Tag Archives: cat

10K, Tossing The Cat Out, & A Nap

There are a couple of days left in the NaNoWriMo challenge. I think this is the first Thanksgiving in years that I didn’t write at all, which sucked because I had to make up for it the day after and felt completely brain damaged by the attempt. I have almost 10,000 words left to write. It’s doable, but I’m not used to cutting it this close on my goals. It makes me uneasy, and that doesn’t help the creative process.

Another thing that doesn’t help the creative process is The Boy getting his driver’s license. Add to that his plans to add some pep to my old car that has been kept around for the kids, and I’m fit to be tied. I thought the car was fairly peppy before, so I shudder to think what he means by “add more pep” to it. Something I think I’d rather not dwell on.

Darth Jingles has taken on a couple new habits that caught my attention. She likes to sneak outside when The Boy heads off to school. Being a black cat, she hides well in the shadows and she has the sort of pep in her tail The Boy is probably shooting for in the car.
Generally, Jingles has her collar on, but The Girl likes to take it off when the cat comes in. It’s a treat and Jingles loves to be Ninja Cat without her bell on. Plus she enjoys her humans’ pets and scratches more when we can rub her neck for her too. Spoiled cat.

When Jingles goes out without her collar, lately she’s come back in within a couple of hours. Then begs to go out again. It’s like she realizes she’s “naked” and gets the cat version of self-conscious, prompting her to come home. Our cat is a prude.

That’s one new oddity. The second is now that the weather’s turning, and we have regular frosts and even light snows, she’s delaying her pleas to go out until the sun comes up and melts the frost. Really? She has a black fur coat but she’s waiting for that little temperature boost? This is particularly annoying to me because I get up to boot The Boy out the door, then I go huddle up in bed again and write or read. Having the cat interrupt me either when I’m furiously typing to document some transient inspiration, or at a really good point in my book, is really irritating. It’s never when I’m staring at a blank page and trying to figure out what to write. It’s never at the end of a chapter when I’m reading. And she never has figured out how to wait patiently for me to finish typing a sentence, let alone complete a thought.

To that end, if Jingles doesn’t leave the house with The Boy now, she gets booted to The Girl’s room. Or that was the plan as of a week ago because of my late start to the NaNoWriMo challenge. The problem with that popped up the day after I initiated the new policy: The Girl.

I mentioned Jingles isn’t patient when she wants something. Food, her collar, attention, whatever. Neither is The Girl. She came stomping into my room at something like 730 in the morning, upset that I shoved the cat in her room and Jingles woke her wanting out. My train of thought immediately derailed, inner peace escaping for hours to come.

Now cats can be trained to a certain extent, and people accept that there are some things that are simply beyond a cat’s ability to process. Appropriate hours to eat, sleep, and play, for example. I think most people are also of the opinion that an 18-year-old college student should be trainable, at least more than a cat. I assure you this isn’t necessarily the case.

Plan C was to simply close the doors on Jingles, mine and The Girl’s. This left her free to roam the house and if she really wanted outside, she could approach Hubby with her request. You’d think I beat her. Jingles wasn’t cool with this plan. It left her with Hubby and no witnesses. Sure, she had the entire house (minus two rooms) she could wander and hide in to avoid Hubby, but that’s not good enough. He’s in her house and she doesn’t have anyone to cater to her. She could walk up and meow at him. He’s pretty fluid in bratty cat and would understand the request. No, it doesn’t work like that in her walnut-brain. Her interaction is with her family, not the “Great Furry One” and she won’t budge on that edict.

We like to imagine Jingles styles hubby “The Great Furry One” because he has an enviable beard and an even more enviable ponytail. Seriously, it’s sickeningly thick with almost perfect waves. One of The Girl’s friends calls him Fabio.

Moving on, I think the biggest relief from the end of the month won’t be the end of NaNoWriMo, it’ll be the end of the battle with Jingles. She gets a little, um, bitchy when she doesn’t get her way. I know that’s technically a canine term, but it applies to this particular feline. Also, then I’ll have time (in theory) to start Christmas decorations.

First, another 10,000 words. Then a nap.

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National Cat Day

National cat day! We love our cat.

We mostly love our cat.

You know what I’d love even more? For someone to invent a cat-remote.

