Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I love my cat (also titled: the bad bits) (also titled: a whinge)

I really do. He's soft and warm and cuddly and he loves me. But he's driving me crazy a lot of the time.

He sits inside the shower cubicle and miaows. And miaows and miaows and miaows......I know what he wants, he wants me to get in there and play with him.  
Again.

It's my own fault, I'm the one who taught him that playing tug of war with a flannel through the gap under the shower screen is fun, but I can only do it for a few minutes at a time.
Half an hour at the most, then my knees and back have had enough.
Angel can play like this for hours.

I taught him to roll a small rubber ball around in there, it will bounce off the walls and screen and roll back to him so he can roll it again. At first he was happy to do this, now he prefers it if I sit on the closed toilet and roll the ball around for him.
Well, no. Not happening. Not for long anyway.
So I leave the bathroom when I've had enough and he sits there and cries.
Aarrgh!
I scoop him up and bring him out with me, but he'll run back in there a lot of the time.

I've been extra grumpy this week because my legs have been aching more than usual, I'd love to do nothing but lie around with my feet up on pillows.

Then there's the thundering through the flat faster than a streak of lightning. 
Zip Zip Zip...he's here, he's gone, over the bed, under the table, up over the couch onto the windowsill and down again, it's impossible to catch on film. It's fun to watch though. 
Doesn't drive me batty like the miaowing for no discernible reason.

Thankfully the back porch is closed in and I can let him out there to explore and he likes that, so I prop open the back screen door and Angel comes and goes as he pleases. :)

Sleeping at night? Hah! He was sleeping on my bed, mostly on my chest or across my throat at first, then preferring the empty space between the pillow and the wall. I don't have a headboard.
But that had its pitfalls. Waking me too often is one. 
 I noticed that he doesn't seem to need the litter tray overnight anymore, so now I leave him on the couch and close the door to the bedroom while I go to bed.
And get more than three hours of sleep.
Until he wakes and pushes open the door. Clearly the latch doesn't hold securely. So now I use a doorstop.
If he is awake when I go to bed, I can count on him falling asleep and me getting five hours. If Angel has already been asleep for a while when I go to bed, I will get woken earlier than I'd like.
(Anytime before 5am is too early in my opinion)

And I'm grumpy when I get woken before I'm ready. I've been known to toss his brush in his general direction. It hits my side of the bedroom door and he scampers away from the lounge side for a few minutes. I've found it easier to get up, pour him a bit of dry food and go back to bed.
He'll eat, then come in and curl up on the pillow until I'm ready to get up. Sometimes we go back to sleep until daylight.

There are times Angel will sit and miaow and I don't have a clue what he wants.
Play? no no, he'll tear my fingers to ribbons.
Food? sniff it and leave it. (There's a can of tuna and mackerel wasted).
Dangle his ribbon to jump and catch? Yeah, that's good for about a minute and a half, then he's got my fingers again. Yowch! Get another bandaid.
How do I know what he wants? any clues? anybody?
I tell him I don't understand cat, he's going to have to learn to speak English.

He will nap for hours at a time, giving me a chance to get things done, so that's good, but just when I get tired and think I might take a nap myself, Angel wakes up. I've thought of napping as soon as Angel falls asleep, but then I'd never get anything done here on the computer. 
Just when I'm extra busy writing a post or replying to comments, he jumps up into the gap between me and the keyboard and lays along my arm, flips over and I scratch his chest while he purrs. Can't stop too long to type very much.

He's jumping quite high now on the shower curtain and I'm glad he hasn't realised that he can probably get up onto the kitchen bench. Because that is the last place I have to stash stuff I don't want him getting in to.
AND, the hotplates are up there. I really don't want Angel getting burnt.

I know he is still young at six months and will grow out of this and I'm looking forward to that time when he is more companion than needy baby.
And even now there are many, many happier moments when he is a delight to have around.

Next week I'll have the hardest day of all. 
Angel is scheduled for his desexing on Wednesday June 4th.
So he is not allowed any food after 6pm the night before and absolutely no breakfast on the Wednesday. Not even a lick of cat milk. (Water is allowed) He won't understand why I can't feed him.
It's going to be the longest morning of my life.

17 comments:

  1. Too funny. The little bugger has trained you to use the doorstop! I guess it's like changing diapers. The day you think you can't bear to do it one more time, hey, presto, toilet trained.

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  2. Oh River,

    It will be okay. When we first had Jasper and Poppy as kittens they would tear around the house, miaowing, fighting, playing, ripping things to shreds and being a pain. Jasper once leapt off the wardrobe straight onto my stomach in the middle of the night and frightened the life out of me - as well as half killing me.

    But things will improve. Angel's a male kitten so when he has his op, he will calm down.

