Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm not a violent person, but sometimes a cat needs to be kicked, literally.

My cat Lila has started doing something rather… strange ( and I refuse to show you a picture of her in this post because I don't want you having any sympathy).

 Alright, it's not so much strange as it is FREAKING ANNOYING! When she came to our home, she was a rather solemn cat, prone to find places to be by herself and generally did not hang out in the public areas. She was also not much of a vocal feline, nor did she claw things or jump up on tables, nor do any of those things that other more unruly cats tend to. She was a very well-behaved fuzz-foot and we all got along swimmingly.

Now, it seems the honeymoon period is over…

 At first it was cute. She began to be more social. When I'd come home from work she'd run to the door, I'd give her a pet, and then she'd proceed to follow me around the apt for the rest of the evening. If I were watching TV for an hour and then decided to move to my room, she would follow me. She'd follow me to the bathroom, in the kitchen, and anywhere else I happened to wander. It's not a big apt, but it was clear she liked hanging around whomever was home. Aw, she loves me. I bought her a pink color.

 Well, then she started to claw at things, like the couch. Honest to heaven she'd never clawed at a couch in her kitten days back in Provo. It was one of my main selling points actually "She doesn't even claw stuff!" Well apparently now, a year later, in her teenager angst she's begun clawing things. I'm hoping this can be solved with a squirt bottle and claw post (to be purchased within the next two weeks). Again, I can handle this. It's regular cat behavior… but the phrase "de-clawing" has now become a very amiable course of action. We'll see if the squirt bottle can take care of it first… before we take more drastic measures.

 Of course, then there's the routine she likes. During the week, I feed her a half can of cat food around 7:30am while I'm getting ready for work. She's used to this and knows when I wake up and start stumbling around, it's time for her to eat too. This is where she becomes slightly vocal, but not anything annoying. What's super though, is her routine knows no weekends. That's right! She starts her meowing at7:30am on the nose on Saturdays and Sundays as well. Fo real cat? Have some flexibility! Live a little! Be spontaneous! Eat at 9:00! So I stumble up and feed her and stumble back to bed. She likes breakfast when she likes it, and I can bend to that whim.

 However, the claws, the routine, these things I can handle. Now comes what I absolutely can NOT handle. Lila has taken to scratching at our bedroom doors at odd hours of the night. Why?!?! I don't know! But she is persistent! And it's probably the most annoying thing I've experienced in a very long time (and we have loud neighbors). I have no idea why she's suddenly decided that scratching at our bedroom doors at 1:30am is the best idea she's ever had, and I have no idea to what end she is scratching, but she DOES it! Over and over and over. Finally, after all hopes have been dashed that she'll get bored and give up, I have to get up, open the door, and sternly point down at here and yell-whisper "Lila! No! Stop it!" What's really weird is she actually does "stop it." So, I GUESS we can say that's good – but it's only after having been woken up by her incessant scratch scratch scratch scratch which really is the most annoying part. This weird scratching at night used to be hit and miss, but for the last handful of nights she's persistently done it. And I can't even explain how tired I am of having to get up and tell her "No! Stop it!" usually right after I have fallen asleep. Retard cat! Last night, as she began scratch scratch scratching at our bedroom doors at the routine 1:30am, I got up, threw open the door, picked her up (she could tell she was in trouble) and fighting the urge to chuck her across the room, walked out and put her as far away from our doors as possible – which in our apt means about 10 yards. With all the control I could muster, I set her down and said "No! Oh my hell Lila stop it!" And she playfully rolls on her back and looks up at me like "So you're up. Can we hang?" I go back to bed…

3:00am...

Scratch scratch scratch….

WTF?!?!

