November 14, 2015

The Midnight Pest

We have too many cats. Not that we don't have enough varmints to keep them all busy (we do), but I've begun to think that when people ask me where I live, I'm going to tell them "Cat Central Station".

If you have cats (or a cat), you know how it is. They want to go out.
You open the door.
They sit down.
"Are you going out?
"I want to look first."
"I thought you wanted to go out!"
"I want to see if there's anything interesting out there."

Meowy: "Just hold the door until I decide if I want to go in or not."

It's kind of like humans opening the door to the fridge just to look inside. Maybe a fudge cream brownie cake appeared since the last time you looked. Multiply that times four cats (because they never want to go in or out at the same time) and you begin to see why I use the word "Pest" in my post title.

Then, after they've gone out, they want to come in.

You might remember this photo from
"Riley Wants In." Nothing has changed.

Time: 12:35 a.m. The humans have been in bed since about 9.
"Jing, jing, jing." It's the front door kitty bells.
I drag myself out of bed and stumble to the front door.
Open front door and in runs a cat. It must be Riley because he goes out every night at bedtime and later wants to come in for a midnight snack. Me? Back to bed.

15 minutes later.
"Meow, meow, MEOW!"
"RILEY! Be quiet!"
"My food bowl's empty."
Human drags self out of bed and stumbles into kitchen to survey the bowl in question.
"Your food bowl is not empty!"
"But I can see the bottom of the bowl."
"Your food bowl IS NOT EMPTY!"
"But it's only crumbs. MEOW!"
Sigh. Fill bowl and go back to bed.

15 minutes later.
"Meow, meow, MEOW!"
"RILEY!"
"I want to go out."

And if that's not bad enough, we have two or three others that decide they want either out or in during the night, but never the same time as Riley.

Good kitties sleep all night.

As the weather gets colder they start wanting to stay in at night more. Riley, though, seems to relish the colder weather. Me, I relish my warm bed. Without all night cat duty.

47 comments:

  1. Well, what a pain in the neck! I don't have a fix either. Basement kitty Juno gets fed in the evening so I know she's in and Barn kitty Wynken gets fed in the morning when I go out to grain the horses.
    No one misses meal times unless there is something afoot,

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    1. What! Your kitties only get fed once a day? That would never do at our house. Feeding time around here is 24/7. The problem is that we offer indoor service only.

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  2. Cats train people to do their bidding. My friend's cat had him get up several times each night. All the cat wanted was for my friend to watch him eat a bit. Then, the cat just took a snooze while my friend could not sleep.

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    1. We had a cat like that! "Watch me eat!" LOL. They do train their humans, don't they?

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  3. door- an item upon the wrong side of which the cat is.

    i'd recommend a cat door but have read of people waking at night with a fox, a possum or some other non-cat critter in the kitchen.

    my husband tells people he lives in a cat house.

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    1. We actually do have a kitty door, but it only goes to the back porch. Or rather from the back porch to outside. We too had them bringing in mice, birds, chipmunks, rabbits, etc., and then finally we found a 'possum on the back porch who had himself in! Now the kitty door is set to out only. :)

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    2. my nickname is Meowy so i always get a kick out of posts about her

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  4. We have 6 cats, but they never come in so I don't know what they're up to all night. (-: They have a nice cozy cat house outside right by the back door. A couple of them like to sleep in the barn with our Pyrenees and the goats.

    Fern

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    1. Meowy is probably the only one who wouldn't mind being an outdoor only cat. But Dan worries about her in cold weather because she's basically just skin and bones. She hunts well and eats what she hunts, and she eats some catfood, but usually she only has time for a couple of bites. Then she wants out again.

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  5. There is no way I would get up in the middle of the night for a cat. Much less four. They would be outside kitties really fast. My kids all sleep through the night now. There's no going back. Especially in the cold night when the covers are warm :) But there is a big difference between cat lovers and everyone else in the world-and I've never been fond of cats.

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    1. I think the same could be said of any animal people take a liking too. Dog lovers, for example, are about the same (actually I would say they are worse, but their ire in defense of their dogs arouses pretty easily, so I won't say that. ;). I do find that with cats, if you ignore them, they eventually do something else.

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  6. Oh, did this ever hit home! We have three cats...all coming and going at the same time. Bickett and Dumperoo both stand in the door and look both ways and then down at the floor like they might be stepping off into water, before finally jumping out. Smokey dashes in, hungry and meowing as the other two go out. I enjoyed your post!

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    1. Thanks! Critters are a never-failing source of entertainment. :)

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  7. We always had an inside or outside cats, never one that was both. It really saved on opening the door. The inside cat would occasionally make a dash for freedom but would only get about five feet or so before freezing up due to all the strange outside stuff like grass and gravel!

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    1. "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." :) But that grass is pretty scary stuff if you've never walked on it before!

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  8. reminding me of why I prefer dogs. ;)

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    1. LOL. Dogs have their tales too. :)

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  9. Our two cats are outside and inside during the day. They come in at 5pm to eat their supper and they know they must stay in all night until next morning because of predators. They sleep with us and don't wake us until 9 am. We are retired and sleep in. At 9 am they touch our faces with their paws. We get up, feed them and they go outside. Cats can be trained, it just takes time and effort. I would never get up at night for a cat.