    Just be a little ruthless; lock him out of the bedroom, move him away gently when he lays on the keyboard and he will get used to it; ignore the incessant miaowing - unless you WANT to play with him.

    Liquorice, the hellcat that has turned our house upside down, is a pain because when she is not scratching, she is attacking - or sleeping. But she is learning - slowly - she is the biggest challenge for us at the moment but she has improved massively.

    And so will Angel - honestly...

    :0)

    Cheers

    PM

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  3. Angel will settle down, River. He's still so full of life and mischief; and as Plastic Mancunian says, he'll calm down after he's neutered. He's probably wanting to go exploring outside...into the greater world and that's why he's miaowing so much. I know you can't let him do sol but perhaps when he gets a little older and a little calmer you could get a lead and take him for a walk on the lead. It's a two-edged sword, though, I know. You don't want to get him into the habit of wanting to go outside all the time. I guess you'll just have to stay firm and TRY to show Angel who the boss is! Best of luck with that! lol

    During the day when you catch him napping...keep waking him up; give him a nudge or a little shake - that'll make him tired and he's sleep longer through the night. I did that to a kitten I had years ago and it worked.

    Shama and Remy will both be 12 in November...and they still come and curl up beside my keyboard...and often, both of them at the same time making it difficult to type. They'll do that for a while wanting to be close, and then they'll go and curl up in their chosen spots. When it becomes a bit annoying to me with them being up, close and person when I'm trying to type, I move them away. They've not yet packed their bags and left home because I do so.

    They both share my bed...I have a king-size mattress...and guess who has the least area!!! I wouldn't have it any other way! lol And I love having them within easy reach and eye view at all times.

    I'd be lost without these two furry rascals in my life; and I think the reverse could be applied to them, too.

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  4. I carefully read all you have written here and I must admit I've never had a cat that has driven my crazy but then I have also NEVER had an indoor cat.
    My daughter decided when she got Max that he would be an indoor cat and I think she has had similar problems with him being a nuisance at times and now she has Monty who is also indoors all the time. I am not sure if they perhaps keep each other company or are both demanding. I must ask her next time I chat to her.
    I think cats need to be chastised if they are naughty but not hit. I could never do that but a spray with the water bottle does help. If you have an enclosed back porch is it not possible to have Angel's litter tray there in case he needs it at night with the screen door propped open slightly? Would that perhaps not make your unit as secure as you want it though?
    When we got Henry and Precious over 12 years ago they played a lot together and of course, once again, they were outdoor cats so used to tear madly around the yard chasing and playing which in turn wore them both out so they would sleep.
    The other thing we humans have to remember is that cats are nocturnal creatures by nature and even though domesticated I think it must be difficult for them to live our way by being up in the daylight hours but sleep right through the night.
    Do you have screwed up paper or something he likes to play with hanging on a piece of string from a doorknob perhaps. We always did that and sometimes it keeps them occupied for ages.
    I know how much you love Angel and it so sad that he is capable of driving you a little potty at times. I think the best advice is be firm with him, ignore him when possible and don't listen to his miaows if you can do that.
    The idea of a harness and lead is also a good one if he will tolerate that. Some cats just never will but worth a try.
    Precious will sometimes come into us and stand on her hindlegs, wave a paw at us and miaow and we are not always sure what she wants. Her latest is wanting to go out and come back in of an evening. I have now decided the back door will remain open so she can use the cat door in the back screen door or she can stay out. She doesn't hunt and seldom moves more than a few yards away from the house but if she wants out in the cold then out she can go. We had got to the stage over the past few weeks of continually letting her in the front door and then out again. Damn that for a joke so she will learn to use the cat door whether she likes it or not, so there.
    Good luck and probably Angel will settle down much better after his little op. He is probably beginning to feel his 'oats' and that could be part of the reason he's going on like a two bob watch right now.
    I've heard cat nip settles cats down but have no knowledge of it but may be worth checking it out.

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  5. I hear you. I sympathise. Mostly I do know what my furry tyrants want - though won't always give it to them. Sometimes I don't, and the constant crying upsets (and irritates) me.
    He will get better.
    And good luck next week. I apologise profusely to Jazz n Jewel when they are going to the vet and attempt to reason with them 'its for your own good...'. They don't believe me - but forgive me quickly.

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  6. Joanne; it's funny and exasperating at the same time. We'll get through it.

    Plasman; all of what you say is true, I know this because I've raised kittens before. But I was so much younger then. More energy, no arthritis. :)

    Lee; I thought about walking him on a lead, but a neighbour mentioned then he would want to go out all the time, so I just give him the led to play with now. I think Angel still remembers his early months before he came home with me. He was outside then all the time.
    I hadn't thought about waking him from a nap, I should have remembered that from when my kid were babies and I would cut short their afternoon naps. I'll try it. Thanks.

