Wednesday, December 24, 2008

the gift of peace and quiet

Husband and I got our greatest gift last night.

We love our two cats, Wilbur and Houdini, but their presence in the house is not always conducive to a sound night's sleep. Round about 10 p.m. seemed to be their time to wake up and start caterwauling, fighting, and causing general mayhem. We used to keep our bedroom door open at night, for them to wander in and out, but Houdini used to start hunting human body parts at two in the morning (NOT a way you want to wake up) so we kicked him out. Wilbur, however, is a pleasure, sort of, to have as a foot of the bed cat. He's easily spooked, but loves to snuggle when the humans are lying down and not making any sudden moves. So we got in the habit of inviting Wilbur in and kicking Houdini out.

Wilbur, however, decided that he wasn't often ready to settle down when we were, and so began games of "let cat in, let cat out." He howls to be let in and howls to be let out. So we had gotten to the point of giving him one "free round-trip" and then kicking him out. Which defeated the whole purpose of a cat, which is keeping one's feet warm at night, especially during our recent cold snap. Add to the mix Houdini's random moments of scratching and howling on the door to be let in (every now and then he forgets that he's not allowed) and you have a recipe for a sleepless night.

Recently husband commented that he remembered that when we would give them treats of wet food, that they would become quiet and sleepy after that. So we first experimented by feeding them at our dinnertime the other night. Hey, we were able to eat OUR meal of take out mustard pork loin from Buy for Less (Yum!) without Houdini's interference or Jack Nicholson-like stare as we eat something he's particularly interested in. Wilbur and Houdini retired to the bedroom in a haze of turkey dinner and were quiet the rest of the evening.

So last night, I fed the cats around 9:30. Sure enough, when we went to bed at 10,Wilbur was ready to just curl up and fall asleep at the foot of the bed, and he didn't make a peep the rest of the night. (Didn't do his little snuggle dance, either, so there are still some bugs to work out in the system).

The only drawback is that I'm being stalked any time I pass by, head towards, or think about going into the kitchen.

May you all be blessed by the gift of peace this season, in whatever form that takes for you.

And all the little kitties say, "Amen!"


At 10:16 AM, Blogger Terri said...

Wishing you and husband a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Linda said...

Happy to you too! Great story. What would we do without our little friends?

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had sister cats years ago, Thunder and Lightning. Thunder was the good cat, snuggler, slept when I did, all around good girl. Lightning was the irritating one. If she wanted me up in the night she'd dig around and make noises. In the morning if she thought I was sleeping too long she'd peel off the bed knowing it shook the bed and would wake me up. I noticed that in the evening (before my bed time) that Lightning was often fast asleep for hours. So I started waking her, nicely, petting her, talking to her so she didn't get any of that good cat napping during the evening. It worked. She'd be so sleepy by my bedtime that she'd sleep through the night.

Hope you and David have a very Merry Christmas and that we get to see you sometime soon!

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