Just lately, I've been trying to encourage him to resist the urge to rip up the Parker Knoll, but being the attention seeking, rebellious teenager he is, he does it all the more! So, before we are reduced to sitting on large piles of kapok and broken springs, I've introduced "Austin calming measures" (note rather neat link to previous post!).
Picture the scene. It's evening and Austin returns from his twilight forays, eats a mouthful of Felix salmon marinade and heads to the sofa arm. In a trice I've whipped out a plastic spray container full of water - had to be careful it wasn't the one from the garden with the fertiliser, as I didn't want Austin to wake up the next morning to discover he'd morphed from short haired sleek moggie to long haired shagpile moggie, courtesy of "Miracle-Gro-all-purpose-concentrated-liquid-plant-food"! His reaction was swift; he took one look and before I'd even had time to pull the trigger he was out the room!
And this was how it played out for the next day or two. He'd enter the room, I'd lift my arm (say to pick up a glass or scratch my head) and he'd shoot off in the opposite direction. So now he wasn't even coming near me :~( One evening he slunk in and slipped through the curtains into the bay window and all was quiet for about 30 minutes as he sat and surveyed his catdom. Now normally what would happen is he'd eventually nose his way out, go scratch the armchair and then jump on my lap for the evening ritual of shiatsu and cuddles. This time though he decided discretion was the better part of valour. This time the scratch scratch scratch took place behind the curtain as he systematically ripped up the carpet around the edge of the window. When he finally emerged he gave me such a look of triumph all I could do was fall about laughing!
Needless to say we have agreed on a truce - with conditions: He scratches when I'm not around and I relegate the spray to the back of the cupboard.