I open the door, look at her like "if I kick her… nooo no, I shouldn't kick her", shake my head, leave the door ajar, and go back to bed. She wanders in… looks around… hangs out… and leaves. Yep. That's it. She didn't scratch again. What's REALLY strange is that she's obsessed with Nikelle's room. She's not allowed in there at all, and boy does she hate it. She hangs out by her door hoping with every hope she has that THIS time, she'll gain entrance into this bit of the apartment she has yet to explore. She scratches at Nik's door a lot, which again, weird, but of course to no avail. And Nik is not as kind to her as I am – and if SHE has to get up – cat will likely be kicked.


Thus, the point is, I have no idea WHY she feels she needs to scratch at our doors at all hours of the night and secondly, why she's suddenly started doing it! Why?!??! And I don't know what to do to make her stop. I'm hoping that with a squirt bottle and 5 days of soaking, she will get the hint. Do you think? Does anyone have any idea (other than a swift kick to the head) how to make her STOP thinking she can scratch at our doors at weird hours of the night? DAH! It's driving me nuts – and wearing me down. I tell you I could crawl under my desk and sleep for 2 hours right this minute. Maybe I should take her to a park and let her get all her energy out in the grass or something. She acts more like a dog then I solitary well-mannered cat! Squirt bottles and running out her energy – that could be the ticket. And I'd prefer to try those more "civil" methods of training then just knocking her out. And even if it comes to that, I couldn't do it. Thought, I know Nik would take it upon herself to "take care of our the problem." Shifty glance… subtle nod… slink into the shadows. Yeeeeeees…. Take care of the problem. Cough.

10 comments:

Christian Eyring said...

Declaw, its only way to go. Our cat still paws at the door but without the claws it sounds like soft pats on the door and you can sleep through that.

KaWheelers said...

Oh man, Lila....

We never kicked her but I'll be honest, we always said that she LOVED to fly and so she did. :) That's weird that she's scratching your door every night.... Sorry dude!

Crazy cat... and I'm glad you didnt post a picture. No sympathy. None!

(light) Black And Decker said...

After having worked at a pet store for awhile, I definitely have to advocate NOT de-clawing her, because that is just cruel and robs her of...her. It's actually a pretty major surgery for them.

You definitely need a scratch post. Put her on it whenever she starts scratching something else, or you think she might be. Squirt her off the couch, then put her on the correct scratching apparatus.

As far as in the middle of the night, I guess you could open your door so she can come in and out as she pleases, or just close the door with her inside your room so no angry roommates kick her across the house. Or do you have a pantry or something you could lock her in?

Jorie said...

Been there and declawing was the only solution for fat cat. Although everything is a game to cats and they really do control us.

Cory and Michele said...

Oh my heck! This post made me laugh so hard. Cats are evil. Period. You can put tin foil in front of your door at night for a while. Cats hate tin foil and won't step on it. I have other good ideas for the scratching. Let's talk.

Andrea Jolene said...

I like your "sorta professional" advice Gina! As far as the night scratching goes - I live a dim light on in the living room so she doesn't get "Scared" and I squirted her once. And that did the trick. She acts VERY offended when she's squirted. I will also go for the scratch post first. I don't want to take away the "her" of her! Last night she vomited in her litter box. Eh? Pretty awesome she knows to puke in her box.

Kimber's Blog said...

I didn't know that you got a cat. That is great. I have no idea what to tell you about cats. I would get some books and read up on it.
Funny post though.

Marisa Jean said...

Ah, this is EXACTLY why I don't have a cat. I say de-claw the evil thing. It knows exactly what it's doing--after you leave for work, it gets an evil smirk and sinks into a nice slumber knowing you don't get to sleep at night or during the day, but it does.

Grimm Family blog said...

So I Used the sticky tape with my cat. If you go to any pet store you can buy like big strips of double sided tape and you stick it to the problem areas that she likes to scratch. It doesn't look glamorous but It worked for me. The cat hates sticky stuff so when she tried to scratch it felt yucky to her. Pretty inexpensive and I bought the scratching post and my cat never touched it.

Andrea Jolene said...

I'm digging the tape idea as well. She's not scratched at the door now for 3 days! Holla! And now if we can get her away from the couch she'll be the golden princess kitty once again.