Sometimes it’s the purr. Other times it’s the head bonk. Or maybe one look at those jellybean toes and you’re lulled into believing your cat is all sweetness and light. And you forget that cats are coolly efficient hunters, designed to catch and dispatch prey, whether that prey is a bug, a mouse, or your ankle.

If you’re lucky, you’ll see clues that indicate your cute kitty has gone into Hunt Mode, which will give you the opportunity to avoid a pointy encounter. For example, upon observing two huge pupils like endless wells of darkness as you approach the top of the stairs, you may discover you have business elsewhere in the house.

Cats are well trained in the art of hide and sneak. They have lots of pointy bits and sharp edges designed to grab you when you least expect it. One should prudently distrust sofas, beds and other likely ambush positions.

Beguiling creatures, they can lure you in with an offer of soft furry kitty belly. But it can be a dangerous trap, sprung without warning on the careless human who misinterprets a belly rub invitation and winds up with a hand ensnared among four clawed feet and a bonus toothed grip.

Those of us who love cats, love them for their changeable nature and their wildness. The purrs and head bonks are a bonus.

What traps do your cats set for you? Tell us in the comments, or write a haiku.

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About the author: Susan C. Willett is a writer, photographer, and blogger whose award-winning original stories, photography, poetry, and humor can be found at Life With Dogs and Cats. She lives in New Jersey with three dogs and four cats (all rescues) and at least a couple of humans — all of whom provide inspiration for her work. Refusing to take sides in the interweb’s dogs vs. cats debate, Susan enjoys observing the interspecies interaction among the varied inhabitants of her home — like living in a reality TV show, only furrier. In addition to Life With Dogs and Cats, you can find more Lilah, Jasper, and Tucker (and the rest of the gang) on Haiku by DogÔäó, Haiku by CatÔäó, and Dogs and Cats Texting.