Sunday, April 16, 2017
Feline Dream Control
My elderly cat Daisy has become obsessed with the screen porch. She wants to be there ALL the time. She doesn't care if she eats. She doesn't care if there is water to drink. She doesn't care about the litter box. The only thing that interests her is sitting on the little triangular shelf that is "her" place on the porch. And she will do just about anything to get back to that shelf.
I bring Daisy into the house at bedtime. I don't want to leave her on the porch unsupervised. And with good reason. If you haven't heard about "Incident: Coyote" then read Daisy's Difficult Days.
I don't mind if she stays out all day. I don't mind if she stays out after dark. But I am not gonna leave her on the porch when I'm asleep. The porch is diagonally at the opposite end of the house from the bedroom. My hearing is not what it was. If something awful should happen, I might not be able to rescue Daisy in time the way I did before. Bedtime means the Cat needs to be in the House. But Daisy does NOT want to be in the house.
So last night when I brought her in (she has to be carried, mind you, since she does Not come willingly), she was deeply annoyed. And deeply annoying. She sat on the dining room windowsill and howled. And howled. And howled. She kept it up for about 3 hours. I went to bed anyway.
Then she decided to bring the matter closer to my attention. She came to the bedroom and sat next to me on the bed and howled. That didn't last too long because I felt Really Cross by that time, and I hissed at her. Hissing is very, very rude in cat language, so she got the point. But she wasn't giving up. Daisy, now utterly silent, sat next to me on the bed on the bed, bolt upright, eyes fixed on my face, and stared at me without blinking. As you might imagine, this was a little unnerving.
So, attempting to make a somewhat conciliatory gesture, I opened the window next to the bed so Daisy could enjoy the night air and the outside sounds. It's not the porch, of course, but it I figured it was at least something good for a cat. Daisy did Not agree. Oh, she sat on the windowsill alright. Yeah, she sat there bolt upright and unblinking, fixing those laser-cat-eyes on me in the dark. And she was ticked off.
She had me trapped. Thanks to my sciatica, I could not roll over onto my right side so that I could ignore that Stare. No, I had to face her. Yeah. Try going to sleep when an angry animal is staring you down. I'd doze off, wake up in a jolt, realize I was still being stared at unblinkingly, doze off again.....and continued to repeat that process for hours. By that time, I actually Wanted to put her out on the porch, coyotes be damned, but I wasn't willing to give the cat satisfaction. I said she had to be in the house and she was gonna stay in. I was ticked off, too.
Finally, I fell into a deep sleep out of sheer exhaustion. And I dreamed of being in a huge house with many staircases. A house full of cats sitting on windowsills. Howling cats trapped in small rooms. Ticked-off cats. Cats following my every step. Cats unblinking. Cats everywhere.
When I woke with a gasp, there was Daisy still staring directly and unblinkingly at me. She obviously hadn't given in for one single second.
I've always liked having a cat as a pet. They bathe themselves. They cover up their own poo (well, they do unless they are Daisy). They don't require being walked. They don't over-eat their kibble. Basically cats are willing to look out for themselves and to co-exist with humans as long as they are fed as compensation.
Right this minute, I'm kinda wondering why I don't have a dog. All that extra work would be a picnic compared to nights of having to deal with aggressive Feline Dream Control.
Life is good.
Cats can be scary.
And I'm seriously sleep-deprived.