Saturday, January 21, 2006

On Being Alone

We are cat-sitting a friend's cat, Laika, this week. She often stays at our house while he is out of town. We LOVE her. She is more like a dog than a cat in that she is super affectionate, wants to be with us all the time and follows us around the house. And she is an eater. She loves to eat. None of this, "cat's know when to stop eating" business.

There is only one thing that drives me a little crazy about her. She scratches on our bedroom door periodically during the night. I'm not a big fan of pets sleeping with you or animal hair in your sheets, so she isn't allowed in our bedroom.

Today, Saturday, was particularly bad. She started at 4 AM. So I got up, used the bathroom, gave her a pat and went back to bed. 6 AM. More scratching and mewing. I got up and decided that it was late enough for breakfast and filled her bowl. 8 AM. I got up and changed her litter hoping that was what all the mewing was about. I was awake at this point and my husband had left for work so I started reading Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. I'd been waiting to have time to read it all week. More scratching at 8:15, 8:30, 9:00. I just want to read in bed (my favorite luxury), but she kept scratching and crying. I got up and showed her the pink spray bottle I use for such occasions and she ran away before I could use it. 9:30. I sprayed and she ran. 10 AM she started again. I called my husband.

"I think she is lonely," he said. Of course, her scratching never wakes him up.

I felt terrible. Mean old human being keeping love from a 13-year old kitty.

I got up and used the bathroom. She pushed open the bathroom door I'd left ajar and sat in front of the toilet with her back to me. Always polite.

I'd only finished the first hundred plus pages of Obama's book where he talks about his struggle during his youth to discover his identity as a person with a White American mother and a Black African father. Many times he felt very alone.

Feeling alone can bring the most excruciating pain. Even to an old cat.

I went in the linen closet, pulled out an old sheet and put it at the end of our bed. I picked up Laika and put her in the middle of the sheet. She promptly fell asleep.

Sometimes it takes so little to bring peace to another being.


  1. i love to sleep with my cats. there is something comforting about having a soft furry warm purring critter smooshed up against me. generally there is no cat hair left behind, except during shedding season (as summer approaches). it depends on the cat, some shed more than others. i think you did a good thing, letting him in. cats are often at their cutest when on your bed. and cats are stubborn. that cat will knock on your door every morning. we can't let loki sleep with us now, but he still wakes us up w/ his mews from his downstairs enclave. in the mean time luna is queen of the bed, finding a nice warm spot between dan and i to curl up in every night.

  2. What a great photo! Cute!
    She scratches on our bedroom door periodically during the night.

    I know that feeling, my dog does it every night. I had to just keep the door open so I could sleep! :)


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