Sunday, January 15, 2006

Life with cats

Molly is pacing the house nervously. Each time I make a move, she takes it as a sign, darts down the hall, and shoves her nose into the edge of the doorframe, trying to get as close to the inside of my bedroom as she can without the door's actually being open. Her tail swishes optimistically.

Bad news, Molly. You're not getting in there.

I learned a long time ago that in order to live with cats, I have to set boundaries. One is that I can't sleep with them any more. Molly is the worst offender. Normally she's skittish, even around us. For instance, none of us have ever seen her eat; if we come into the room while she's at the bowls, she rushes off, yet she's the fattest of the cats. However, if we sit down, or worse, lie down, skittish Molly gets as aggressive as a used car salesman just shy of his quota. She nudges -- hard -- she bites, she rubs. She's relentless. She's hungry for touch and an utter nuisance to a hopeful sleeper.

Molly loves my bed more than any other spot in the house. So we compromise. She can go in there during the day but gets put out at night. Not today, though. I'm washing the bedding, including the spread.

And so she's losing her mind. She hasn't been on my bed since I went to bed last night. I don't think she's napped all day -- almost impossible for a cat -- and she's pacing, pacing, pacing, and since that hasn't worked, she's scratching frantically on the door.

Another hour or two, Molly. It'll be all right.

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