This is not a remote for cats to use, it’d be a remote to use on cats. I’d like a button for “no paw prints on the car,” “hairballs excreted outside or in litterbox only,” “you have four scratching posts, nothing else is acceptable,” “don’t climb/jump on ____” (this would need to be customized, but I’d like this available as several different buttons please), and “don’t fight with ____” (again, needs customization and needs to be available on multiple buttons for some households). Maybe a “don’t eat ___” for homes with prey-type pets or delicious plants. Jingles is self-trained, but I bet a lot of cat owners would love a button for “don’t bring kills home,” “don’t hunt birds,” or some other options. “Rodents only” maybe. Remember, “hunting” does not equate to “eating” for many cats. Since most cans have pull-tabs now, cats aren’t trained to come when they hear an electric can-opener anymore. It doesn’t matter because I don’t know anyone who has one. A “search” or “find” feature might be useful here, or some other way to program your cat to come when called. Heavens knows mine never have. It’s a new use for a “home” button.

Oh, volume buttons would be lovely but we can skip “mute” because we love our feline friends and don’t want to be cruel.

Very important would be a timer feature for “lovies.” You know that super cute snuggle time when a cat purrs almost non-stop and seems to be dead set on pressing her face through yours? Yeah, I’d like to restrict that to waking hours. Human waking hours. Along those lines, can we have a simple “claws retracted” button for when they do that kneading thing? It’s super cute on a blanket, but considerably less so on a sweater that you’re currently wearing. It’s more than a convenience, it’s a safety issue.

I’d also like the option, even for an upgraded price, to map out where on a human a cat is permitted to walk when climbing over us. Jingles brought this feline tendency to my attention again this morning, somewhere around 630 am. Normally I don’t sleep on my back. There are reasons, not the least of these is my loving cat’s uncanny ability to walk up me and put her paws in all the wrong places. I’m sure men are crossing legs in a fit of subconscious discomfort. It’s no less an issue for women, The Girl has the exact same complaint. Jingles (and Nimoy too while she was still with us) consistently sits on the rib cage and places at least one paw directly on a nipple. I’m not sure how a two to four pound cat can place twenty pounds of pressure on one square inch, but she manages. I’m also not sure how she never misses. My daughter is petite, and not to be crude, but Jingles has about a one in nine chance of hitting the nipple there. I’m guessing. I’m somewhat more endowed. A greater breast surface area should mean the odds are more in my favor. The Girl and I agree the laws of physics and statistics are broken when considering this problem. If an option to map out “no walk” areas on a body isn’t going to happen, can I at least request some sort of malicious sitting weight limit? This is another safety issue, for both me and the cat. One of these days she may go flying.

A choice of modes would be convenient also. Jingles comes with two main modes: housecat, and feral. If she’s inside or on the porch and it’s nasty weather, cold, or late, then she’s in housecat mode and you can pick her up and treat her accordingly. Feral mode means you can’t touch her and she will ruthlessly torment or hunt anything she sees. Feral Jingles teases us by calmly wandering toward us while we’re outside, then turning and running like hell at the last minute before she’s in reach. Or go racing by as if to say “you’re a pathetic human and can’t match my swiftness and agility” when we appear outside of our own yard. Not that I mind feral mode, it’s fine and keeps Jingles from getting extremely antsy in the middle of the night, but I’d like some input. Like when we’re leaving the house and won’t be home until late, or know it’s likely to start raining while we’re gone. I’d like to be able to override the feral setting and return her to housecat mode. I promise not to abuse the privilege.

I won’t ask for on/off, that’s taking it too far. We’re talking about cats; 90% of the time they’re off anyway and if you can’t take it that the remaining 10% of the time without fail is inconvenient to your schedule, you need to cowboy up. Having parameters for “play time with humans” hours might be acceptable. Incorporate a customizable night mode maybe. Something that let’s us (between 10 pm and 6 am) uncheck “play with children,” “sing,” and “race helter-skelter through the house.”

Remembering Princess, our fat Siamese of seemingly long ago, The Girl suggested some sort of food amount or type limit. Considering the same cat, then Nimoy, I’d like some sort of “Alpha-cat” designator so we don’t have to deal with them fighting about it. It’s not about who’s most loved, just better suited to the role. Some cats are good rulers – patient and forgiving to their subjects regardless of species, age, gender, or size; others are brats.

