white floors are gorgeous!
Happy Easter!
:) Laura

Michela said...

Poor you Isabelle! Unfortunately I can't give you any tip, as I have 3 dogs and they live outdoor.
Thank you so much for your lovely wishes, hope you and your nice family have a very happy Easter too!

Lori said...

i hear you cats don't go outside...but i have one that likes to get into everything...and all three leave a trail of hair where ever they's a constant battle to try and keep my house cat hair free...the cat hair is currently winning...

Lucy@Corset Laced Mannequins said...

Thank goodness I'm not the only person with messy cats and a love of a neat and orderly home..well, most of the time!

Working from home and making and selling my wares creates more problems. Luckily I can close the door to my workroom and ban the cats from entering but they usually find a way in when I'm not looking. Then I hear a rustle and I'm on the hunt for the naughty culprit!

The photo of your windowsill could be from my home! Roll on Summer days when muddy footprints are the thing of the past (for a few weeks anyway).

Happy Easter, Lucyx

Guenievre said...

Ohh, ohh, I understand what you mean...
We had a cat but he always stayed at home (he was a "Persian")so no problem with him except with his furry.
But we have a dog too and he often goes for a walk :-)) When he was very young we used to dry his paws when it rained. And now, that's very funny, when he comes back home with wet paws he sits down and gives us his paws to dry them ! Very amazing dog, we love him !
Happy Easter !

Blondie's Journal said...

I feel badly for you Isabelle. It is not fun to clean up after pets but I think the joy they bring us makes it worth it. Have you ever heard of a scratching post? It is made for cats. It is a post covered with carpet and cats then have their own place to scratch. Some of them have cat toys attached for added fun!!

I have dogs and have the same dilemma when they come in from the muddy yard in the spring. That room has carpet and so I lay an old sheet on the floor to catch their muddy footprints. It helps.

Good luck and have a blessed Easter!


Gena said...

Oh I had a similar problem with a rug and one of my yorkies! the rug now has bits of wool missing! and yes the winter we have had played havoc with my home and the dogs! dirty little footprints allover!

Susie's country cottage said...

I just have to say how cute Larry is on your vintage rug. The photos really made me chuckle but oh dear, your poor sofa. Pets give you so much pleasure though, so it's worth all the extra work!
Hope you have a good Easter.

Paula said...

Hello, Isabelle,

As a mama to two cats and two dogs, I can surely sympathize with you! We are constantly cleaning after our furry family members. One thing I have done to keep the kitties from scratching the furniture is bought scratching posts and sprayed our furniture with a citris smelling scent that keeps them away. I bought it at a local pet store. Our cats also love climbing on our tables and cabinets, so I put out dried orange peels and orange scented potpourri on the places they like to visit. They hate that smell and tend to avoid those places. Although, I admit to once watching my kitty, Isabella, take her paw and swipe my dish of orange peels right off the table! I also dust in the orange scented furniture polish, and that has helped a least until the scent wears off. Your sweet kitties are adorable. Ours bring so much joy to our the need to go a "step further" with our cleaning is definitely worth what we receive in return.


Diva Kreszl said...

I so get it, wet, muddy paws are a regular occurence here in my home, especially in spring! I had to laught at your kitty pics, my cts feel the same need to lay claim to anything new I bring into the house :)

Pea Green Kitty said...

Oh My! If only our precious little felines realised how naughty they can be....we are having one big moany discussion about their mischief!
Im afraid I have the same problems but no soloutions either, although It has been nice to read the other bloggers ideas.
How funny are cats when they do that kick kick kicky thing on the edge of a rug!!!!
They are adorably strange creatures.

koralee said...

Oh pets I think are worth every bit of trouble they cause...your sweet kitty images are the BEST!!!

Happy Easter.

Sue at Dollytub Cottage said...

When I bought my previous house it had been empty for months. The local cats had been using the porch as a toilet. I tried everything to dissuade them. Citronella didn't work, but an old lady told me to put some curry powder in a pop sock, and leave it in a corner of the porch. You only need a teaspoonful. It worked! I don't have any pets myself, but the 'curried sock' might work for sofas if it's packed down the sides of the seats. SueXX

Sarah said...

Hi Isabelle - love your vintage rug! We don't have any pets - only 2 boys! and like you I'd rather clean lots and have a nice home. The boys are fairly house trained now!!!!
Have a good Easter.

Handmade in Gibraltar said...

Hello Isabelle
I have trained my two not to scratch the sofa by squirting them with my ironing spray, but you have to let them have a post or a step or something where it is allowed instead. when they see the spray bottle they run to their post !!
Good luck
Louise xx

Country Cottage Chic said...

I've always had vintage items & collectable items in my home & the children have grown up with them & have always respected them even when very young.

Our lane looks a lot like yours & we have two dogs & two cats so we just put up with muddy paws as we chose to have them, but as most of the downstairs of the house is tiled it's not really much of a problem & luckily we don't have cats that scratch furniture.

