Cats wait until you’re on the phone to be naughty. They know you are otherwise occupied and therefore cannot turn your complete disciplinary attention to their acts of mutilation, harassment, general mess-making and running amok. Meanwhile, they KNOW you are aware of the situation, but powerless to stop it.
Before cordless phones, this was made even more satisfying by the tethering of the human to the device; one could only advance as far as the length of the cord to try to stop the chaos.
Now, although we can walk around at will, we are still stuck in the conversation, and only so many interruptions of “Excuse me, NO! NO!” will be tolerated.
If cats did this while you were away from home, it could be classified as separation anxiety. The fact that they do it in our presence is a giveaway to the attention-grabber complex. That would be OUR attention: they want it. When we are on the phone, they know they don’t have it. Complex? Nope.
© Jan McClintock of We Need More Shelves