Naturally it’s important to have a “restore original settings” option, but I suggest a two-step confirmation process. Something that requires thumbs.

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Nimoy is MIA

A little over a week ago we had a mishap. It started innocently enough, The Girl went Pokemon Go -ing (I assume I’m allowed to make that a verb by now) and took a gym. I know, who cares? Well, she took the gym from a pair of 13-year-old boys, who turned around and took it back – killing her Pokemon in the process. This shouldn’t matter. She’s five years older, and more mature anyway. But it’s apparently a Pokemon thing, so it mattered. She went back out right after coming home and retook the gym again, killing the offending Pokemon in return. Whatever. The same scenario repeated with another trainer The Girl didn’t have anything strong enough to take on the next day and she lost. So the following day, last Tuesday, when she went out Pokemon-ing, she put a harness on Nimoy (who is getting a little chubby and could use the exercise the game is designed for) and took her kitten for a walk. I gather she decided she needed moral support for her venture this time.

Nimoy is not nearly as enamored with Pokemon Go as The Girl is, let’s just get that little factoid out in the open right up front. Neither is Jingles, but Jingles is an active cat, so The Girl doesn’t feel the need to take her for walks to enforce an exercise regime on her. Also, Jingles dislikes her harness and leash, but long ago learned there was little point to fighting it. Nimoy isn’t that smart.

I’m going to take a moment to enlighten non-cat owners on the subject of cats and leashes. Yes, you can walk a cat on a leash. Unless you train them to accept this form of torture from kittenhood – early kittenhood – it’s more trouble than it’s worth. You also can’t just clip a leash on a collar, they’ll squirm right out of it and take off like a bat out of hell. No, you have to get a harness, like for ferrets. And it may seem cruel, but cinch that harness down pretty snug because cats are slightly more slippery than most people give them credit for. Even the extra furry ones.

The first time you put a harness on a cat/kitten, they tend to fall over as if you’ve just broken their back. Honestly, a harness doesn’t weigh eight hundred pounds, but you’d never know by watching a cat. Don’t cave in. If you take the harness off, they win. If you  walk away and leave them lying there, (view it as a sort of work-in-progress of “Beaten Cat Performance Art”) eventually they get tired of not having an audience and low crawl away. Also, cats have fairly short attention spans and – hey, there was that speck of dust that floated by….

The point is that they’ll get used to the harness. Then you’ll repeat the process when you add the leash. Then start over again when you’re holding one end of the leash. The look of indignation on Jingle’s face when she realized we expected to lead was priceless. We’ve since learned our lesson. She leads and we just sort of stop following if we disagree with her chosen direction. We stand there while she tugs on the leash and allow her to change her mind then resume following her in our acceptably submissive manner.

Nimoy was a whole other matter. The Girl was still doing the “gently tugging her along” thing. Most of Nimoy’s experience with her harness and leash wasn’t for going for walks, it was to allow The Girl (occasionally me or Hubby) to hold her with confidence she wouldn’t run off. I suspect, since Nimoy doesn’t actually care for being outside, that it was more of a comfort for her than us – you know, that we wouldn’t run off because she was attached to us. At least I always suspected that was how Nimoy saw it. It was her security blanket. Leave it to The Girl to prove me wrong.

So The Girl and idiot cat went for a walk. We got a frantic call that the cat slipped her harness and disappeared. Why? Was she scared off by a virtual Pokemon? It wouldn’t have surprised me, but no. It was the garbage truck. Something any of us should have been able to predict. Great. The cat wasn’t the idiot this time around, it was us.

The scene of the crime was only a couple of streets over, so Hubby made The Boy put actual clothes back on. (The Boy comes home from school and get straight into an old t-shirt and threadbare sweats from maybe five years ago because they’re comfy. They’re also rags and he’s not allowed to leave the house in them.) Hubby drove around, The Boy and Girl walked opposite directions, and I circled our cul-de-sac, all calling for Nimoy. I caught every neighbor. The Girl caught Jingles. The Boy caught a bad attitude, which caught Hubby’s attention. No one caught Nimoy.

