Outwitting the Cat

Exhausted after a hard night's hunting.

So cute and innocent…not.

It has been five years since I slept through the night. It’s no coincidence that it’s been five years since we got our cat.

Don Gato is a talker. He meows to come in, he meows to go out, he meows to be fed, he meows to be petted, he meows to be played with, he meows purely to piss us off.

In the middle of the night, he appears at my bedroom window and howls to come in. If I let him in, he waits until I’ve just managed to fall asleep again, then comes into the bedroom and howls to go out.

I’ve learned to sleep through the meowing at the window, but if I don’t let him in when he howls at the window, he hurls himself at the front door, rattling the door handle and loudly shaking the entire door. Repeatedly. For up to four hours (that’s the longest I’ve been able to stand it, though I’m confident he would have carried on as long as it took to get me out of bed).

When I tried to cure this behaviour by spraying him with water, rather than letting him in when he threw himself at the door, he learned to simply hit the door, then run out of range of the spray bottle.

A few nights, I’ve accidentally locked him into my office for the night, but doing that regularly would most certainly result in the total destruction of the office.

Last night I tried a new tactic. I affixed a string handle to a small plastic tub, filled the tub to the brim with water, and hung it on the front doorknob. If the cat tried to jump at the door, he would tip the water on himself (relieving me from the need to get up and spray him, and making the jump and run technique ineffective).

I slept all night last night.

Let’s hope the defences hold for tonight—I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

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