Lately something’s been keeping me up at night. Our sleep is being constantly interrupted, and we’ve experimented with sleep training. Oh, you thought I meant for my child? Nope. It’s for this guy:
For my cat. For my FREAKING CAT. The definition of irony: I have a baby that sleeps, and a cat who doesn’t. “Cry it out”? How about “GET THE F$*# OUT”???!
This furry little control freak jumps up on my nightstand and pokes me in the face at all hours of the night, sometimes beginning as early as 1 AM. He has food. He has water. The little bastard wants to play. He finds pure delight in my husband and I taking turns chasing him out of our room, runs all the way down the stairs at full speed and with the sound effects of a horse galloping, only to turn around and do it all over again five minutes later. We now lock him in a separate room when he starts his antics because I love him so much that I can’t risk hurting him in my sleep-crazed state at three in the morning.
So yes, we are pretty much sleep training our cat.
Desperate, I did the only reasonable thing I could think of: I turned to WebMD for advice on what is up with my freaking feline. Here’s what WebMD says:
“Annoying as nighttime and early wake-ups are, try seeing them as your cat’s cry for more.”
OK, so Web MD thinks my cat needs more…what? Interaction? Stimulation? Should I set up activities, arrange sensory bins for him to explore, perhaps a finger-painting station? They go on:
“You can offer more of what the cat wants:
- Social contact
- Interactive playtime — try interacting with fishing pole toys
- Interesting meal delivery — look into using food puzzle toys
- Environment enrichment — create opportunities for more sights, sounds, smells, and things to do”
Yessss, let’s give the furry little bastard more of what he wants! I think that’s a fantastic idea for a pregnant woman to do at 4AM. As if this whole thing is not completely insane, that last bullet point is my favorite: environment enrichment, creating “sights, sounds, smells and things to do”.
Let’s be clear: the only “sight” I would like to offer Marcus is me getting out of bed, the “sound” would be the profanities that I’d use to lull him to sleep, and the “smell” would be the fear he would encounter, leaving him only one “thing to do”: run like hell from the sleep-deprived preggo-monster. You guys know I LOVE Marcus. But he is out of control, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to sleep-train my cat.
I’ll admit that he is probably bored and misses Bear. Or maybe he’s running through the house at night to enjoy his last bits of freedom before #2 comes in and takes up another room. But I just wish I could make him understand that I need my sleep, that my belly is growing to epic proportions and it’s hard enough getting a decent night’s rest in between sleeping in one position and periodic peeing throughout the night. And all of this waking up/broken sleep is making me lose any bit of sanity I may have left at the moment. So just know that if you start seeing me write weird things here, or if I start jumbling words and thoughts that make zero sense, I’m not really me. It’s my freaking cat.
Suggestions? Recommendations? Anyone else have this issue?