A guy walks into a bar with a cat on his head …

image of cat

How the hell do you keep cats off your head when you sleep at night? I’m desperately serious. Some people have bedbugs, we have cats. Now that I think of it, we got them almost the same way you get bedbugs: We brought them home with us in a valise. The difference was that we meant to, although I sometimes wonder why.

The fall season is one of those times. The weather’s cooling off at night and the cats have determined that the warmest place in the house is curled up on the bed with us. At first they were content to curl up at the foot of the bed, like good little kitties. Made a nice little Norman Rockwellish picture.

But it’s been getting cooler each successive night, and while the temps have gone down, the cats have moved up from the foot of the bed to our legs, then our hips, then snuggling in between our bodies, and last night Bonkers spent the night as close to my head as he could get. I found out when he announced himself by vigorously scratching his ears, then shaking his head, his flapping ears making a noise like a machine-gun. Coming awake from deep sleep, I just about jumped out of my skin when he did that.

Since he was awake anyway, he felt the need at that moment to noisily clean his feet. I scooped him up and dumped him at the foot of the bed, hoping he would finish his bath there. I think he did, but I found out later he had stealthily crept back to settle in at my shoulder. I woke up less than an hour later to the sound of Bonkers yawning in my ear. He can noiselessly stalk a mouse but when he yawns, he sounds like ten pounds of wet spaghetti dropped on the kitchen floor.

This can’t go on. I need to sleep. I don’t need more than just a few hours of undisturbed slumber, but I can’t get it when cats are camping out on my head, making scary noises. Locking them out of the room is not the solution; they sit outside, scratching at the door and crying like the worst kind of spoiled brats, which I guess they are. I’ve tried breaking them of that but haven’t been able to. That’s just not an option. Neither is throwing them out for the night. I can see why some people take the easy way out and do that, but it’s not fair to the cat or my neighbors. There’s got to be a way to teach them to stay at the foot of the bed without hog-tying them and dumping them there, although I admit that sounds like a very good idea right now.

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