    Mimsie; I've never had an indoor cat either. I've chastised Angel a time or three, but I would never hit him, just a firm "no" and a palm in front of his face is enough. I shook my finger at him once and he thought I was offering it to play and grabbed with his claws. Ouch.
    I don't want to leave the bedroom door open at night, it opens onto the back porch and open is fine during the day, but at night i prefer the security of having it closed. The porch is closed in, but with shadecloth over a flimsy wood frame, not all that secure.
    I've got a few things hanging off doorknobs and towel rails but Angel ignores those a lot of the time. His favourite game right now is fighting. I put on the gardening gloves to protect my hands and we "wrestle" over and under the quilt while I'm pretending to make the bed. Usually I get tired first, but yesterday Angel gave up and walked off into the bathroom. :)

    Elephant's Child; I've been wondering lately if Angel has too many toys available, I'll put away a bunch of stuff and leave out what used to be his favourite few, maybe that will encourage him to play by himself again. I tell him about going to the vet and try to make it sound like an exciting adventure. Just like with my kids, I never apologised, I simply told them we were going to see the doctor and he would help them feel better. I talk to Angel all the way there and he stays calm the whole time. But he's never had to be refused food before, next Wednesday when he is ready for breakfast I'm going to have to be hard hearted. And crying on the inside. But it is only one day and we'll get through it. After his op, he should settle down a bit. Like Mimsie said, he's probably feeling his oats now.

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  7. Get one of these, it's guaranteed to wear him out and you can play with it from the comforts of a chair.
    http://www.vetnpetdirect.com.au/go_cat_da-bird_with_pull_apart_rod#.UBHB1KO27m4

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  8. Cats are clever, untrustworthy little buggers with more energy than manners.

    Good luck with the not-feeding-him-before-surgery bit. :-)

    Pearl

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  9. Fenstar; thanks for the idea and link, I'll check it out. I've had a couple of toys on rods, but the elastic the toy was attached to was flimsy and broke within a couple of days.

    Pearl; Angel's table manners are reasonably good, he doesn't spread food all over the floor while eating and when he's on the table all I have to do is raise my palm in front of his face and say No and he sits down away from my plate or cup.
    I'm wondering if I should buy a pair of elbow length leather gauntlets to handle him with when he is so hungry.You know the ones they use in Falconry? Like that.

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  10. Sweet wee soul. He is smarter than you think. He has learned that you are his everything...his mama and his playmate. No wonder he cries for you. Maybe what you need is another kitten. If I were you I would have him declawed when he has his gentlemans operation. If he lives his life indoors he won't need them and you and your furniture will be better off for it.

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  11. The joys of kittenhood. Best of luck with the op.

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  12. Delores has a good idea: get another kitten. The energy the two of them would use up would make Angel sleep more & better.

    De-sexing...yes it will be hard. Poor you.

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  13. Oh I hear you, River. Deep sympathy here. Somehow I have learned to not listen so hard to the meowing. With four cats, I guess it was a matter of survival. But there were times I thought my head would explode :)

    I feel similarly bad for my cats when they have to fast. Our vet takes them in between 7 and 8 am so they don't have long to go without food. And it's for their health and safety - wouldn't want them to aspirate stomach contents while under anesthetic. Good luck. Angel should settle down after his special bits are gone.

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  14. Ooh, I'd pop him in a kennel for a bit so he doesn't find something to eat. He sounds like he is very inventive as well as very hungry!

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  15. He sounds like a handful, after the desexing he should settle a bit but I have never had a male cat so I've no idea really.
    Merle...............

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  16. Delores; my furniture is safe, Angel has a large scratching post which he loves. There is no room in my budget for another kitten, if there was I would have brought his brother here at the same time. I'll do some number crunching after his operation and see if I can, but I'm not hopeful. Money is very tight.

    The Wicked Writer; the biggest joy is Angel himself and second is that he will grow out of this. His op is a one day thing, I'll drop him off in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon.

    Susan Kane; I can't afford another kitten, but I'm seriously considering bring home Angel's brother. The de-sexing part is easy, it's the not feeding him breakfast that will tear my heartstrings.

    jenny_o; our vet takes them in between 8.30 and 9.30, so I'll be there right on 8.30. For my own sanity.

    Happy Christine; I'll put him into his carrier as soon as I can't stand the miaowing. There's no worry he'll find any food, everything here is well out of reach.

    Merle; he is a handful, but I expected that with a kitten and he'll grow out of it. I've had male cats in the past, but they've been allowed to live outside.

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  17. Oh, that is so cute that he has a favourite game and runs to the place where it happens to ask for it! So cute.
    But OMG, cats meowing and meowing when you can't figure out what they want... is the worst.

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