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sleep less

Well, Nimiel has kept up the mewing plaintively and wandering the apartment behavior. Both Sunday and Monday nights she settled down with me when I went to bed, but then woke me at 5 and I had to isolate her.

Last night while I was busy installing the child safety gate under the sink, she did the same mewing and wandering behavior, and she would stop as soon as I left that task and played with her. I then spent most of the hour from 1 to 2 am playing with her, getting her to run around a lot, in between getting myself ready for bed. She did settle down with me when I finally went to bed, but only a couple hours later she woke me up, so I isolated her again. Of course when I isolate her, she does seem to spend a lot of that time continuing to mew for attention.

So I am now concerned that she is bored and lonely. I am also very annoyed because one of my stated reasons for not getting a cat was that one cat means two cats, and I didn't want two cats. Well I've finally got a cat much to my friends' delight, and it looks like I might "need" to get a second one, which I really really do not want to do! One cat is plenty. I hope Nimiel will be okay and grow out of this behavior even if I don't get her a companion.

I also have to decide whether to just routinely isolate her before I go to bed, or to continue letting her be free and only isolating her if she wakes me up with that particular behavior. I am reluctant to routinely isolate her, partly because I like having her sleep next to me, and partly because that part of the apartment will be unbearably hot and stifling in the summer with the doors closed. On the other hand, I'm reluctant to continue having my sleep broken up.

In other matters, I've been meaning to write more about specific goals for 2005, but I've been busy. One of those goals is to write at least one journal entry a week, and with Nimiel around, that does not look to be a problem at all.

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zannah
Jan. 19th, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC)
Fufuberry meowed a lot as a kitten (partially because of the whole thing where we think she was taken from her mom a bit too early). She's still vocal, but much less than when we originally got her. We also thought we were going to have to get her a friend... but eventually she did calm down a bit more. (We did eventually shut her from the bedroom at night, though - because she had this weird routine where she came in at 3am sharp, sat between us staring intently at the James' head, and meowed loudly a few times until one of us petted her.)
philaros
Jan. 21st, 2005 08:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've been getting advice from a number of friends, and one of them pointed out that getting a second cat is not necessarily a simple and easy solution to the problem - after all, now there's a second cat, and they may not get along, the other cat will have its own needs and demands, and as my friend pointed out, if you wanted more attention from your mom and instead she brought home another kid to occupy you, you might not be so appreciative.

Also that Seattle Times article you sent me was helpful. :-)
zannah
Jan. 21st, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
Oh good. :) They're doing a live (via the web, anyway) Q&A at noon today - I think at the same URL? If you can't do the live, they always archive the questions later, so you can read those too. :)
philaros
Jan. 21st, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'll be checking out the transcript.

Nimiel was even more determined last night to wake me up, but I persisted in ignoring her. I'm now concerned that she's going to learn not to bother trying to warn me if an earthquake is imminent or if the building catches on fire. :-/

I also noticed she only ate about half her food yesterday, I hope she's not going to stop eating when I'm not present and awake.
kittenaskat
Jan. 20th, 2005 12:36 am (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, 2 cats just means they can tag-team when they feel the need to wake you up at 5 in the morning because they want food, think there is too much poo in the litter box, or are simply bored.

I think part of it, too, is that kitties don't want to leave you out of their fun -- Sophie often brings me her mouse in the middle of the night, and Oscar decided to chase a sparkly ball around my bed at about 5 this morning.

I guess what I'm saying is this... get cats, learn not to sleep so much.
philaros
Jan. 21st, 2005 08:51 am (UTC)
It's good to hear from you and my other friend that a second cat isn't necessarily the answer.

I do need to get some other toys for her, I think.

Also, I'll have to practice ignoring the mewing, because geez! she's getting quite loud with it, and if ignoring it will get her to knock it off sooner rather than later, that's the best. My poor downstairs neighbor is also probably finding it hard to sleep.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 22nd, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC)
so what happened with the whole spayed/not-spayed deal? yes or no? is you is or is you ain't my baby? kharma is still pissed off that we got another cat. he is constantly trying to assert his supremacy in the house. jezebel knows that she's the top cat, so i guess it's less of an issue for her. she's only recently (we've had her for about a year, now) discovered that humans are useful and not so horrible. so, yeah, the whole "get kharma a friend" plan didn't work out quite the way we expected. i think isolation might not be the best solution. you have to be careful about unwanted lessons that you teach cats (like the aforementioned one with kharma learning that we'll shoo jezebel away from his food). i think you should get earplugs. cats also tire of the same toys, so a new toy every four months or so is good. "lost" toys, whether on purpose or by accident, function very nicely as "new" toys.
philaros
Jan. 22nd, 2005 10:42 pm (UTC)
So we're back from the vet, there's a cute shaved patch in the middle of Nimiel's belly, and the answer is... inconclusive, still. There really isn't a visible scar, it still feels to the vet like there's a scar under the skin but we just don't know. The vet agrees that her behavior is a lot like being in heat - the vet saw that when I pet Nimiel, she gets into the position to be mounted - but then the vet also took a vaginal swab and Nimiel was indifferent, rather than excited as a cat in heat normally would be. And the results of the swab were also inconclusive.

So, back she goes on Wednesday, the vet said they can basically cut her skin a bit and that'll definitely reveal whether she's been operated on. Even then, the vet says she might've been spayed hastily and a bit of ovary left inside her, which would be enough for her to go in heat. So I think one way or another the question of whether she's spayed will be answered then.

Oh, and earplugs are unnecessary. I'll just learn to sleep through it, I'm pretty adaptable that way. Not to mention that the more often she wakes me up, the more tired I get, and then the easier it becomes to ignore her and go back to sleep. I didn't bother isolating her this past week, I just ignored her when she woke me up and kept pretending to sleep. What's interesting with that is that she's started being more direct about trying to wake me up - pawing at me a bit, and walking across the pillow - as opposed to just the wandering and yowling.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 22nd, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
also, don't forget that cats have many cycles of activity during a 24-hour period, several of which are at night. for example, k & j usually have spastic periods right before we go to bed and right before we get up and often one in the middle of the night, too. then they're pretty calm or sleeping for most of the day. any sort of change in your schedule -- or even mood (i've noticed that if i can't sleep, the cats are extra freakazoid) -- will affect your cat's schedule.

a
philaros
Jan. 22nd, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know. And if her behavior is not caused by being in heat, then it may well just be a matter of her wanting to go outside - when she started with this, it was all at night, so it seemed like she may have been used to going outside at night. However, she's now starting to behave the same during the day - she's doing it right now actually.
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