Side note: since she was wearing a harness, she wasn’t wearing her collar. I assumed she was chipped, but after checking two days later at the animal shelter, they looked up her file and told me she wasn’t. How they managed to charge me for every other imaginable thing on a two-page long checklist and miss that is beyond me, but there you have it. The Girl began to panic in earnest at that point and printed out pictures of her generic tabby. Now her walks are to make sure signs are still up. I can see this going well.

nimoy

Here’s a picture of a cat with no distinctive markings. She’s a really fluffy tabby that doesn’t answer to anything in particular, although we like to call her Nimoy. Hobbies include eating, sleeping all day, unrolling balls of yarn, and walking across your face at 3 am. Also, she’s paranoid about bath tubs but jumps in the toilet, and doesn’t get along with other cats or kids. Don’t try to adopt her because she’s litter-box trained in theory, but occasionally misses. She’s not graceful, so if a cat meeting this rough description falls off your car, fence, or roof, it’s probably ours and most of the house would like her back.

 

 

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Midnight Madness

Let me tell you about Friday morning. Hubby wakes at midnight after hearing a crash. I sleep with earplugs, and a face-mask softly blowing air at me, so I don’t hear anything, including him jumping out of bed like I did something obscene to him.

He quietly listens to the house for signs of trouble or an intruder. Nothing.

Nimoy is immediately suspect, but she’s groggily looking at him from her place between our knees. For the moment, the kitten is off the hook.

Analyzing his memory of the sound, he thinks it sounds like glass breaking plus something else. Some sort of impact. And he can’t tell if it came from inside or outside. It’s a beautiful and cool night so our bedroom windows are open. He looks and doesn’t see anything.

Getting what passes for dressed at midnight, Hubby checks on both kids, they’re asleep. Jingles is awake but on the foot of The Girl’s bed where she frequently is when home at night. She always wakes when we check on the kids.

He wanders the house: checking all windows, doors, and closets – just because. Nothing.

Hubby goes outside and walks around the house. Nothing. He looks over neighbor’s fences – nothing.

Giving it up as a hallucination, Hubby comes back to bed.

Fast forward to four in the morning. The Boy tiptoes into our room, wakes Hubby, and informs him of some problem. He sits up.

Now I didn’t wake before with all Hubby’s activity, but the Motherhood-sense that something is amiss jars me fully awake. We follow The Boy back to his room. He woke to play an early round of video gaming with friends and discovered the splintered shards of a Corelle plate scattered about his room. They’re tough table settings, but when they do break, it’s like a war zone.

Hubby recognized the incident immediately. When he checked on The Boy, he left the bedroom and hall light off, and had to walk in to the darkened room to make sure the lanky teen was in fact in his bed. He’s so skinny he kind of blends into the sheets and pillows. It’s a miracle Hubby didn’t step on any of the microscopic (or larger) glass shards between the door and the bed.

So we figured Jingles, who likes to sleep on The Boy’s top bunk – in fact it’s hers, must have either used the freestanding shelves that are part of The Boy’s desk to jump to or from her top bunk perch and knocked the plate off that The Boy shouldn’t have had in there in the first place and it broke upon hitting the main desk surface in almost the exact center of the room. Thankfully the plate was empty. Unfortunately he had a box fan on in his corner so the smaller particles got widely distributed. I found tiny bits of Corelle from the wall behind his door to his closet doors, bed to the bookshelves under his window – in short, everywhere.

Yes, I vacuumed my son’s room at four am. Then he got out an edge vacuum and crawled around on his knees to cover the perimeter of the room. Hubby collected the big pieces, then had a handheld vacuum and sucked sparkling Corelle confetti from The Boy’s keyboard and behind his monitors. Thanks to the fan for that one we think.

The Boy really likes darkness when he sleeps, so he has a blanket hung from the top bunk to seal in his bottom bunk. We had to vacuum that then pull it down, but it meant his bed was protected. Like it matters, I need to change his sheets anyway.

Meanwhile The Girl gets up to see what all the activity is about. She insists it couldn’t have been Jingles (still snuggled at the foot of her bed) because she’d been in her room all night. Ah hem, not all night. No, Jingles started with The Boy. We guessed the broken plate startled the cat and she took off for safer sleeping places.

