Who did I piss off; and how your furniture can kill your pets.

They say that karma is only a bitch if you are… and this has left me wondering who exactly I pissed off to have the string of luck I’ve been having over the past few days.

First, my new (about 2.5 months old) macbook pro died. As in, won’t turn on, hard drive dead, and I lose everything that I hadn’t backed up or emailed to people.

Then, while minding my own business sitting on our couch yesterday afternoon, I noticed something on my glasses and took them off to inspect. It was a spider. ON MY GLASSES. Which is basically my face. Which means it crawled up my body to get there. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

And most importantly, we almost lost our dog last night I think. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m actually traumatized from this. We have one of those couches in the man cave that is a sectional with two power recliners on either end.

(this is where I would usually link a picture but I can’t because my computer is DEAD and I’m using B’s)

A few months ago our cat’s tail got stuck in the bars under the recliner. She had crawled into it from behind when we were out of the room. When I tried to raise the foot rest up, I heard the worst screeching I have ever heard, and I look under it to see a flurry of grey fur and teeth. The worst part is, I didn’t know what to do. B was upstairs out of earshot even to my yelling (too many freaking doors in this house) and I was worried that if I started to put the footrest back down she would get caught in different bars because she was flailing so much. I couldn’t reach my hands in there to grab her because she was biting/hissing/clawing (understandably) and I didn’t think I could get a grip on her. And I couldn’t even see exactly what was happening because she is dark grey and it is dark under there. Finally I decided to put the footrest down, a little at a time. I did, and after much more screeching and heart-stopping she came running out of there like a bat out of hell and ran upstairs to hide. Which meant we then had to go find her to see what her injury was and if she was okay. *Luckily* (she may disagree) it was just her tail. A two inch portion of her hair had been pulled out and it was clearly tender but did not seem to be broken and she didn’t seem to be in any other kind of distress.

Since that incident we’ve been very careful with the recliners. We try to find all three pets before we use them so we’re not surprising a kitty beneath our seat, and we are careful to make sure they don’t get under there while they are raised up.

Last night, however, there was an accident. B was sitting in his recliner eating Reese’s pieces. He thinks he maybe dropped one on the floor but he’s not sure. He decided to get up to put them away, and as he started to lower his recliner, our dog Stew darted beneath it (we are thinking perhaps to retrieve the Reese’s?). He obviously didn’t want to trap him so he started to raise it back up so that he could shoo Stew out from under there.

Unfortunately, what he didn’t realize (and neither did I, to be honest), is that when you raise the leg portion of the recliner up, there is a bar that comes down to meet another bar on the floor. And Stew just happened to be reaching his head between those two bars at the exact wrong moment.

Stew didn’t yelp or cry but he was scratching his back feet and so I got up, laughing actually, because I thought that he was being goofy trying to climb under the chair. He has a history of trying to fit in places he doesn’t belong. When I dropped down to see what he was doing though, I saw his neck was caught between the two bars and he was flipping the fuck out. That was probably the single scariest moment of my life because I couldn’t even understand exactly how it had happened and all of a sudden my dog who I love like crazy actually is in serious danger. His neck twisted at a weird angle and him pulling with all his might to get out.

My first thought was that he was going to break his neck trying to get out. I started screaming at B not to move a muscle (he is still sitting on the recliner at this point) and I crawl beneath it and pull Stew down to a laying position. I just wanted him to stop flailing so I could figure out what exactly he was stuck on and how to fix it, without breaking his neck.

Once I got him laying still I could tell that he was still able to breath (although the bar was tight on his neck so perhaps it was a bit restricted), but he was clearly scared to death and snarling/snapping. I started petting him while holding him down trying to sound calm so he would calm down and it only took a minute for him to settle down and (I think) realize that we were going to fix this. I asked B to get up then, but his jostling the recliner (it is hard to get out of with the leg up!) freaked Stew out again and we had to calm him down again.

It took about 10 minutes for us to determine his collar was stuck on the bar that lays flat on the ground, remove his collar, figure out which way to press the recline/decline button to get the bar on top of his neck to go up, hold him tight enough that he wouldn’t freak out and hurt himself when the bar started moving, and move it off of him.

