A Simple Look at a Not-So-Simple Life

That Darn Cat

The swinging door between the kitchen and the den broke last week.

And you think, “So what?”

Well, with a broken swinging door, I can no longer close off the den from the rest of the house. And if I can’t close off the den from the rest of the house, then our cat wanders free all night. His name is Rascal. He lives up to that name by the minute, but especially, I have discovered, between 3 and 5 a.m.

Apparently kitty sunrise occurs sometime around 3 a.m. Rascal likes to rise with the kitty sun. He must think that I’m a complete slug lying around in bed past kitty sunrise, so he does all he can to get me up and moving. He makes a strange little “chrrrr” sound deep in his throat. Translation: “I’m about to get into some trouble. Just thought you’d like to know.” I hear that sound, and groaning, pull the covers over my head.

There is a window in the bedroom that overlooks small bushes and ivy. The birds like to hang out there. Rascal begins looking for them everyday at kitty sunrise. Even the birds aren’t awake yet. Oh, and did I happen to mention that the window is covered with metal blinds that make a horrible noise as he paws at them?

Every enterprising, early-rising cat knows that soon after bird scouting is over, it’s time for morning exercise. He vaults over my bed. He brings the loudest, crinkliest item possible into the bedroom and chases it. He leaps up on every piece of furniture in the room to see if there is anything there that needs to be relocated. Of course, there always is.

By now, he’s worked up an appetite so he attacks the food in the cat bowl, crunching as loudly as possible. And we all know that after breakfast comes the morning constitutional. I swear, he can scratch in a cat box for 10 minutes straight!

Why, you ask, don’t I close the bedroom door? It seems that he doesn’t approve of closed doors. He will paw, scratch, and pull at it until everyone in the house is awake.

Why don’t I close him in another room? See the explanation above. The only room he’s every stayed closed up in without (too much) fuss is the den, probably because it is large and has lots of windows for birdwatching . And now that’s out because the swinging door is broken.

For the last few nights I have tried sleeping with a squirt bottle. At the first “chrrr” or the first batting of the metal blinds, I come out from under the covers with my squirt bottle blazing. It does the trick – for a little while anyway. Or that’s what I thought at first. Unfortunately, it seems that I just didn’t understand the rules. Apparently initiating a squirt bottle attack merely means that the game starts over again in about 10 or 15 minutes, right after you’ve begun to enter that blessed state of relaxation again.

Last night I woke from a deep sleep to the sound of metal “clank, clank, clank.” I grabbed the squirt bottle and aimed toward the window. He ran. We restarted the game 3 times. The third time, I gave up. I looked at the cat and growled, “Take the stupid window. I’m sleeping on the couch.” I grabbed my pillow and a blanket and grumbled my way to the den. As I finally calmed down and settled in for sleep, Rascal jumped up to join me. He purred and “kneaded biscuits” for a minute, then curled into a ball, where he slept peacefully until it was time to get up.

That darn cat.


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2 thoughts on “That Darn Cat

  1. My cats used to pull similar stunts ( a particular favorite was batting everything off the dresser top one by one, while looking me in the eye). My handy vet of the year told me that cats find it necessary to “hunt” for about 2 hours before eating. That’s when they get active. Since I feed my cats twice a day and there is no food down in between (they would just eat themselves into a kitty coma), all I had to do was get them used to a later breakfast schedule, and they stopped bugging me. (I now feed them last thing before I leave for the day, and they start prowling when the alarm goes off). I guess that’s not going to work for you. Apparently cats have to hunt even if they know there is food in their bowl. Cats are odd.

  2. My kitty is so old at this point all she does is sleep. And sleep and sleep. Unfortunately she “leaks” as she sleeps. Too bad they don’t make kitty Depends.

    Poor Kitty.

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