Our Little Pumpkin and His Big Fear

21 Mar

You guys know our little Pumpkin.  He’s our cat.  All 14 pounds of him.  I guess referring to him as “little” is a bit of an oxymoron, huh?  :)

He’s looking a little nervous here. He’s been living in our bedroom for 4 days.  Why, you ask?  Because of the ceiling fans in the other rooms.

It seems he has a ceiling fan phobia.  What’s really interesting is that we’ve had ceiling fans his whole life (he’s 9 years old).  He used to sit under the fans with his little whispy hair blowing in the breeze and not be phased a bit by them.

During the winter, we reversed the fans and turned them on.  This is when his fear seemed to surface for the first time.  We couldn’t figure it out at first, we just noticed that he was staying up in the bonus room a lot.  I carried him downstairs a few times and he would quickly jump out of my arms and do the low-belly-crawl back to the bonus room.

We finally realized that he was looking at the ceiling fans, so we turned them off and he was fine.  We thought maybe they made a high-pitched noise when in reverse that bothered his ears, so we just left them off for the winter.

We just turned them on again (in the normal direction) now that the weather is warmer and WHOOSH!  There he goes low-bellying it across the floor to the bedroom and under the bed where he stayed for the better part of 4 days.  Fortunately, his food, water, and liter box is in the master bath so he had access to them without having to leave the room.

We picked him up several times and gently carried him within sight of the ceiling fan, but the minute we relaxed our grip on him, he jumped down (leaving claw marks on my arm) and slid back into the bedroom.  He would sit at the door of the bedroom like he wanted to come out, but couldn’t.  It was pitiful!

I even tried using yesterday’s Bible verses on him, by reminding him that God did not give him a spirit of fear and that He commanded him to be a strong and courageous kitty.  I’m not sure he really grasped what I was trying to say based on the blank stare he gave me.

We had been turning off the ceiling fans hoping he would at least come out into some other rooms and only had the one in the den running.  So, yesterday, we turned the last running ceiling fan off and brought him out.  He stayed for a minute and went back the bedroom!  But then a little while later, he slowly made his way back out to the rest of the house and has stayed out with us.  So I guess we won’t be running our ceiling fans anymore.

So what’s the moral of this story?  It’s really Pumpkin’s house and he just lets us live here.

So here’s my question for you – has anyone else encountered this with your cat (or dog for that matter)?  How did you (or did you?) manage to get the cat and the ceiling fan to live in peaceful harmony?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
♥ Rachel

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15 Responses to “Our Little Pumpkin and His Big Fear”

  1. Simply Tia March 21, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    Hahaha. This made me laugh especially you read yesterday’s scripture to him. Poor Little Pumpkin! He’s such a cute fella.

    Have a great day Rachel.

    • rachturner March 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      Yeah, Tia. I kind of looked at me when I quoted scripture as if to say, “I don’t care what you say, I’m not coming out.” :)

  2. Tranquil Moments Photography March 21, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    So what’s the moral of this story? It’s really Pumpkin’s house and he just lets us live here.
    Yeap, cats rule. We had a beautiful orange Tabby for 13 years. He had such a wonderful personality and topped the scales at 18lbs before he got diabetes. I have never heard of a cat being afraid of ceiling fans but ours was afraid of the vacumn.

    • rachturner March 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

      18 lbs?? That’s a good size cat. :) Pumpkin is also afraid of the vacuum. Funny little guy.

  3. Claudia Schmidt March 21, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Hilarious! We have our own little pumpkin (named Maverick) who is very skittery and has her own weird foibles. Not a ceiling fan one, but just in general she doesn’t like anyone to invade her space. And you’re SO right, she rules the house and we’re just lucky to be living here with her. XO Claudia

    • rachturner March 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      Maverick is such a cute name for a cat! Pumpkin has personal space issues, too. He only wants to be near you or touching you when HE wants it – not when we want to do it. Most of the time, he stays just outside of arms reach of us. :)

  4. mainelyhopeful March 21, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Animals are so funny. I have a fierce dog who is terrified of our two orange tabbies. They co-exist but just barely. My little Clover (a mini aussie) is my constant companion. They’ve been a great distraction during this winter of treatments and days of house arrest :)

    • rachturner March 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      Cracks me up that your dog is afraid of your cats. Pets are SUCH great therapy for cancer patients. If someone didn’t have one prior to being diagnosed, I would advise them to get one. They’re presence can be so comforting.

      • mainelyhopeful March 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

        It is impossible to lie around feeling sorry for yourself with 4 furballs wanting attention. Best medicine ever.

  5. Susan March 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    First of all what a handsome cat! We had Snoopy a lovely cat for 18 years. Sadly she passed away last year. She sat underneath our fan in the kitchen in the summer, and it never seemed to bother her. Cats are all different and what scares one does not necessarily scare another. It is quite distressing when you realize they are upset about something. It is so sweet how you are going to great lengths to make him feel comfortable again. <3

    • rachturner March 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      Aww, so sorry sweet Snoopy passed away. It’s either sweet or crazy that we are doing all these things to appease a cat. ha ha!

  6. Kathy March 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Too funny. Maybe one day, while ya’ll weren’t home Pumpkin “hit the fan” and the fan moved as he attempted to jump onto a blade. That would scare me enough to not want to be in the same room with one too. Maybe try a small floor fan to see if he has the same response. Our dogs could never stay “in hiding” for longer than 30 minutes. Too curious about everything. Rattle their treat bag and it would be less time than that.

    • rachturner March 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      Kathy – From what I read online, some cats are afraid of ceiling fans (especially when they have dark blades against a light colored ceiling) because they think it’s a predator coming down out of the sky. Who knew?? It’s just weird that he used to be fine with them and now he’s not.

  7. Kathy August 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    I know I’m a bit late to the conversation, but this came up when I searched “cat afraid of ceiling fan”. Our kitten, 4mos, developed a fear when the ceiling fans are off. We have to keep them running or he disappears to the basement. Like you I tried to carry him up but when he sees it’s not on he freaks and squirms and jumps down to go hide. I know the fans have been off since he’s been with us, i was wondering what might have brought this on & how to help it.

    • rachturner August 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

      Hi Kathy! That is so interesting that your kitten is afraid when the fans are off. How odd because that is completely opposite of our experience with Pumpkin. I don’t have a great solution, the only thing that worked for us was turning them on a higher speed (we used to keep them on the lowest setting) and just leaving them on. He eventually has gotten used to them, although, there are times when he won’t come into a room. He just sits at the door and stars at the ceiling fan.

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