Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An Urge to Skin the Noisy Cat

Oh, jeez. For the last few days my cat has been demanding food at 5:00am. I have ignored her, locked her out of my bedroom, and given her a hard swat on her famous bum, but if anything this morning she was TWICE as bad. And when I finally DID feed her at 7:30am she didn't even EAT any of it, which means she wasn't particularly hungry beforehand.

My cat and I have a "don't give me no guff" relationship; she learned long ago that pestering me doesn't help, and she generally only meows obsessively when she's communicating an urgent message (like "mouse in the vent!" or "radiation cloud!")

But I've noticed, recently, that her needy meowing has slipped the bonds of necessity and become sheer annoying petulance. I think she's becoming a bit senile.

Anyway, this 5am breakfast demand has got to stop, if not least because it probably wakes my neighbour up. But the only way I can stop it is by continuing to ignore her.


Kimber said...

This is so weird. My dog has been doing a similar thing - asking to go out at 4:30 or 5am and then just wandering about the backyard aimlessly while I screech "HURRY UP!" (the magic pee words) in my housecoat.

Maybe there's a conspiracy afoot.

Adam Thornton said...

I feel your pain, Kim! My magic 5am words are "STOP IT! DON'T BE STUPID! STOPPPP!"

Whatever the conspiracy, I've decided to start leaving a small amount of food in her bowl before I go to bed, and to also keep a full pan of water in the livingroom. I thought she wasn't drinking that water anymore -- she goes in stages -- but maybe she missed it.

At any rate, she didn't wake me up this morning until an acceptable time.

Maybe taking your dog out just before you go to bed might help?

Anonymous said...

why not just get up and start your day?

Adam Thornton said...

At 5am? That's just plain silly, Evelyn.

Anonymous said...

how do you think i got to be the glowing, golden voiced songbird that i was in my heyday?

Adam Thornton said...

By eating platefuls of Chicken Madiola, of course!

Eli McIlveen said...

Cats only get louder and more annoying as they get older.

Adam Thornton said...

Wow, is that true? Because my cat is DEFINITELY getting noisier and needier.

I assumed this was because I, too, am noisier and needier these days.

Eli McIlveen said...

My theory is that whenever meowing fails to get you to do their bidding, they just try it louder. It's something like superstitious behaviour - it's easy to set up a belief that an action and a result are connected, but harder to shake it.

tanzi said...

It's springtime! Your cat is no doubt feeling frisky and wanting to act on it. Spayed, neutered or not, it's a natural desire...for cats, of course. Defnintely not talking about myself here...much.

My cat does this but I usually just let him outside, tell him "no roads" and crawl back into bed. I don't think your cat goes outside, though, does she. Hmmm...Maybe keep a few cat treats close to your bed and when she meows, just toss a few her way?

Good luck.

tanzi said...

P.S. At least your cat hasn't learned what good ol' Gatsby did long ago. If I pretend to be asleep and ignore his loud requests, he proceeds to slowly nudge items on my dresser a little bit at a time. If I keep playing dead, he knocks them right off. He can be a little jerk. He's smashed more than a few glasses this way. I now remove things from my dresser before I go to sleep.

Don't let your cat read this--she may try it.

Adam Thornton said...

Oh jeez, if my cat started smashing things ala Gatsby, she would become the cutest pair of furry gloves!

Or maybe you should have thought for a second before you called your cat "Gatsby." :)

Since Zsa Zsa is strictly indoors I can't shove her outside, and if I give her treats to shut her up that will just teach her a bad lesson: "if I meow at 5am I get a reward!"

So on Sunday morning I did the bad parent routine: I chased her around the house until she hid in terror, and then I yelled and yelled at her.

She didn't pull that stunt this morning but I'm not holding my breath. Instead I'm buying a spray bottle.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to give advice, but the sad truth is that this is a cat. Any punishment will be quickly forgotten (besides lingering bitterness), and any reinforcement (you giving in) will be remembered forever.

That's the hazard of owning a cat. There is no easy solution. Logic says to be swift and firm, quick with the swats and water pistol at 5 am, but you don't wanna..

Thus is the burden of a cat owner. She will outsmart you.. there is no easy solution. You want a cat, you get catty schemes.

Sorry.. if you find a way to kindly distract a motivated early morning cat, let me know!