I'm thinking of removing the stair carpet though & painting the stairs instead as they do get a lot of wear.


BusyLizzie said...

I have the same problem with my 2 little "monsters".... muddy paw prints everywhere in this weather!!!!
Have a good weekend, Lizzie xx

Shropshire Suz said...

Having just de-gunged the window sills and straightened all the rugs and rubber gloved all the seats oh and trimmed the tufts of carpet pile that my 4 hadn't removed completely l fully understand how you feel fun isn't it?

Now we are all asleep on the bed while l play on the laptop....l'm sure l only had 2 furballs but seems like two more liked the service in this home...arrived one day and stayed!!
If you hear of any tips let me know will you? lol
Furry Hugs x

Devon Dumpling said...

SO glad to read this post and know that I am not alone! I decorate my home for me and if the pets wish to live with me then they have to live by my rules. It may sound harsh but they are shut out of any rooms that I do not want them in and they are not allowed to sit on any furniture or anything like that. They have a number of beds in the house that are theirs and theirs alone and it does seem to help! Not sure about the mud though! x

winnibriggs said...

Well at least you have accepted that having cats and a tidy home just means more work. But since you love them both theres not a lot more you can do, except be really thankful when we get fine weather!
Happy Easter :)

Country Style Living said...

He looked as if he was having real fun with your rug! I do understand though, it's the same with our dog. I am waiting to wash the suite covers, on a dry day. At least I can mop the floors..I would much prefer to have a nice decor and do the extra work too. Hope you and your family have a lovely Easter weekend!

The Vintage Kitten said...

I have the same problem. I live in the country and like you live on a muddy lane. I have 4 cats and a dog and its a constant battle keeping it all clean, and dont get me started on the coal dust from the multi fuel burner. I have no solutions, just have to keep cleaning! Your cat is beautiful! X

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Being that I am terribly allergic we don't have pets - but we do have 3 under 5 and a house full of reachable vintage treasures - I never babyproofed... figured they should learn to respect old things and things that don't belong to them... suppose you can't do the same thing with kitties.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Have a great weekend!
He is Risen Indeed! Happy Easter!

Duchess of Tea said...

I had the same problem with my cat, and since her, I decided no more cats. For me it came a time that I wanted a neat and clean and undamaged furniture more. Darling popped in to wish you and your family a joyous and blessed Easter.

Love & Hugs

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Dear Isabelle, I remember when my old Alfie was alive and the poor old boy was wetting everywhere. I used to think it would be such a RELIEF when he finally died and I didn't have the mess. Of course, when he did die my heart broke. I'd give anything to have all that mess back. Of course he'd hate it as he wasn't a dog who liked to lose control of himself in that way but I do miss him. Animals are worth every bit of the mess in my opinion. They make a house a real home, just as children do. I hope you are having a lovely Easter. xx

Florence and Mary said...

I hope you find a way for your cats and vintage treasures to live happily together! As for me I only have myself to blame for the mark currently on my white sofa.... note to self, take make up off before you fall asleep on it!!

Happy Easter

Victoria xx

tracey @ the vintage bothy said...

Hi Isabelle
I can empathise, I have a 16year old & a 51 year old, both males, & Florence the terrier, we have a sort of farm yard outside and have the same problem in winter, in summer it turns to dust!
I have no miracle suggestion apart from keep mopping and go with the flow!

Sylvia said...

Larry is so cute !
I think the solution to your problem
is cleaning.
We have a tom cat visiting our Moesj for a month now, he puts his signature ouitside everywhere, it smells like hell.

Happy Easter,

Anonymous said...

pets and vintage probably shouldn't go together take for example my new eiderdown which now has a large repair thanks to my dog rolling around on it in a state of snugly bliss , but we love them and have to put up with there naughty ways. They don't realise what trouble they cause and when they look at you with there loving innocent eyes you cant be mad at them xxx

Heloise said...

The road near you takes me back. I lived on a farm as a child with a long muddy drive, I would not have changed living there for anything.
Non pet household here so no advise to offer.
Have a very happy Easter.

Tiedupmemories said...

Very Cute! This is why I have a shabby chic home. weathered furniture from fea markets,painted and distressed cupboards and tables...the more dings and scratches gives them more character! Museums are not meant to be lived in at least if you have kids and animals! Lol! Wishing you a Happy Easter! Thank you for your sweet compliments and for stopping by my blog!

Ticking stripes said...

Have a look at "doily " on flickr - Amyla has the answer to cats scratching sofas!
Have a great easter ,Wend

LiLi M. said...

Just popping over to wish you, your husband and your lovely daughter a very happy Easter weekend! Oh I forget your cats, they could probably be hired by a moving company, they are sooo cute!

RosieP said...

Larry does look happy thought, I have 2 cats and they are the same, dirty footprints wherever they go! Not sure what to suggest about the sofa, luckily for me mine have never done that.

Have a lovely easter

Hugs RosieP x

Beth Niquette said...

I laughed and laughed over these pictures. What a darling kitty--and your narrative is priceless. (grin)