The really interesting part is the breaking plate woke Hubby, two rooms away with a gentle breeze upsetting our blinds and faint noises of the neighborhood outside to provide ambient cover, but failed to wake The Boy sleeping four feet away. It’s not surprising, the kid can sleep through anything (fire alarm going off two feet from his head when he was little and had the top bunk – not kidding; plus his alarm clock every single school day) but it is interesting. It means I’m going to have to continue getting him up for school this year. Oh, goodie.

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Feeding The Finicky

Darth Jingles with Ritz in plastic bag

Meals in our house are tenuous affairs. First, The Girl: she’ll eat most things, but only two bites. Then an hour later, she may eat something else. The Boy doesn’t want whatever is presented, but neither does he want to participate in the choosing of meals. Hubby waffles between preparing comfort food and experimenting with gourmet food, sometimes he tries a hybrid of the two. Occasionally this doesn’t go well. No matter what the kids aren’t in the mood for, I have a talent for picking that exact thing to make when I prepare a meal. I’m not sure how that works. At least I can count on The Girl to eat two bites.

Now the cat is another matter. First, let me just say up front, Jingles is an idiot. She’s never figured out meat is edible. Hamburger, chicken, pork – no, it’s not food. Salmon? No. Tuna? That’s complicated. Tuna is edible, but only if it’s drinkable. She enjoys her tuna beverage. The fewer solids the betters. She doesn’t want to chew her tuna fish. Jingles doesn’t like moist cat food either, it’s dry and crunchy all the way for her. Although she’s particular about brand and occasionally changes her mind. Usually after we find big bags of her preferred cat food on sale and stock up. Foolish humans.

Okay, now that we have that behind us, let’s talk about what else she considers food. Our cat loves her carbs. She won’t chew meat, but she will snarf down Cheerios. Oh yeah, loves those Cheerios. And pretzels, the crunchy not the soft ones. And Ritz crackers, but one is enough for her, usually. Hubby lets her lick curry off his finger, which I keep telling him is a bad idea and he’s going to pay for it, but she hasn’t proven me right yet. Some day.

So the cat isn’t very cat-like, but some things aren’t far off, just a bizarre twist on nature. Sort of. She took off on us for a week and lived off the land, and demonstrated once that she knows how to eat a mouse, so she is a cat. It’s good to know.

Did you know you can get Twinkies with Minion costume stickers to apply to the Twinky itself to dress it up? Hubby bought a box because A) the kids love Twinkies and B) Minions freak out The Girl. He dressed one up and offered her a treat. She flipped. The cat was intrigued and came to investigate. Hubby offered Jingles a Twinky dressed in a little jumper, smile and eyes. She glanced at it. He wiggled it. She gave it a closer look.

Let’s look at this from a feline point of view: it’s prey-sized, it has eyes, it moved, it isn’t aggressive, it’s now motionless – clearly frozen in fear. This is prey. Fast forward ten seconds to her next discovery: this is easy prey. Fast forward again another five seconds: this is edible. Again ten second: this white stuff on the inside is good. And again another five seconds: this white stuff on the inside is sticky.

I plan on checking to see if Jingles has learned anything from her first encounter with a Twinky. Anything like: it’s still prey even if it doesn’t have eyes and is dressed in little stick on pants, how to handle the white stuff without getting it everywhere, and how to get it out of the wrapper or box on her own. I’m not really keen for her to learn that last bit.

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Back To School – Kids vs Cat.

sf_backtoschool_remndernote

The kids are back in school and even Darth Jingles is smarter than me: she’s staying away from this mess.

I should be thrilled my teenagers are now spending most of every weekday being someone else’s problem. That’s how it should be, not how it is. First, The Girl started her senior year the Wednesday before last. Yay! It’s almost over, just one more year, and she has mostly fun classes so less stress. Dream on. Her schedule was messed up. We fixed it. She discovered all the kids in her Introduction to Statistics class were morons, then discovered the same about the kids in her Wildlife Biology class. Apparently someone had to ask how to spell “gills.” That rant lasted … actually it’s still going on. I get texts throughout the day as she tells me things she can’t say in class in the interest of polite society/not getting beat in the hall. (She’s a snarky little thing but knows when to rein it in. Usually.)

