I’m just about to enrage parents everywhere and it’s going to be my most glorious accomplishment to date! It’s going be my pleasure as a childless 30-something to make claims and accusations! Here’s my thesis: when I try to put my cats outside at night, it’s just as hard as parents trying to get their kids to go to sleep. Here’s the proof of how I struggle mightily with this terrible yet unexpected issue.
My cats, Bitey and the Gentleman are outdoor/indoor cats and they absolutely adore going outside at night. At the beginning of the summer I tried to keep them inside but that was futile as they declared war on Mr. VS and myself and decided that we shall not sleep if they cannot go outside at night to do their hunting and loitering. As you can imagine they have won this battle with their caterwauling and door scratching.
So now that it’s determined that the cats will go outside at night, I make sure they are out before we go to bed because otherwise they will wake me up and I will get angry. The cats are difficult about going out because while they WANT to be outside at night, they don’t actually want to GO outside when I want them to. Bitey in particular hates doing something when I want him to. He’s on his own time table and how DARE I try to force him to do something against his will. He’s willful. You’ll also learn as you have cats that they can be very contrary. Doesn’t it already sound like I’m writing about my children? I have 2, one is a grey tiger child named Gentleman, the other is black and named Bitey. Tell me how is this not just like the little children who desperately need their sleep but refuse to actually go to sleep? I adopted these darlings! I get no thanks!
Once I decide that I’m tired and want bed, the cats decide it’s time to run away and not go outside. The Gentleman is relatively easy to get outside, however he does tend to get quite wild and run around the house like an absolute maniac. Bitey on the other hand is preposterously difficult to get outside. First off, he’s a very bitey cat, as his alias would suggest, which means that you can’t simply pick him up, especially if he’s laying on his side. He will claw, bite, etc, your dainty fleshy limb.
In fact, he adores the taste of human flesh and the springy resistance it gives to his little claws. The other day he clawed me and the marks look just like I got swiped by an angry raptor. Truth: Bitey is part carnivorous woman-flesh-thirsty dinosaur. He’s also deadly and will strike when you least expect. Often when we’re in the midst of a nice love sesh, Bitey will suddenly become overwhelmed (maybe underwhelmed?) with his love or should I say his intense hatred of my hand and he’ll strike me down with lightning fast claws. He’s basically a big asshole.
So first I tried to lure Bitey outside by playing with him with his favorite toy the Squid. This failed as he would play with it in place but refused to actually chase the squid and thus end up closer to the door which is one of the tricks I sometimes employ to get him closer to his ultimate destination. Tell me parents haven’t done this exact same thing? Throw their offspring’s favorite toy, hope they chase it into their room, slam the door, latch it? Laugh maniacally? Sometimes this trick works on Bitey. It’s almost like he’s waiting for me to do this trick, he actually seems to enjoy it. I think in general, our adversarial relationship is to his liking.
At this point, some would say to me…just pick those small cats up and toss their asses outside, however I’d say the same to parents: Toss those pint-sized kids into their quart-sized beds! Because you have an advantage! Kids typically seem to lack deadly claws and extremely razor sharp fangs!
This amuses me because your kids can climb right back out and drive you crazy because they’re exactly like small humans with excellent dexterity who act like annoying cats, they can even come into your room and climb in bed with you. However, my cats though, once I’ve finally secured them in the out of doors, are stuck. Lucky for me they cannot use door handles, however they can sit outside my window and meow their heads off if they are displeased. I guess technically this is all determined by the age of the kid. Small ones can get locked inside their mini-cages otherwise known of as cribs. They can, though, continue to scream and putting them outside into the dark night probably isn’t a good solution. Might be worth a try though, they might take up hunting or loitering, if you’re lucky.
Now that Bitey was feeling all claws and teeth, he certainly wasn’t going to feel positive about me picking him up and tossing him through the door and into the night, meaning I wasn’t going to feel good with the ouchie clawing he was going to administer. Next while continuing to lounge on the stairs to my room he decided he was wild and the Gentleman wanted in on the action and they wrastled with one another on the stairs. In the meantime I was wanting my sleep, but alas, no. I was not destined for bed quite yet. I waited for a bit while they flailed about in an adorable fur pile until Bitey finally got up and ran for it.
He ran, not to the door as I so hoped he would do, instead he ran directly into the downstairs bath with the shower and he hid behind the shower curtain. I gave chase, as mothers are wont to do when their children flee from doing what they should and Bitey took this opportunity to run from the shower curtain to under the sink cabinet. There’s a goodly space between the floor and the bottom of the cabinet and this is where Bitey decided to make his last stand against going outside because he knew that once there, I would find it very difficult indeed to lure him from his lair and thus deposit his pain in the ass-ass outside. You really can’t manhandle him from underneath a cabinet unless you want to lose a limb. There is no seige method that would be successful in luring him. Trebuchets, being my favorite siege machine, are useless as are slings and arrows, guns, bombs, really any kind of weapon.
