July 12, 2007
Apparently I am my cat's bitch

So after bragging in the comments of my last blog that I actually got my cat Willoughby to sleep through the night and not wake me up in the morning my cat decided to show me who the real boss is in the relationship.

I got home really late after watching Harry Potter last night to find that Willoughby had been playing with one of the roommates for a few hours, but was somehow still wired. I continued to play with him as I cleaned up my room hoping to wipe him out. Eventually he wouldn't play with anything I threw his was and I settled down into bed.

And he went to sleep. Only problem is I woke up in the middle of the night and then realizing that Willoughby was practically smushing me, couldn't get back to sleep. So I moved a lot and woke Willoughby up and then it was over.

He decided to play with my feet I decided to kick him out. After that I didn't fall back into a very deep sleep. And then it was 5:55am. Like clockwork, 5 minutes before my first alarm goes off Willoughby starts to meow and claw at the door. He's gotten so good at it that he can open the door somehow.

This problem has been continuous and I have read up on how to keep your cat from meowing excessively. Everything I read said you have to ignore them and not react to the meowing because if you do anything, get up, feed them, kick them into another room you are apparently reinforcing the behavior.

Have you ever tried to ignore a cat who is dead set on getting his breakfast? It can't be done. And you can't go back to sleep. But you don't want to get up because that will reinforce his behavior and you're exhausted and all you want to do is sleep another 15-20 minutes. And you think well if he just stops for a few minutes I'll go out and feed him so he doesn't associated food with the meowing, but he doesn't stop, so you get so annoyed that you get up and lock him in another room and reinforce the behavior. sigh.

Maybe I should try earplugs.

Posted by nuala at July 12, 2007 08:50 AM

Ruby also wakes me up for breakfast every morning. Her method is to lick me over and over again until I get up. She usually goes for the inside of my elbow, which she somehow knows is extremely sensitive. Either that or my fingertips, which are even worse.

And you're right. There's just no ignoring her. I just get up and feed her when she does it, often around 4:30 in the morning, just so I can go back to sleep without her bothering me.

She doesn't meow, but we can't lock her out of the room because Pepe hates closed doors and responds to them by standing on his hind legs and batting the doorknob extremely loudly (remeber, he's a very large cat).

Posted by: matt on July 12, 2007 11:08 AM

Willoughby also hates closed doors. The house is his domain and he is not too be locked out of any area. He has learned how to open our door if he is persistant enough as well as the door between the living room and kitchen. There is non locking him out of anywhere any more. Bastard

Posted by: nuala on July 13, 2007 09:56 PM