With The Girl being back in school, we’re faced with her usual last minute catastrophes. I would have thought at some point in the last 17 years, she would have learned the concept of “advance notice.” Alas, this is not the case. We still get her panicked race to our room at 11 pm to tell us she needs something for class and she it needs tomorrow. When did she learn of the requirement? At least two days previously, but we still have to drag that gem out of her. How does this apocalyptic event change our lives? We have to listen to her whine when we refuse to go to Walmart in the middle of the night, praying they have exactly what she needs. No, she can wait until after school and we’ll take her to go get whatever it is. I don’t do Walmart. Ever. Yes, that means she won’t have it for class – as was specifically required. Tell us in advance next time. We fix that problem and three days later repeat the exact same scenario. It’s amazing.

That’s The Girl, her little brother is very different. When The Boy needed something for school, he mumbled it upon walking through the door (that’s his version of telling us) and then never mentioned it again. He could be docked points class after class for having a loose-leaf binder instead of a spiral notebook or something inane like that, but we wouldn’t know until Parent-Teacher Conferences rolled around. Sigh.

The Boy started school last Monday, several days after his sister. A reminder: near the end of third term last year we switched him to an online/home school. I’m his “Learning Coach,” a title I desperately wanted to pass on to Hubby this year. He declined. The good part about this is there’s no more mumbling of things as he walks in the door. I know (generally) what he needs to do and what he needs in order to do it. Unfortunately his teachers don’t always copy me in their emails to him, and there’s no way he’s volunteering information, so there’s still that.

The Boy’s schedule is also messed up and I’m having some trouble getting that sorted. Getting him to go to bed at a reasonable hour, get up in time for his lessons, and give up video games during the day is fine. So far. Getting him to give up his 2 hour mid-afternoon nap is already becoming a problem. Let the battle of wills begin!

That being said, I’ve already been outsmarted by Hubby (he’s not The Boy’s “Learning Coach), and Darth Jingles (she’s refused to come in until this whole “beginning of school” thing gets straightened out and her children calm down), so I’m concerned about this mid-day nap dilemma. Is it sad that I looked over his schedule and penciled in when he can take a nap? I go check to make sure he gets up again to finish his work. That feels like giving in. Now I have to wake him up twice a day when I’m already tired of doing it once. Maybe he’ll ease out of it. (Last night he fell asleep on the rug in front of the refrigerator after going downstairs for a midnight snack. Yeah, he’s going to give up his mid-day naps, sure.)

All right, now that we have that sorted out, the kids finished their first week and survived, the cat came home over the weekend. The little brat usually is very sensitive to the needs of her children. She snuggles with them when they’re sick. She sleeps with them when they’re upset. But she cleared out when they endured their first week of school. In high school – she was there for them in junior high. Brat.

Jingles came home bearing a gift – a dead mouse. This is a little unusual, she doesn’t bring her playmates home with her. Whatever. We gave her big smiles and ‘good kitty’ assurances from afar. The Girl made sure she turned away before adding ‘ewww!’ We gave her tuna so the kids wouldn’t complain about her having ‘mouse breath,’ hopefully that won’t encourage her to keep bringing home dead vermin. Jingles later gave her boy lots of loves, tucked her girl in each night over the weekend before prowling the house. She checked in on her boy throughout the night to make sure he was doing okay with his video games then settled down when he hit his curfew. You know, being cat-like.

She woke me up at 3am and then Hubby with demands for aggressive petting. Then she finally snuggled down between us and stretched to push us both to the edges of our bed. She’s a smallish cat so that was a remarkable feat.

And Monday morning, she was off to go play like nothing happened. Like she wasn’t MIA for five days straight while the kids were having a rough time in school. Like she didn’t bend the house to her will all weekend (which is as it should be in her mind). Nope, just business as usual. We’ll see if she’s home before the weekend or if the threat of homework will somehow keep the cat at bay.

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The Cat Is A B****

2015-06-22 12.07.01

I’m going to put my rant about our family vacation on hold to once again declare our cat is a brat. More than that really, but it’s technically inaccurate to say a cat is a bitch, although the common usage definition of the term would certainly apply to her. Why am I upset with dear sweetums? You know I’m going to tell you.

Let me remind you of her traditional sleeping habits: Jingles comes in every third day or so and sleeps with The Girl or me now. It’s summer and The Boy is up all night playing video games and that disturbs her. She passes through his room to let him know he’s on her mind, but otherwise leaves him to it. Our winter comforter is folded up on my feet – a nice fluffy pile of down for her, a giant kitty-bed. She likes to sleep on feet anyway, so this arrangement suits her nicely. Jingles even likes this better than the basket in my window. The Girl is slightly jealous Jingles has been choosing her new kitty-bed on my feet instead of her lately, but she’s using her down comforter so it’s hard to argue the cat’s logic in choosing my feet over hers.

