March 11, 2007

Neurotic Rosie

Cats, by nature, are nocturnal and Miles and Rosie are no exception. I remember when I moved into my small apartment on Taylor St. in Reno waking up frustrated most nights as the kitty monsters chased each other from here to kingdom come, back and forth, back and forth. I remember thinking “they have to get tired SOMETIME,” then laying awake until 5 a.m. when they finally tuckered out and went to bed. Eventually, one gets used to kitty drama, learns to sleep through the noise, adapts. I am beginning to find, though, that since my move, I have to RE-adapt, and I have not been getting much sleep.

My new apartment in Boston is a tiny studio, and I constantly feel bad that the kitties have to stay cooped up in such a small place. Really, I would rather they get to play outside, but their being de-clawed before they came to live with me has pretty much barred them from living normal kitty lives. And so, they must do their normal kitty things in the confines of my extremely tiny apartment. For example, there is a banister that runs the entire lengths of my apartment, and rises from wall to wall to a height of approximately five feet at its maximum, right above my bed. Every night, an event which I can only describe as the “kitty circus” take place, complete with kitty races (up the banister), kitty balancing acts (on my books), and kitty acrobatics (straight off the banister onto my sleeping and therefore totally unsuspecting body). This has not boded well for my sleep habits.

In addition, Rosie has taken to scratching at things—digging in her litterbox, scratching at her food bowl, cleaning up after the wine I spilled on the carpet, etc. Her scratch-antics have gotten annoying, especially when she decides that the perfect time to go completely neurotic in the catbox is 3 a.m. Last night was no different.

I recently purchased a bed frame, which is still sitting in a box in the middle of my floor. One of the boxes has a small hole torn out of the side, and last night Rosie figured she would explore the box.

SCRRRRRAAAAATCH, scratch, scratch, scratch.

“Rosie, stop” I mumbled in a not quite awake voice.

Sweet silence. And then, SCRRRRRAAAAATCH, scratch, scratch, scratch.

“Rosie, please.” (As if she could understand my rationality).

SCRRRRRAAAAATCH, scratch, scratch, scratch

“ROSIE!!!” I yelled as I slammed my hand down on the bed to try to scare her away. Miles, who was asleep at the end of the bed, bolted, but Rosie just kind of looked at me. SCRRRRRAAAAATCH, scratch, scratch, scratch Thoroughly irritated, I got up, still half asleep, and fumbled around, looking for a can of compressed air that I spritz at them whenever I want to deter them from doing something. “That will teach her,” I thought. I had no idea where I put it, though, and since I was half asleep, I only had half a mind to try and figure it out.

As I bumped around my apartment, grumbling to myself and knocking things over, Rosie came over to me and meowed in her softest kitty voice as she rubbed her little body all over my legs. She just wanted some love.

It was then that I awoke and realized what was going on. I was the one that dragged them across country in a tiny cat carrier for a week, I was the one that force them to live in a tiny apartment with nowhere to stretch their legs and their minds, and now I was the one grumbling about them doing their normal kitty things and even trying to punish them for it. Now who is the jerk. It made me horribly sad.

I pet Rosie for a few minutes before I drifted off to sleep again. As I was just hitting that sweet spot of slumber, I heard:

SCRRRRRAAAAATCH, scratch, scratch, scratch

I can’t say that it didn’t annoy me any less, or that I somehow miraculously acquired the ability to sleep through the racket. But, I understood Rosie a little bit more last night (in all her ultimate weirdness), and probably slept better for it.


rajbot said...

nice blog. meaty descriptions. best of luck to you erika in the northeast. you are missed.

gabe. said...

so, now the wine i spilled on the floor is the wine you spilled on the floor. way to write me out of our life.