Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Nighttime Adventures of Twinks and Jinx

We’ve never let the cats sleep with us at night. And now I know why.

Believe me, it was not a conscious decision to allow them into our bedroom for an overnight sleepover; it was purely circumstantial.

Lately Twinks has been very “needy” and she starts meowing after we close our bedroom door. She’s on the wrong side of the door and she doesn’t like it. Extra petting right before I escape to our bedroom hasn’t seemed to help. So the other night I let her come in while we brushed our teeth and got ready for bed. She jumped on the bed and did the flopping-on-her-back maneuver, which is my cue to give her a belly rub.

Unbeknownst to me, the stealthy one, Jinx, also slithered into the room. Jinx doesn’t hop on the bed and demand love and affection. Instead, she crawls under the bed and explores. I’d call it “hiding,” but Jinx doesn’t want a reputation as a scaredy cat.

We don’t usually know she’s under the bed until either Twinks, who was politely escorted out of the room, starts meowing because her cohort is still inside and it’s unfair or (b) Jinx squeaks at us to let us know that she’s done exploring and wants us to get up immediately and let her out. Who knew a squeaky kitty could be so loud?

So after I gently encouraged Twinks to leave the room the other night and I closed the door Vince said, “You know that Jinx is still in here – right?”

I hadn’t known, but realized he was right because Twinks commenced meowing through the closed door to let me know that I was playing favorites.

Knowing it would be nearly impossible to get Jinx out from under the bed, I sighed and opened the door to let Twinks back in. And right then I knew it was going to be a long night.

Vince wasn’t too happy with this turn of events (not that he volunteered to crawl under the bed to try to retrieve Jinx-the-Explorer or anything). Instead, he grabbed earplugs from his nightstand and stuffed them in his ears to drown out the twinkling sounds the bells on their collars make whenever they move.

Clearly, our cats are nocturnal creatures and move around at night. A lot.

Thus began a very long sleepless night with one or more cats crawling over the bed and us to find comfy spots to sleep in, which usually meant crowding us in some way. Once they’d curl up, they’d start whapping their tail on my cheek every 10 seconds or so. They’d whap, I’d twitch and scratch the ensuing itch the whapping caused and then I’d flip over to avoid the tail entirely.

Yeah, like that worked. My cats are persistent if nothing else. Once I turned over, the cat would move such that my cheek was once again in her line of fire.


Did I mention that it was a VERY long sleepless night?

I contemplated trying to get them out of the room, but being dark, I wouldn’t have been able to see them clearly. And I wouldn’t have been able to see Jinx, the black one, at all. Made me wonder why I hadn’t considered adopting an orange tabby or something more visible in low light situations.

Besides, I knew that even if I was successful in getting one of them out of the room, I wouldn’t be able to get both out simultaneously. So what would happen is that if I eventually herded the second one toward the door, the moment I opened it, the first one would rush back in.

So I lay there trying to count sheep in the hopes that I might eventually fall asleep. Inevitably, the sheep turned into cats and I started having nightmares that we lived with an entire clowder of 'em instead of only two.

At some point in the early morning hours, I heard the bedroom door slam. I figured either Vince gave up and decided to sleep on the couch – or he managed to convince the felines that they were no longer welcome and was able to escort them out of the room.

Since he came back to bed, it turned out to be the latter. Probably they were hungry and had gotten bored with torturing us. Of course, by this point we didn’t have a whole lot more snooze time before the alarm went off.

When it did, Vince turned over toward me, blearily opened a bloodshot eye and said, “this thing with the cats sleeping with us? It’s not gonna work.”

Yeah. No kidding.

Cats. Ya gotta love ‘em. Can’t sleep with ‘em.

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