Then things changed for no reason. One morning Jingles walked up me like usual, except instead of standing on my shoulder to wake me and hint she was ready for me to trudge bleary-eyed downstairs to let her out at 6 am (which never happens, I don’t know why she keeps trying) she climbed onto my body pillow and curled up in my arms. She snuggled with me. I had this little warm pile of black fur purring by my chest, her nose tucked into the crook of my arm, and she fell back asleep like that. It was adorable. I went back to sleep and when she woke me again an hour and a half later asking to go out, I crawled out of bed, followed her furry butt down the stairs, and let her out simply to reward her.

A few days later, she came back in for a night at home and settled on my feet as usual. Then about 2 am, she got up and decided to come snuggle in my arms again. Wild. We slept like that the rest of the night, me holding my sweet little cat and her using my arm as a pillow. I was stiff and sore in the morning from not moving so I wouldn’t disturb her. (I remember that from when the kids were tiny and crawled into bed with us.)

Oddly, Jingles didn’t pester me to go outside. She let me sleep in, got herself up and went to The Girl’s room. The cat conked out with Simon Octavius, her stuffed octopus. (Until she noticed one of his tentacles was on her stomach, then she freaked out, batting it away. After that unpleasant startle was handled, she snuggled in closer between the tentacles and went back to sleep, go figure.)

Jingles stayed in all day. Willingly. She was lovey and snuggly with everyone. Except The Boy, he was out cold after being online all night but The Girl was thrilled with the attention Jingles was dishing out. I was seriously starting to worry what was up. The first thing that crossed my mind was that Jingles was sick. She didn’t act sick and was eating fine. Light rain doesn’t keep her inside, and it was nice out – not even as hot as it had been the week before, so it wasn’t the weather. Then I thought maybe we had an earthquake coming. They say animals sense those things and maybe she wanted to be with her family when the big one hit. That made me mildly paranoid the rest of the day, but nothing happened.

Last night, she lay in her spot by my feet like usual as I climbed into bed. I fell asleep. She walked up me, waking me, then stopped – sitting on my hip. I made a little room for her next to me so she could come snuggle. The little brat turned and walked back to her bed on my feet. Fine. She sat there for a moment. I moved my feet apart, knowing she prefers to be between my feet to just snuggling up to one. Why choose if you can have both? She took her place, assumed the kitty-loaf position, then got up and left the room. WTF? I seriously got snubbed by the cat?

Hubby dutifully went to retrieve the reprobate and she wasn’t getting a drink or eating or using the litter box. She wasn’t curled up on The Girl’s toes or on her spot downstairs (where it is admittedly cooler). She was sitting outside The Boy’s closed bedroom door. As if she really wanted to be in his stuffy room (it’s hot in there, he has a computer, extra monitor, and TV on almost all the time and never leaves his door open for circulation. Plus he only takes his garbage out once a week so it smells like stale popcorn.) All he’s going to do is ignore her in favor of insulting and making witty comments to his friends in the form of crude, incomplete sentences. I’m serious, I do not speak 15-year-old boy and I don’t understand why any of his friends put up with this kid, but I’ve met them and they all love him. That’s a rant for another time.

Hubby returned Jingles to me. I want her, The Boy doesn’t. She left again in favor of sitting outside his bedroom door. Whatever, the cat misses The Boy, but The Boy doesn’t miss her. Maybe. The alternative idea is that she knows he sneaks out of his room in the middle of the night, leaves all the lights off, and quietly slips downstairs to obtain more soda and chips to fuel is gaming marathon. Now, a teenage boy trying to be sneaky, a black cat sitting in a dark hall that previously mentioned teenage boy is having to navigate by memory … perhaps she’s trying to kill him. Jingles is tired of being ignored by her boy and had the devious idea to trip him and make him break his neck. His room is too far from the stairs for it to be a serious risk, so Hubby and I left her to it. Nothing happened last night, and Jingles went out this morning. We’ll have to see if she’s still in a snit in a few days when she comes home.

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