Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chats du jour: Remember cats are nocturnal

Our usual procedure is that the cats start out in bed with us at night and then SH puts them in the basement in the middle of the night. When SH comes to bed after I do, which is frequently, as we are in complete disaccord on bedtime, he puts the cats out then. I sometimes hear him coming down the stairs - I wake up just a little - and will notice Laverne diving from the top of the bed to underneath it. She knows what those footsteps mean.

Laverne under the bed = SH with the flashlight and the broom handle. Laverne has no interest in leaving the bedroom for the basement.

While Laverne is distracting SH, Shirley will hide under the chair.

Except Shirley - well, she is very pretty. But she is not very smart. And hiding under the chair means that SH turns around after he finally grabs Laverne and scoops Shirley up from her perfectly well-framed and outlined position. At least Laverne knows to go under the bed to the very back. Shirley thinks that just because there is a chair seat above her that shazam! she is invisible!

And while all this drama is going on, I pretend to be asleep. I don't want to get involved.

When SH is gone, I usually don't bother with putting the cats in the basement in the middle of the night.

I put them there at the beginning of the night.

SH says I am being mean by not letting them sleep with me and that they are lonely, but I am not terribly concerned with the emotional state of mind of my cats. I feed them and clean the litter box. That's enough. If they become cat models and make SH and me rich, well, then I'll reconsider.

But as long as they are making no financial contribution to the household and are shedding the equivalent of three small kittens every day, which means there are cat hair tumbleweeds rolling across the desert of our wood floors, no matter how many times I sweep or vacuum, I make the rules.

And yet last night I felt sorry for them. Shirley was so happy to see me last night when I got back from my little volunteer thing at church. She trotted around the kitchen counters, keeping up with me. When I relented and brushed her for a while, she put her front paws on my shoulder and did that rubbing thing that cats do, pushing their jaw against your cheek, and purred and purred and purred.

This is a triumph of sorts. Until recently, Shirley has been enigmatic, aloof and mysterious, which has made SH crazy to get her affection. Hard to get always works. Laverne? She's a puppy cat - she follows me around all day and sits on my lap and cries at the window when I go outside. She just wants to be with me or whichever human is around.

But Shirley doesn't care. She shows up for meals and then sometimes not even that.

For whatever reason - perhaps she realized she better be nicer to the people who give her food - and as I type this, I realize that the timing coincides with when we put them on a slight diet because they had each gained a pound, which isn't much for people but is 14% of body weight for Shirley and 12% for Laverne - for whatever reason, Shirley decided to be nicer to us and has become this Miss Lovey.

As Shirley was all Oh I missed you! I was so lonely! I thought maybe the cats might be not getting as much attention as usual what with SH being gone again and having been gone last weekend. I felt sorry for them and decided to let them sleep with me.

That was a stupid idea.

Just as I was about to fall asleep - and sleep has not been easy for the past two weeks as I have gone cold turkey on caffeine (except for a little wee tiny bit of coffee the other day and yesterday) - Laverne started giving herself a bath.

Laverne is the loudest licker in the world. She sounds like an obscene phone caller. I reached over and kicked her from under the covers, but she refused to stop. I put in my earplugs, which I usually don't have to use when SH is gone because when he's gone, there is nobody to snore but me and I don't wake myself up, and finally fell asleep.

I didn't wake up at all during the night, so didn't have an opportunity to put them out.

At 6:00 a.m., the cats decided they had had enough of this sleeping and wanted to push through the blinds to look out the bedroom window to do the morning rabbit and varmint report.

The noise woke me.

I put the Laverne out of the bedroom. I didn't see Shirley and thought she had already gone into the kitchen.

I was almost asleep again when I heard Shirley scratching on the chair. She has a routine: walk in the door, scratch the chair that is one of the eight I got from my grandmother's house when my grandmother died and that has seen far worse abuse than cat scratching, then jump on the chair and from there, jump onto the dresser. Once on the dresser, look for something to knock to the floor and then look at herself in the mirror. Then gauge the distance from the dresser to the bed, crouch, spring and land on the bed. Walk over to me to see if I will give her some vaseline, which is her kitty crack.

That's her routine.

So I got out of bed again and threw Shirley out before she could disturb me further.

Almost asleep.

Laverne sat in front of the bedroom door and started to meow. Wasn't I going to feed them? It was light. It was time. Wake up. Wake up!

Lord have mercy can't a person sleep past 6:30 a.m. around here? I pushed the earplugs further into my ears and rolled over.

After 45 minutes of whining, I finally gave up and got up. But I didn't feed them right away because I was ticked off at them. Noisy bossy thinks the world revolves around them cats. Ticked off at them and I couldn't even have coffee. Not a good start to the day.

I no longer feel sorry for these cats. They are not abused or neglected and if they want attention, they can get it when it's convenient for me. Tonight, they sleep in the basement. I sleep alone. In peace. Past 6:00 a.m.


Fijufic said...

I let my cat sleep at the foot of the bed. She watches us all night...

mun said...

Cats are a universal language methinks. Everything you say rings so familiar! Esp. the cat hair tumbleweeds.....aargh!
Awesome post! Feel so glad I finally figured out a way to comment!