The whole time all I could think was that this was 100% in our hands and if we fucked this up and moved it 1 inch in the wrong direction it could very possibly kill him.

Once he got out, he seemed fine. He was running all around, rolling around and being hyper. I called the emergency vet (it was after 9pm at this point) to see what to watch out for since he wasn’t really showing any injury (white or purple gums, apparently. pink/red is good. white or purple is an emergency).

We spoiled him with petting the rest of the night I woke up about four times last night to make sure he was still okay. People who don’t have pets probably can’t understand but I have never been so scared in my life. And even once he was out of danger I was so scared that it was just adrenaline making him okay and once it wore off he’d be injured.

This morning though he seemed 100% normal and I think he really is fine. We on the other hand, are still traumatized. I can’t help but think what would have happened if any number of things had gone differently. And we’ve now vowed that if we use the reclining portion of the chair at all, we’ll get out of the chair before declining it so that we can keep the pets out from under it. Probably overkill but I don’t think we could handle another fluke like that.

And for anyone who is furniture shopping.. I would recommend NOT getting anything with power recline. It just has a lot more under-workings than a normal recliner and it is clearly very dangerous even when you’re being careful. I don’t think the makers of our couch took pets into consideration at all in the design.

So, that is my week so far. Oh, and I spilled wet coffee grounds all over the floor this morning. Not that it matters, but also annoying. And it is only Tuesday. Things are either going to turn around soon, or you’ll find my on Friday night in the fetal position in my closet nursing an entire bottle of wine.

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7 thoughts on “Who did I piss off; and how your furniture can kill your pets.

  1. I’ve never commented before but I’ll share a really scary experience I had with a leather sectional and one of my cats. About 7 years when I was still in high school, my dad purchased a new leather sectional with two recliners built into it. My dad was sitting in one of them and like a kitten, my cat was exploring the underside of the couch. When he went to put the recliner down we heard a loud screech. He got off immediately and she was somehow tangled up in the metal. It was so scary, I was petting her to try to calm her down and she was flailing. My dad pried all the stuff apart, she urinated because she was that scared but we were able to get her out safely. I actually think my dad cut the recliner device in the process because that particular recliner doesn’t work anymore.

  2. Thanks, Lauren! Me too!

    @Rachael- oh my gosh SO scary. That sounds like exactly what happened here. B was just about to get out a wrench to take the whole damn chair apart because we were so worried that moving the bar in any way might hurt him more, but ultimately we decided it was safer to go that route than to risk keeping him there long enough to unbolt everything. I swear I never considered how hazardous this couch could be to our family! They honestly should really warn you about this when you purchase one of them, and I don’t know why the designers of them couldn’t do a better job?? It seems like it would be easy enough to cover most of the moving parts in fabric so it wasn’t so easy for pets to get tangled, but my guess is they just don’t care. :/

  3. Oh no, that sounds so scary! I don’t think I’d ever be able to use the recliners again after two pets being almost killed in them! Maybe it’s time to invest in a coffee table or ottoman to rest your feet on instead?

    Hope your luck turns around soon–you definitely sound like you need it!

  4. @morgan- i probably won’t use it anymore. I feel like I can’t really tell B not to though, since it is his couch/his man cave etc and because that was basically the whole reason he bought the thing. But, he was as scared as I was and he was the one who made the point of saying first that he will never move the recliner while sitting in it again. Only while he is standing on the floor and can see 100% that there are no pets under there. The construction is very open so its obvious if a pet is there or not when you’re looking under it (although that also means it is so much easier for them to get stuck). It’s going to be a hassle to climb in and out of it with it open but I know he feels incredibly guilty for what happened (even though it wasn’t really his fault) so I trust that he’ll be careful. I worry most about guests coming over and using it but I think most of them won’t realize it is there, and/or they are close enough to us I’ll feel comfortable saying— don’t recline it until I am standing next to you watching out for the pets!

  5. Absolutely laughed my a** off with your descriptions here, first the cat and then your pup?!? I have 2 dogs and it’s amazing the crap that happens to them. I’m glad you acted quick and saved the day- it should make up for the coffee grounds and spider… maybe the couch needs to be recalled (instead of your hair iron.

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