There are plenty of nights when Justin stays up much later than me. We call late night shifts in this apartment “defending the Wall.” White walkers have nothing on our ferocious feline. While I sleep in a room with a door that doesn’t close all the way, Justin defends my peaceful slumber, fighting epic battles with Jelly in the living room.
For reason unbeknownst to us, the hours of 12-3AM are Jelly’s most aggressive. He is always on a warpath, ready to conquer anyone who dare stay awake and disturb his midnight lethargy. Justin does what he can to survive an onslaught of shin-biting, face-meowing, and relentless belly-rolling.
I’ve stayed up and seen this same behavior from him late in the night. And, once we go to sleep, there is no assurance in us staying asleep. So these are our main strategies of cat management in the nighttime:
1. Wear him out during the day. We got some new interactive toys that get him really riled up.
2. Keep a yoga mat next to the bed. Jelly enjoys waking us up at night almost as much as he likes to hog the yoga mat while I’m stretching. I started keeping the mat next to my side of the bed, and when he starts bother me in the middle of the night, I just roll it out. He is drawn to it immediately and most mornings I wake up to him still laying there.
3. Keep a spray bottle near the bed. (Not ideal but it’s more effective than locking him in the bathroom.)
4. Take more naps to catch up on sleep. Jelly loves family nap time.
5. Sprinkle dehydrated chicken power on his kibble. I know we shouldn’t reward his bad behavior by feeding him in the middle of the night, so we give him an extra scoop of kibble before going to sleep. This doesn’t always appeal to him, so Justin started sprinkling the powder from the bottom of his dehydrated chicken treats onto his kibble. He’s not actually getting pieces of chicken, but he can’t tell the difference so he’ll eat the kibble and eventually leave us alone.
Needless to say, I’m tired.
I know there are cats out there who can really be destructive, so we are lucky in many ways. I’ve watched enough episodes of “ My Cat From Hell ” to know that the likely culprit here is an abundance of energy. If we wear Jelly out during the day, he should sleep soundly through the night.
At least that’s what we hope.
But part of me wonders if Jelly actually is the worst kind of cat because he isn’t riddled with anxiety or territorial issues. He doesn’t viciously attack us out of nowhere (very often.) He’s just kind of a jerk, kind of a sweetie, and kind of a crazy monster.
Jackson , if you are listening, please help us defend the Wall.