Meanwhile the Gentleman was running about, tossing his catnip mice into the air and chasing them like a mad-cat and then he too thought the shower curtain area looked like a good place to hide and then jump out. My night was quickly devolving into a cat circus, everyone skidding and racing nimbly-bimbly from room to room, playing with toys, barring claws and teeth like jungle cats all the while refusing to do what their mother so desperately wanted them to do. JUST GO THE FUCK OUTSIDE!!! Is there a book on this topic just like the book: PLEASE GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP or something along those lines?
The other fun thing and by funny I mean enraging thing that Bitey does when he wants to go outside is that instead of actually sitting by the door and meowing as would seem logical, he does all kinds of things to annoy myself and Mr. VS so that we’ll be forced to get up and deal with him, AKA he wants special treatment, RIGHT NOW, MOVE YOUR ASS. We’re basically just barely allowed to live in Bitey’s world. We don’t count for much other than door openers, food preppers and spongy limbs for biting or occasional petting.
Bitey is very selfish. He’s been this way since he was a teeny tiny devilish kitten, so his personality is just kind of a… jerk. Although we probably didn’t raise his ass right either, so yeah, go ahead, blame the parents for the bad behavior of their offspring. The Gentleman on the other hand was raised on the mean streets of Virginia and then trucked to my destination as a half-starved waifling, so he has some appreciation for others and for our luxurious lifestyle, unlike the selfish, was-a-spoiled-only-child for a while, Bitey.
Continuing on, I didn’t even bother to try to eject Bitey from under the sink. I know this is a lost cause and I don’t want any more flesh wounds than I already have from his deadly love/hate strikes. It makes me wish I had some of those elbow length leather gloves cause I’d own that cat if I had those. In this instance, I left his deadly striking ass alone.
Eventually as I lured the Gentleman toward the door with promises of good hunting and playing in the outsides, then, thank the lord, Bitey was finally lured by the inevitable peer pressure and left his well defended fortress and headed in the direction of the door. However, as just one final jab of hate, he ran for a few feet, stopped, looked around, waited for me to come up behind him and herd his ass along, then ran a bit further, then stopped, waited again, looked around, started cleaning his foot, until I rushed him and then FINALLY as I held open the door he peeked his head outside.
He absolutely loves to make me leave the door hanging open while he takes his sweet ass time deciding if the air smells right or if there are any cat burglers lurking to accost him. This is especially fun in the winter when the heat of the house is just pouring through the open door. Bitey is the single largest cause of Climate Change. The Earth is WARMING because I let the heat out while he was dilly-dallying.
Finally, friends, I was victorious and Bitey took the plunge and went outside and I could finally go to my rest. The only consolation I have, parents, is that I know that Bitey probably won’t annoy me in the night by having a nightmare or trying to cuddle with me in my bed by putting his feet in my face or kicking me repeatedly. Not that he hasn’t done those kinds of things before while I lay on the couch. See, we’ve got the same problems!
I mean do your kids suddenly ruthlessly attack you when you’re being really nice to them? Do they hurt you? Do they only seem to care for food? Are they often cranky and contrary? Do they annoy you to get what they want? Do they scream until you take care of their needs? Of course! It’s all true! And I know from some pretty reliable hearsay that their little feet, knees and elbows lust for any soft fleshed area to smash to smithereens much like the claws of my darling Bitey. So you can’t really feel extremely superior to me. I have problems too! I have been WOUNDED I TELL YOU, IN THE LINE OF DUTY!
I was just trying to raise those cats up right! Try to get them a college education, get them a good job.
Eh…I guess I’ll give you just a little bit of superiority. Just a TEENY tiny bit. See how my generosity has no bounds. I am magnanimous. (But don’t push your luck)
And there you have it, putting cats outside is a lot of work. It’s just as hard as putting kids to sleep. I think I’ve done a pretty good job proving my point.
If the point I was proving is that my cat is a jerk. And I’m likely to blame.
Hrmph. He’ll grow out of it someday right? He’s literally in the terrible 2’s right now. The Cat 2’s. It’s a phase. Maybe. Hopefully. He will go to college someday, move out of the house, right?
Finally, seriously you guys, small cats are just like big cats but small. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s TRUE! I’m living with certified WILD ANIMALS that are just like LIONS, TIGERS, PUMAS, LEOPARDS, CHEETAHS etc in my house. These cats are just as deadly, but they’re smaller, so they can’t quite murder me completely, though they’d like to try it. At least you “parents” are living with somewhat civilized small humans. Really, no comparison here guys. I take back my previous superiority allotment. At least your kids wouldn’t hunt you like a zebra on the plains.