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    1. Yes, they absolutely can be trained. And it's funny, because my husband was always the one who insisted we weren't going to cater to the cats. Well, guess who does all the catering!

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  10. We found our boy cats (when we had them) were worse than our girl cats, at night. Mostly because they'd hear all the noises outside and want to patrol their territory. They would meow in the house, in the middle of the night and wake us up. If we ever got out of bed, it was to throw a pillow at them, lol.

    We only have a single, female cat now and her one annoying habit is to scratch or bight the back of my legs, when she's hungry. We found getting her off dry cat food, alleviated this somewhat. She still has some, just not at every meal. She won't scratch my husband's legs though, because he wears boots and isn't afraid to use them, lol.

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    1. That is an annoying habit indeed! And I have to say I've thrown many a pillow in my day as well. LOL

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  11. Right good job of training. The cats training you, that is. :o} Cute, enjoyable post!

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    1. Training, ha! It's always the other way around, isn't it. :)

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  12. Our one cat Abby has gotten to be a bit of a whiner lately too. She gets fed twice a day, but thinks she needs fed every time she comes in. Upon coming in she starts calling to be 'served' before she even looks at her bowl to see if there might be something in it. The bawling doesn't end until you go over and shake her bowl, proving once and for all this is food to be found there.

    She's an indoor/outdoor Maine Coon mix so she has the odd habits without being really big. (Comes when called better than the dog, scratches at the door like the dog, fine with being out in the rain or snow, happy to sit next to you but NOT a lap cat unless she thinks she steal a bit of your ice cream.) She loves to be up on the desk while I'm working and, if allowed, will quickly settle in on the table between me and the keyboard and bat at my hand as I move the mouse around. Big thing to watch for: She still has all her claws and is a voracious mouser, so she likes to bring in her catch to show you what a 'good kitty' she's been.

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    1. Sounds like Abby rules the roost at your place, Mark. Still, a good mouser deserves being indulged. :)

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  13. I still say you don't have enough cats. You need at least two more. Three of our four inside cats go out whenever they want and during the Spring Summer and Fall they are basically outside only cats BUT two of those will let me know when they want back out by getting in my face.

    After I go to bed though they know there is no reason to bother me they are either out all night or in all night cause no cat is going to wake me up.

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    1. We used to have a cat who wouldn't exactly wake you up during the night. He would just perch on your chest and peer closely into your face to see if you were awake. (I always pretended I was asleep so he left me alone.) Sam will sit on your chest and gently poke your eyes with his paw. Riley will poke your mouth! That one always gets me out of bed unless I know he's coming and cover my head.

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  14. My dog is like that but not during the night and we don't have a cat right now. When we did, it did not go in and out at night, thank goodness!! Nancy

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    1. I think the biggest reason we cater to them during the night is because we don't keep a litter box in the house. The thought of them taking desperate actions in the house is always what gets one or the other of us out of bed!

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  15. Ah, this is something I will never experience. Allergies in my children prevent this from EVER being my story.

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    1. And you're missing out on so much fun...

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  16. So funny and so true, I thought ours was the only cat that played the open the door/nope I changed my mind game ( and yes she has a cat flap but would rather go through the french doors which require me getting up to open them. Riley is the spitting image of our Ziggy Stardust.

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    1. It's true, a cat door is unacceptable as long as there is a human around to open a human door!

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  17. Goodness, how well I can relate. As I sit here typing with Gray Tom in my lap. Once I move (God willing) to a place that's a lot warmer than Appalachia, I'm having a cat door put in and the litter box put outside. I love my critters but, as I age, there's less of me to go 'round, and more of them to want and be needy.

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    1. Oh Sandra, I have tales to tell about those kitty doors! Ours is out only! And once they get used to going outside, no litter box necessary. :)

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  18. This so resonates with me! We only have one cat but you've nailed his personality. Last night he decided at 3:30 a.m. that he wanted to go out. He tells us this by first scratching on our bed, then (if we ignore him), jumping on us. So I get up to let him out and he runs from me. I finally track him down and let him out. A couple hours later he's scratching on the door, demanding readmittance. Sometimes I think it's his world. We just live in it.

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    1. It is his world, LOL. Cats rule the world in their estimation. Of course, I think the same could be said of any species. :)

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  19. There is an old saying that goes something like this... "Dogs have masters, cats have wait staff" (smile).

    I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing.

    Velva

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    1. And it's so true. They bestow their person on us, and we do the rest!

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  20. We have outside only cats except that one like to sleep on the screened in back porch. He gets put out by hubby around 6:00. I feed them wet food in the morning & dry food at 5:00p. I swear they can tell time. They are always meowing to be fed right at 5:00 every single night.

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    1. Yes! They can tell the time! It's amazing how they expect the same things at the same times, just like clockwork.

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  21. I sent you a PM on Facebook because I wanted to send you a picture.

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    1. Yikes! I've gotten behind on comments. And I've gotten way behind of fb! Will tend to that today!

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    2. Did you? If so, it didn't come through.

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  22. I have a dog door (started out as a cat flap, but Aengus got too big to fit through it). They let themselves in and out. Neither of my cats use a cat box during most of the year, but we're getting to the point where the ground is frozen, and then they will. 2 cats = 2 cat boxes. It works...

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    1. Laura, good to hear from you! Yes, frozen ground would call for different measures. (As does days and days and days of rain. :)

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