headphones and felines

A cautionary tale for cat owners. Hide your headphones! (yes, this is a blog post about cats 😛 )

A certain cat at our house (who shall remain nameless … except for “Furry B&%#!@$!”) has developed a taste for headphone cables.

The first time it happened, I had just bought a new pair of Sony earbuds .. I forget the model, but they poke into the ear canal a bit more than most earbuds. They had a weird rubberized cable that was hard to bend or coil too tight, making the cord less tangle-prone. However, this rubberization did nothing to protect agains cat teeth. I woke up one morning and found them on the floor next to the bed, the plug-end completely separated from the ear-end. %&$!% The cat was lucky to live through the day. Since this was the first time the Cat had eaten any earphones and these were a new pair, I suspected there was something tasty about the special rubberized cables.

I made another pilgrimage to Fry’s, where I bought another pair of earphones. A different pair. Sony MDR-EX51’s to be exact. I know because I still have them and use them. But no, they did not escape the Jaws of the Cat. I was more careful and made sure to keep them in a backpack or on a table, but tables are no match for The Cat. Again, one morning after getting out of the shower, there were the headphones on the carpet next to the bed … all in one piece, this time, but with a throrougly chewed spot in the cord midway between plug and earbuds. *&^$!@$ing *&(@#% CAT! Tested them .. no sound, at least one wire completely severed.

You’d think I’d learn, but no, I went back and bought another pair (of the same kind this time). Promised myself I’d take extra precautions, never leave them anywhere in reach of cat teeth. And I tried, I really did. Yet again, one morning (why is it always in the morning?), there’s The Cat, headphone cable in mouth, chewing away. %!@#%&‘ing !#%*&% CAT *#&@^er!

So I dug out an old pair of slightly uncomfortable but cheap and easily replaceable earbuds. The Cat recently devoured these as well, gnawing through the cord to only one earbud this time, leaving me with a working but now monaural headphone.

I took the remains of Headphones III (or Headphones II? one of the nice Sony’s, anyway) and soldered on a new plug. They work fine now and still sound great, but whatever they’re plugged into has to stay in my hand or shirt-pocket, with the cable now half of its original length. I am keeping them out of reach of the Cat.
I also found and purchased at Fry’s a more comfortable pair of five-dollar earbuds made by Phillips. The Cat has not eaten them, yet.

But this is not the end!
The Cat, being deprived of his headphone-cable-based nourishment, decided to go after … well, let’s just say The Cat is probably in cahoots with “this dog”:http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/pcs/idog-122629.php . The Freaking Cat chewed through the power supply cable to my iBook. (Un?)fortunately, he managed to eat the cable without electrocuting himself, possibly because he’s smart enough only to chew on the DC cable instead of the one plugged into the 120V mains.