Monday, January 24, 2011
There's a Cat in My Room
Every night we go through the same song and dance. We tuck Alyce into bed (and then get her out of bed for that last trip to the potty, desperate as she is to extend the day just that little bit longer). Then she asks us to leave the door open just a little bit (followed by an important discussion over what exactly constitutes a little bit) and to put up the gate--so that Lucy doesn't bother her.
And then it begins. Usually we've retreated into the kitchen, either making a late dinner for grown-ups, or cleaning up the dishes from an earlier dinner, and we'll hear it: There's a cat in my ro-om. THERE'S A CAT IN MY RO-OM.
We can't figure out why Lucy insists on hopping over the gate into Alyce's room or why it bothers Alyce so much in the first place. Lucy doesn't jump up on Alyce's bed or anything too intrusive, and she often does not even make a sound. But Alyce's keen nighttime vision, determined as she is to keep her eyes open as long as possible, will spot the intruder right away. She seems to like Lucy enough during the day, and will always list Lucy as her favourite among cats (poor Hille is never included), but after dark she seems to take great offense at the thought of sharing her room with a cat. The other cats are not concerned about Alyce's preferences, as they have preferences of their own and at this point in the day are happily asleep on the living room furniture. But Lucy is committed, for reasons unknown, to Alyce's room. I have a few theories, myself. Lucy is by far the most evil of our cats and I expect that her commitment to Alyce's room is motivated by that old-fashioned desire to do whatever it is we're told not to do. Lucy is also the most social of the cats, so her obsession with Alyce's bedtime might be an attempt to weasel out a few extra minutes of attention from Alyce, who unfortunately, according to Lucy, will be prevented from giving pets for the next twelve hours. How sweet of Lucy, really, to recognize that sleep deprives us from giving her attention.
Whatever the reason, all I know is that I had to climb over the gate into Alyce's room six times tonight. Six times I gently picked up Lucy and escorted her out of her room (or something like that). And yes, everyone except Alyce realizes that the best solution to our problem (short of Lucy moving out) would be to close the bedroom door.
But then it would not be open a little bit.