Saturday, January 17, 2009

Static and cats

Just a quick observation: if you wipe your cats down with fabric-softener dryer sheets, it really does cut down the amount of static electricity generated when you pet them. It breaks the stroke-ZAP!-stroke-ZAP! rhythm you usually get when you pet long-haired cats in winter (though it's cool petting them in the dark and watching the sparks crackle in their fur).

On the down side, the cats hate the dryer sheets. But, silver lining: they smell all Mountain Fresh now.


Laura read this over my shoulder, rolled her eyes, shook her head, and let loose a clearly-audible sigh. She just walked away, talking to herself under her breath; I caught the phrase "you knew he was strange when you married him". Why, yes. Yes, I am.


NerfSmuggler said...

Not to be critical, but given cats' grooming habits, I would be concerned about them ingesting nastiness from dryer sheets. I did a quick survey and didn't find anything useful as far as edible anti-static sheets.

That said, having fresh-smelling cats on a special occasion basis sounds like fun and likely to be harmless as long as it's not habitual.

NerfSmuggler said...

Because cats have so much dignity, they make the perfect 'straight man' and are nearly irresistible targets for practical jokes.

I imagine a small rubber balloon will generate a huge opposing static charge and will stick quite well to ... say for instance ... the cat's back between his/her shoulder blades.


Jeff Mountjoy said...

You're right. And I know it doesn't help much that I use the environmentally-friendly all-natural dryer sheets from Trader Joe's. Hemlock and arsenic are both, technically, all-natural; it's not a synonym for "healthy". I experimented, and found that used dryer sheets have much the same effect, with much less chemical content.

You know, I tried the balloon trick once, but the cat snagged it with a claw, and when it popped the cat really freaked out....

The cat who's the most fun to play with is the Meeping Cat, and he's almost completely dignity-free. For the most part, this is true for people too. :-)