Cat-Proof Your Stereo Speakers

Bored cats find that fabric speaker grilles make excellent scratching posts, but you can foil your feline without spoiling your sound by following these simple preventative techniques.

| January/February 1986


This design only requires one piece of fabric to protect the stereo.


"No animals in the house," my husband used to state adamantly whenever our three-year-old son, Toby, begged for a pet.
"Kitty, Daddy, pleeeaase," Toby would whine. His requests for a cat were usually prompted by old episodes of Lassie that ran every evening while I was putting the finishing touches on supper. It seemed that once a week, on the average, Lassie rescued a litter of kittens whose mother had been run down by a teenage drag racer, eaten by a bear, or wiped out by some other act of nature.

"No pets," my husband would repeat firmly. "Especially cats. They're destructive."

Lest a reader think my husband is completely hard-hearted, let me point out that he's been around the track a few times as far as pets are concerned. He knows all too well that cats, upholstered furniture, and stereo speakers cannot coexist happily in the same house. Now, our living-room sofa has been a writeoff ever since Toby perforated it with a mechanical pencil, but the audio equipment is another matter. Using income tax refunds and various financial windfalls over the past five years, my husband has lovingly replaced, component by component, the assortment of outmoded electronic junk we both brought to our union. The finishing touches were the speakers — tall, brooding rectangles covered by a black fabric that offers only minimal protection for the delicate inner workings.

Predictably, a skinny stray kitten eventually showed up at my parents' house, and they promptly presented her to a delighted Toby. The kitten — dubbed Patches — turned out to be appreciative, sweet-natured, and tolerant of the boy. And probably because of my husband's anti-cat tendencies, Patches found him irresistible. At every opportunity, she'd rub her bony body against him, purr loudly, and gaze rapturously at his face.

After a few days of such nonstop feline campaigning, my man grudgingly admitted, "Well, for a cat, she's not too bad. She can stay if you do something about the speakers."

He'd seen some covers a friend had made for his speakers after his two frisky kittens had shredded them. Basically, the material for the covers was thick enough to keep a cat's claws from penetrating and harming the grille fabric. My husband vaguely described the covers and left me to fill in the details.

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