About a week ago, this community generously gave me its best pootie advice.
Today, I'm the proud (and harried) owner of "Zeke," a 3 year-old rescue cat. Since I don't have pictures yet, here's a cat who looks alot like him:
"Zeke" (not his real name) certainly chose me, as you predicted. He was the most affectionate and interesting cat in the shelter. For me, a novice cat owner, I needed someone like Zeke to come along.
In many ways, Zeke is as affectionate as any dog. He doesn't follow me into every room, but he's almost always around. Even on the first day, he never showed signs of being unsettled; he was eating less than one hour after arriving at our house. Moreover, he's purring every chance he gets (which is often).
So on the whole I think he's gorgeous, loving and wonderful. But I have a very real problem, and I hope you'll deluge me with more great advice.
The problem is our sleeping arrangements. I mentioned in the earlier diary that I might be freaked out if he jumped on the bed in the middle of the night. I neglected to say that I'm a very light, often troubled sleeper. I often have difficulty sleeping again after awaking in the night. I also get agitated if I can't sleep (it brings bad memories of previous insomnia). And, unfortunately, I have been unable to sleep with Zeke on the bed.
He woke me with meowing and moving around. So I allowed him to sleep in my son's room. That worked the first night. Then the second night, when my son needed to sleep alone (due to potential cat allergies, another worrisome but unresolved issue), Zeke wouldn't stop meowing and scratching at our closed bedroom doors.
I took a suggestion from some of you (as well as the Humane Society) and used a squirt bottle of water. That meant getting up every hour or so. And in between, I was so agitated that I was unable to sleep.
I'm more than a bit reluctant to mention this issue, since it makes me feel like an idiot (who doesn't like sleeping with their cat?) and something of a failure in the "cat owner" department. But the truth is: I desperately need uninterrupted sleep.
After a really long night of listening, getting up and down to "squirt" the cat, worrying, crying, etc., I'm at my wit's end. I've been feeling like it was a mistake to assume I could become a "cat person" after a lifetime of dogs only. I don't want Zeke to be unhappy, nor do I want my son and I to be unhappy. Aaaarrrggghhh . . .
So here's what I'm trying tonight: cotton squares soaked in Aloe Vera gel (another suggestion from the Humane Society), strategically placed in a line outside my bedroom door. I still have the squirt bottle. I also read that a small fan can be kept running outside the door to deter the cat.
Please give me your best suggestions, as well as tales of woe or triumph. I really want to keep Zeke and make this work. [NOTE: just so you know, I would never give him away to an owner who is less than a good fit for him. He's a great cat and deserves to be happy.]