It all started about three months ago when I'd finally had it with the builder's white on all the walls of my house. I decided to paint my bathroom to match the trim on my bed linens. I purchased two quarts of paint in different colors and painted a section of wall to see which looked the best. After deciding on one, I covered about a 4 ft by 4ft patch of wall to see if I REALLY liked it.

Well, real life intruded. A trip to Montana, my step-son's annual summer invasion, finishing the basement, changing jobs. And all this time the patch of periwinkle paint mocked me. This week looked free of commitments so I made plans to finish painting.

I started work on Tuesday mid-morning -- a time the furkids can usually be found sleeping on the cat tree or on the dog bed. I carried the ladder and the step stool upstairs and set them up -- the ladder in the shower stall and the step stool in the bathtub -- in preparation for masking off the ceiling. I went back down to gather the rest of my painting supplies and came back to find all three cats in the bathroom. Shira had already made her way halfway up the ladder. Maggie was eyeing the step stool and Zeke was plotting his move.

I climbed over Shira and started masking. She climbed up between my legs to the shelf on the ladder, then discovered that the 1 1/2 inch chrome top of the shower stall was just perfect for a stroll. Maggie climbed the stepstool and was munching on the rose bouquet I had hanging from the plant hook to dry. "Yum, mom! Why did you put this so high?"

I rescued Shira from the shower stall and the roses from Maggie. I finished masking off the ceiling and spread out newspaper on the floor. Oh boy, an invitation for all kinds of cat games! By the time the three of them had dove under the paper, pounced on each other through the paper, and ran through it all to hear the delightful noise of crumpled paper, there was no sign of organization. Oh well, I'll just straighten it out when I need to paint an area.

I opened up the paint and set the lid on a piece of paper on the counter. After stirring up the paint, I moved my ladder to where I planned to start -- after first getting Shira down from the piece of wall that separates the upper part of the door way from the lower part (it's a vaulted ceiling) where she had climbed from the ladder. In that moment of inattention, Zeke was on the counter checking out the paint. Shira and Maggie, never to be left out of Zeke's fun, were headed that way. So far one cat with blue paint on his nose.

I moved the paint to the shelf on the ladder. Not good enough. Maggie walked across the lid. Blue cat number two.

I exiled the three of them from the room and started painting. Of course they were not at all happy at being exiled. They cried and did their best to tunnel under the door. Finally they gave up and I thought they'd decided to take their naps. Wrong! A thumping commenced. I raced down the hall to discover the ladders had inspired them to play on the ladder of my stepson's bunkbed. The thumping was them jumping down when another cat blocked their way.

I finished half the painting before having to go to work.

Today I once again waited until nap time to start work, but I waited until they were actually asleep. A fine plan, in theory. Midway through the job, the doorbell rang. I went downstairs to answer it, accompanied by three wide awake furballs. While I was talking to a neighbor, Shira decided to investigate what mom had been doing with the door closed. In the process she had brushed her very furry Wegie tail against the wet wall. Blue cat number three.

I did finish painting the bathroom today. I've been thinking of painting the guest room, too. Anyone want a  green cat?

(Please note that you will see a number of photos of our cats and kittens that I've taken outside in a natural setting. The LostWoods cats do NOT go outside unsupervised! When we do go outside for pictures and occasional adventures, there is always one person and usually two watching them closely. We do have an outside, fully enclosed run to which the older cats are allowed access, but even then we check on them often.)

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