Normally, all the cats get shut out of our bedroom at night because Chris goes through periods where he will not stop biting my nose or digging his claws into my face and neck. Usually this happens early in the night or around 4 a.m. or both. I often think that I can pick him up and put him closer to the foot of the bed where one or more other cats are resting peacefully. That works for about ten seconds and then he’s back. So now all the cats are deprived of our bed for the actions of one.
I do break this rule occasionally, like last week when my wife went on a business trip for a few days. Chris annoyed me every night but I only was pushed too far one night when I had to kick everyone out and close the door. They all had to leave because there is no litter box in the room.
I don’t remember if this was the indecent that caused their removal but one night while Chris was being especially annoying, I had my arm between me and Chris to try to block the poking and biting. That is when Floki decided to play with Chris’s tail. This always upsets Chris and he started growling and kicking me with his back feet like I was the one fighting with his tail. At one point he really got angry and scratched me pretty good, or would that be “pretty bad?”
I think I need to find Kevlar pajamas for next time I leave my door open at night.
I might be a bad pet parent for saying this, or even thinking it, but I love one of our cats more than the others. I know that sounds terrible. It’s like saying you love one child more than another.
I’m talking about Chris, of course, but I’m not sure love is the right word. It is harder to define than that. It is like I have formed an emotional bond with him and I know when our time together comes to an end, breaking that bond will be the hardest thing to do since my dad passed away. To be fair, I do love all our cats but Chris is a bit different.
The reasons I have formed such an attachment are many. The badness that I talk about on this blog is just a behavior. There are many other sides to Chris. There is funny Chris, cute Chris, Talkative Chris, Smart Chris and affectionate Chris. Deep down, Chris is the most loving and affectionate creature on four legs that I have ever encountered and you can’t help but love him back.
From the beginning I noticed that everyone just loves Chris and I’m sure that is because Chris loves everyone. “Give and you shall receive” is true for cats as well as people.
Below is an example of Chris’s affectionate behavior.
There is a drawback to all that affection. My wife is away on a business trip so I thought I would let the cats sleep on the bed. I should have known that would never work. Chris always keeps me up half the night doing what you see on the video. I don’t know why I always think this night will be different.
I recently commented about how Chris is sleeping more now that he is older and he sleeps almost as much as a real cat, but after last night I take it back.
What do you think? Any other “bad” pet parents out there?
Chris was being very annoying this morning, crying at the door to go outside. Rose asked me to let him out for a few minutes so she could have some peace while she got ready for work. I complied, since I had things to do outside anyway and then brought him back in after a few minutes of him eating grass.
While he was out, Frankie was very upset that Chris was out and he wasn’t, so when I got back inside Rose said I should put Frankie’s harness on and take him for a walk. I didn’t really feel like doing that but I got his harness and my camera (just in case there was something worth sharing) and opened the door to let him out.
Frankie was a little nervous at first, for some unknown reason, but he soon was on his way. Within two minutes of being outside, Frankie managed to slip out of his harness. Fortunately I caught him in time. I brought him back inside, Rose put his harness back on and then I tried again. Chris slipped out the door at the same time and Rose said not to worry, she could see him from the door. It soon became clear that, despite Rose’s assurances, she was not watching Chris. I tried to keep Frankie close so I could also watch Chris but it wasn’t easy. Eventually I had to bring Frankie in, a little earlier than Frankie wanted, so I could go get Chris.
That was more difficult than expected because Chris pulled Frankie’s old trick that Frankie learned from Chris. He hid under Rose’s car. My efforts to get him out resulted in only growling, hissing and biting. It didn’t help that the lady across the street chose that time to take her two dogs for a walk.
Rose needed to leave for work so my only recourse was to turn the hose on and squirt him out. That worked, but then he got under my truck. Eventually, I was able to get him close enough to the edge to pull him out. He was not happy about that.
