You can tell a cat, but not much, as the joke goes. They definitely respond to people differently than dogs do, but it isn’t as critical as how we respond to them. Ask Andy. Ask Dougy. What is a kitty to do when it’s breakfast time and your human won’t get out of bed?
My boys are predictably accurate about the time. They know when it’s three in the morning, so pester me for as long as it takes to make sure I’m up and feeding them by that time. Believe it, they do pester me until I get up to feed the kitties, and all stops are out if I try to sleep past three.
Here are some of their favorite cat tricks to get me out of bed:
1. Standing by my bed, meowing. [Not effective because neither Andy nor Dougy meows very loud. If I am awake, I know that it signals more harassment until I get up; if not, I don’t hear it. FAIL!]
2. Jumping on my bed and meowing by my head. [A bit more effective, but usually a FAIL because of the same reasons standing by my bed and meowing is a FAIL. Andy just jumps on my bed, but usually stares at me long enough to try to decide if I’m faking sleep or am actually sleeping. He is my stealthy cat. After a short time, he’ll jump over to a favorite spot on top of the little bookcase next to my bed. There’s a fan on it, a folded blanket for his comfort, but, best yet, a good view of me in bed where he can see me but I can’t see him. He watches, watches, watches…! You know you are watched when Andy watches you. Dougy, however, scratches on the mattress, which irritates me but usually doesn’t achieve the desired effect. Then he jumps, landing by my head. The moment he lands he always meows, just once. The landing can wake me. The meow just tells me which of the two landed. Andy makes no sound. I try to not open my eyes, though, and pretend I am still asleep. Between them, they sometimes have success.]
3a. Walking on me. [Less effective than it could be because their predecessor, Louie, weighed as much as both Andy and Dougy together. Dougy usually is the designated walker, and I kind of like it when he does because it feels like a massage. FAIL.]
3b. Andy and Dougy are rank amateurs compared with the late Louie. He’d usually walk on me, starting at one end, then end at the other after he took a slow stroll on my body. I handled his almost 24 pounds (10.8 kilos or so) treading on me except for that spot between my pelvis and bottom of my rib cage. When he landed there, it hurt like heck unless I anticipated it and tensed my muscles. When I tensed my muscles, he’d hop off my body, stroll to my face, and start to stick his butt in it. He knew I was awake and that I always got up before he got his butt too close to my face. I definitely hopped up and fed the kitty! Louie was a tough cat, a veteran of the streets. You couldn’t fool him by keeping your eyes closed!
4. Knead the human. [Definitely a FAIL because Dougy, who has has a “mommy fixation” on my beard, doesn’t realize that kneading feels good so long as he doesn’t do it on bare skin. Plus, he has to nestle up to me to do it, which gives me a chance to gain more rest when I stroke his fur. That in turn prompts more kneading. I’m having a good time, Dougy’s forgetting why he’s kneading me because he’s having a good time, too. I just have to make sure he doesn’t get in my beard. It creeps me out when he nestles in my beard, and tries to nurse. ICK!]
5. Sniff the human’s face! [SUCCESS! I know where those little kitty faces have been, so the moment I sense one coming my way, I fend it off. They know I’m awake then, and gloves are off till they get me out of bed. This is when they start to gang harass me. Otherwise it’s a solo business, each in his turn. Besides, those cat whiskers tickle!]
6. Wag your tail in the human’s face. [This is a recent development that is guaranteed to get the point across to me: Get up. NOW! Absolute SUCCESS! Fie on you, Dougy. You discovered my kyptonite! Andy hasn’t learned this trick yet.]
7. Late in life, Louie discovered something that makes him unique among the four cats I’ve had in my life. His failsafe method to get me up? He’d stand on my shoulder with his back feet, put his front feet on my blankets, then walk my blankets down toward my waist. When you are a 24 pound cat, you can do this!