Kris and I have owned cats for fifteen years now. (Or maybe I should say that cats have owned us.) For fifteen years, we’ve struggled to get a good night’s sleep.

Tintin wasn’t so bad. He wasn’t much of a bed sleeper. But when he did sleep on the bed, he was a nuisance. He had “pokey paws”. When he stood on you, it was as if he were channeling all of his mass into four very sharp points.

When Toto came along, she was an immediate nuisance. We slept on a futon at the time, and that little black kitten would crawl on us at night, cuddling up under our chins to suckle on the fringe of one of our blankets. When I couldn’t take her sucking, purring, and kneading anymore, I’d hurl her to the foot of the bed. But she’d march right back up to suck on the fringe some more.

As she grew older, the fringe sucking stopped. But she developed other bad habits. She began to paw paw paw Kris’ hair in the middle of the night. While this sounds cute, it has always kept Kris awake. And Kris, in her infinite wisdom, sees fit to then wake me to tell me that she can’t sleep. Ugh.

Toto has always loved the bed, but this has become even more pronounced since we moved to the new house. She sleeps there all day. She sleeps there all night. It’s her throne. She’s the Queen of the Night.

Lately, our three boys have become bed monsters, too.

Simon isn’t so bad. He sleeps at Kris’ feet and is relatively still. He’s just a dead weight.

Nemo, however, is a nuisance. He has some of the same pokey paws that Tintin used to have, but more of a problem is that he picks some inconvenient spot at about waist level and plants himself there. He’s immovable. Immovable, that is, until Toto realizes he’s there and begins hissing and growling at him. Then he skitters away with a squeak.

Max, on the other hand, sleeps at my feet. Or with my feet. Or something. Basically, he waits for me to move my toes, and then he chomps. It’s not too painful — just annoying.

The real problem, though, is that when all four cats are on the bed at once, there isn’t any room for the humans. This makes the humans cranky!

In fact, Kris has been so cranky about the cats lately that she’s banned them from the bedroom. Oh, Toto can still have the bed during the day (Queen of the Light!), but when bedtime comes, she’s moved to the futon in the TV room. She wasn’t happy at first (nor were her brothers), but she’s learned to accept this, I think. I’m glad. Now, for the first time in fifteen years, we’re starting to get sound nights of sleep.

4 Replies to “Queen of the Night”

  1. Drew says:

    Clearly, now you have room for Atticus. I’ll send him over directly.

  2. needing sleep says:

    Great and all, but how precisely do you banish four cats from the bedroom without replacing them with a Jack Russel Terrier? Your cats respect doors?

    Ours would scratch the door, throw themselves at the door, and after about 15 minutes try out all sorts of low pitched and high pitched feline vocalizations. I think the only solution (besides the Jack Russel) would be to put their cat beds on a “hot rock” and program a robot to feed them and scratch behind the ears. They can bite the robot toes as much as they want.

  3. pam says:

    You could set up a heating pad for your cats (away from your room). your cats might actually prefer it. Dante gave up on us after we installed radiant floor heat – we’re not broken up about it!

  4. Amanda says:

    King-sized bed. Look into it.

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