We let our cats outside again on Sunday for some backyard fun. This time nobody caught a lizard and Frankie did not get on the roof (although he came close), but there was trouble nonetheless.
Both Frankie and Chris went through the fence to the property next door and the both came back on their own but then Frankie went through the fence again and led me on a drawn out chase like last week. During these chases, I have discovered that Frankie tires a lot faster than I do and then I think that I can just wait until he is too tired to run and then scoop him up, but it is not that easy. This is because Frankie has discovered a trick from Chris’s old playbook. He crawls under cars where I can’t reach him. He did that last week and he did it again on Sunday.
At one point I noticed that he was panting very hard and I worried he would overheat. I was also tired of playing his game so I made a decision that I regret. When I saw that he was close enough to me, I decided to grab him and pull him out from under the car. I knew it would upset him but I thought it would be quick and he would get over it. I didn’t realize how much fight he had in him and I only managed to scare him and piss him off. After that I was his mortal enemy which made me feel like a real jerk. You can watch what happened at the 9:45 mark on the video.
When I was finally able to bring Frankie inside, the first thing Rose said to me was “No More! I’m not doing this again!” Apparently, while Frankie was playing hide-and-seek with me, Chris and Puck were playing hard-to-get with Rose. Perhaps if we do let them out again, I will have to put the leash back on Frankie.
Fortunately, since that incident, Frankie has forgiven me and we are now friends again.
Do you think putting this sign up would help?
I always feel bad for the other cats, Puck and Frankie, because they must be locked out of the bedroom because Chris is bad and can’t be in there. The reason Chris can’t be there is because he is the most annoying cat ever when we are trying to sleep. Nevertheless, I decided to leave the bedroom door open last night since Rose was away. I decided I would just give him a chance and if he was too bad I would just throw them all out and shut and lock the door (I have to lock it because Chris knows how to open it).
Chris and Puck immediately took advantage of the open door. Puck laid at my feet like the good cat that he is and Chris laid down by my head and immediately began clawing at my face and biting my shoulder and my nose. I expected that and put up with it for about ten minutes. I was hoping the excitement would wear off and he would get tired and go to sleep.
Hah! That’s like hoping a root canal won’t be that bad. Chris, of course, would not stop annoying me so I picked him up and put him down next to my side and held him there. That almost never works but this time I annoyed him and he got up and left, taking Puck with him.
The next thing I know it is 4:45 and Chris is crying and poking my face. I guess I would rate that experiment a moderate success.
The first night with Chris was rough. Actually, every night for the last two and a half years have been rough, but we were not prepared for Chris at that time.
Normally our cats would gradually filter into our room at night and congregate on my side of the bed, eventually taking up about a third of the space, That was the biggest problem we had no deal with. Suddenly, we had a five and a half month old kitten who loved to bite. It did not take long to realize why he was returned to the shelter.
He would not sit still. If he wasn’t laying accross my neck and biting my nose, he was laying on top of Rose’s head and biting her ear. Rose used to tell people jokingly, “You can wear him as a scarf, you can wear him as a hat…” If the face biting wasn’t bad enough, he would see our toes move under the sheet and attack them. Ouch!
Removing him from the bedroom wasn’t an option because he would cry at the door and worse, dig at the carpet. It was very rough for a while getting enough sleep. Even today, on his best day, he wakes us up at 5:00 a.m.
We tried every thing we could think of. I tried putting something in front of the door so he couldn’t dig at the carpet but then he would come around into the bathroom, which had two entrances, and cry and scratch at the door relentlessly. I would have closed the second door but the litter boxes were in there.
We tried pulling the blanket over our heads so he couldn’t bite us but then it was like a game to him and he would work at digging his way in. I even bought a tube of calming gel but using it on Chris was like trying to calm a hurricane by blowing in the opposite direction. Eventually I felt like my marrage could be in jepordy if I couldn’t find a way for us to get enough sleep.
Day two – Chris attacks stuffed animal