Catriangulation – the instinctive ability of a domestic feline to select a location that will block all movement in a room.

Don’t step on invisicat!

I observed earlier this week that Athena knows precisely where to lie in my bedroom so as to block all motion. You cannot go in or out either door, or open the closet, or access the bookshelves or bed without having to avoid Her Royal Lowness. This is especially effective in the morning darkness, when she tucks her white paws under her chest and lowers her head, making herself…. invisible.

Cat blocking Quedlinburg Abbey.

The above feline was stopping traffic—pedestrian—on the steep climb up to Quedlinburg Abbey church and cloister. And was quite pleased about this, as you can tell. He studiously ignored any and all attempts to encourage relocation.

It seems Maulbronn Abbey, a Cistercian establishment in southwestern Germany, also has a feline traffic manager.

Cafe inside Maulbronn’s walls.

I met the Klosterkatz (cloister cat) on a very steep flight of old wooden stairs leading up to the top of the inner wall. Maulbronn was fortified and had an outer wall, moat, and inner wall. I had trotted up the very vertical stairs in order to see what could be seen, and met a feline. Said cat rubbed on my leg, as cats are wot to do.

Not my shin. Yes, the stairs were steep.

Those had been clean pants. The cat expressed great delight at meeting someone on the steps and insisted on leaving a small token of its approval. And I was not going any farther until proper attention had been paid to the Cloister Cat.

14 thoughts on “Catriangulation

  1. I’d laugh, but I’m getting the exact same look form a strategic point in the kitchen. The strip begins again, and now it’s to shed the short summer undercoat- short gray and white hair on all dark trousers.

  2. And yet, when they do not want to be found, they are amazingly skilled at finding a never-seen- before-nook and ignoring all pleas from the cat’s staff – especially if the staff is bearing cat medicine.

    • Long ago my wife and I were in the process of selling our home. We had two cats, one who was just a happy goober, and the other (a lovely orange tom) who was a genius among cats. Usually when we went out we’d confine the cats as there was a lock box for the realtor and our fear was that Joe random Realtor would NOT take the care to make sure the cats were not trying to make an exit. But one Sunday we were racing to get out to church and our toddler seemed to be conspiring with the felines to slow up progress. In frustration we raced out the door without confining the cats. We made church (barely)and came home to find the back door unlocked and a card on the kitchen table from a realtor (this being mid ’90s and cell phones being rare). We quickly looked and found the tan goober cat sleeping happily in the master bedroom (he being the master clearly). But no sign of Spike the orange tom. I was distressed but my wife was inconsolable. She was 7 months pregnant and just had lost any modicum of control and was sitting in our dining room crying. Now in the dining room was an old pump organ about the size of a Spinet piano. There were pedals that allowed you to pump the bellows to put air through the organ. As my wife sobbed down the pedals of the organ came Spike. Somehow he’d hidden in the organ to avoid the realtor and the potential buyers. Spike had only come out to see what all the hullabaloo was about that had disturbed his nap…

  3. I have a St. Bernard that likes to sneak up when I’m cooking, and lay down right behind me. Just far away enough that I won’t accidentally brush against her, but if I take a step backwards…
    Any food that hits the floor is hers by right, and she’s quite fond of the idea of getting a whole dinner of people food. I haven’t dropped a pan yet tripping over her, but I’ve come close enough to prove the concept to her satisfaction.

  4. Ashbutt will lie right behind my office chair. Even several abrupt encounters of office chair and cat fur (which result in a chunk of fur departing the cat) have not cured him of this. The only way to keep from rolling onto a cat when I push the chair back? Keep the chair far enough from the desk I can get up without pushing it back… but this tends to result in 16 pounds of cat-on-lap, which doesn’t let me type at the computer.

    And then there’s the peril of black cat lying at the hallway junction on the dark laminate flooring at night…

  5. Try 120lbs of coal black GSD laying in the middle of the hall at night… sigh… Tripped over Rex more than once…

  6. Taking plates from stove to table with a toy poodle escort! I’ve threatened more than once to invest in a backup alarm like you have on forklifts in a warehouse

  7. I should have saved the ad or site. Somewhere I saw an ad for a cheap FLIR box with USB connection for a smart phone. It gave you short range infrared imagery, say 30 meters, with an uncooled device, probably mid IR. That sounded dandy to look for our pets without waking everyone up by turning on lights or the sudden thump and howl.

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