My cats are like children in many ways. I’m not talking about how I treat them or what they mean to me but how they react to situations. They have their “normal behavior” which is mostly good but occasionally annoying. Then they have their “company behavior.” This is how they act when we have guests in the house. Sometimes I can’t believe they are my cats! They peer cutely from around corners to the delight of visitors or watch from the high perch at the top of the stairs. They are quiet and don’t whine for anything, not even if I am late with their dinner.
Jake, my older black cat, is the only one that that goes outdoors. He is mostly indoors but like to roam for a couple hours every night. Over the years he has trained me to let him out sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. each morning. (Yes, they do train you to do whatever they want.) I have tried several different techniques to break him of this habit. All that happened was that he kept both me and the beloved husband up all night wailing. Not good, especially with the beloved husband. Except for this one thing, he is a delightful and loving cat.
As with many parents, it’s just easier to give in – so I jump out of bed, run downstairs and let him out. After doing this for years, I am hardly aware of it. I can almost always go right back to sleep.
There was a rough patch a few years back, when I heard a blood-curdling scream about 20 minutes after I let him out. I jumped out of bed, ran down the steps and out the door (all in my nightgown and bare feet) only to find him cowering under an outdoor chair while a fox circled and howled. I believe the fox was debating whether he wanted to eat Jake with mustard or ketchup. The fox and I had a ‘stare down’ and fortunately, I won.
That experience kept Jake in the house all night for about two weeks then we were back on the middle of the night schedule again. Initially I didn’t sleep very well when he was out but eventually I got over the fear.
When we have visitors, all three cats tend to stay out of the way and are very quiet. They may come out for food but they are cautious. Last week we had a visitor stay over and I realized that whenever visitors stayed overnight, Jake doesn’t howl to go out. He stays in our bedroom, sleeping on the lounge until the beloved husband gets up around 6 a.m. and lets him out without any noise.
Sleeping through the night is glorious! It almost makes me want to invite more people to sleepover!