Sheila's post about the Feline's Bane reminded me of a couple of things. The first is my favorite story about cats and vacuums.
I lived in a boarding house for a few years. Said house had two cats: an older, mellow cat (I called him the Living Beanbag, he'd just flop anywhere and relax) and a younger, larger, yet shyer black cat. This younger cat would hunt (and catch) bunnies and stuff outside, but the vacuum was truly his Balrog... he has met his equal, and has nearly been destroyed. One day I took the vacuum out of the closet and parked it in the living room, and went back to plug it in. I turned back around and, out of nowhere, there was Younger Cat, sitting and staring at the infernal machine. Before I could do anything else, he puffed up, spat and hissed at it, and then tore up the stairs in a black blur. Basically, he just had to come out of hiding to defy his arch-enemy - for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee! - and then ZZZZZZIP! Poor kitteh.
The second, which showed up in the usual place a few months ago, is wonderfully apt: