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Kathryn Spira

Cats in Boxes from NYC to LA

For as many years as I have had cats no matter where I lived whether Cleveland, New York City or Los Angeles, any cat I had always had a fascination with cardboard boxes. I've moved around so much and always packed my belongings in suitcases and when I ran out of them in cardboard boxes.

As you can see from the enclosed photo that Herman took Dec. 27, Jerry's new favorite place is a cardboard box that sits nearby our wood stove.

When I was in Los Angeles and New York with the dream of becoming an actress, no matter where I lived I traveled with a cat and a boyfriend, I might add. No matter how many of the nooks I had set up for my cats, nothing was as favored a place as a cardboard box.

Here in upstate New York I often shop at Aldi's Market where Herman usually packs my groceries in cardboard boxes that are readily available as products are sold off the shelves. This automatically saves money for Aldi's by not having to provide free bags nor the bother of clearing the shelves of packing materials. Once they are emptied at home they immediately become toys and new sleeping places for our cats Jerry and Sally.

When I was busily pursuing my acting career, I would frequently shop at a store called Trader Joe's in Los Angeles that was on Santa Monica Blvd. They also had cardboard boxes that were available for shoppers for the same reason that Aldi's does here. Part of the unpacking ritual here is that as soon as the groceries are out of the box, Jerry is in it.

I remember my cat Emily being thrilled when I came home from the store unpacking groceries from the boxes.

However, when I lived in Cleveland, paper bags were what we used in stores and this also thrilled my cats as they played in them. Bags or boxes are cheap toys for the cats, and often preferred over more expensive playthings bought specifically for them.

Jerry is the first cat I've owned that hasn't been de-clawed and also likes to use cardboard boxes as scratching posts. I've learned the valuable lesson that cats don't need to be de-clawed as long as they are given proper scratching posts.

So here's to cats in boxes who find the most common place items a joy to play with. No expensive toys are needed. Just the boxes they came in!


About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site