I’ve shut the door on a problem

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It’s after 11 p.m. and I am barricaded in my bedroom for the night. I did say “barricaded in my bedroom,” so that is where this story should begin.

A week or so ago our part-of-the-family Siamese cat decided to visit us in the middle of the night. By visit I mean jump on the bed, sit on us (mostly on my husband) and alternately cry and purr. Apparently he doesn’t like being alone and thinks if he is awake, we should be awake.

My husband, whom this cat adores, is a kind man and ended up getting up, giving the cat a bit of attention and food. At first that worked and we slept peacefully until the cat decided he wanted us not only awake, but also to stay up with him.

So he ramped up the crying and purring and did so earlier, starting his routine just after midnight. If he didn’t wake one of us quickly, he moved to the bottom of the bed and attacked any moving foot. It is not a good thing when a cat decides your foot is something on which to pounce and bite. It is also not a good thing for the cat because it results in said foot kicking him off the bed.

When foot attacking didn’t get results, he moved to patting our faces with his paw while revisiting the crying and purring. After several nights of this, we knew something had to give. So I decided to look into what to do to end the cycle.

“I don’t know what’s going on with this cat,” I said to my yawning husband. “He was coming in early in the morning wanting attention, but it’s getting earlier and earlier.”

My husband yawned again and voiced his unhappiness with the situation.

“I’ll look on the Internet and see if there are suggestions for what to do about this,” I said. “I bet other folks might have ideas.”

So, I typed in “cat waking owner at night” and got a bunch of Web sites. As I read, one suggestion kept coming up, one so simple it amazed me. I e-mailed my husband. Shortly the phone rang and I heard laughter.

“Now why didn’t we think of that?” he said.

“I don’t know,” I said, laughing too.

“I mean it makes sense that it would work,” he said.

“I know,” I said. “There’s no way it couldn’t work.”

What was the innovative solution to the unwanted cat-in-the-night dilemma? Close the bedroom door.

Sounds simple, but not so much, because the knob is broken and won’t keep our door shut properly. Thus a new solution — put something against the door to keep it shut.

So tonight, with my husband in dreamland, the barricading process began. This included pushing the door as tightly closed as possible and securing it with two door stops, a pitcher half full of pennies and one hand weight. Of course, this works better if you look over your shoulder and see the cat lying on the floor beside the bed before you secure the door.

After moving everything and scooting the cat out, I started again, knocking over a door stop, which made such a racket it woke my husband who popped up ready to spring into action until he realized it was me and went back to sleep.

Finally barricaded safely away from the cat, I am ready to rest, but as I drift away I hear scraping and see the door inching open. Wonder what the Internet says about super cats able to break through barricades …