Lily is not always the easiest cat to look after. This is mainly because she often meows at night. I don’t really know why she does it, as I always make sure there’s enough food in her bowl! It used to be worse, but back then it was easy to explain: her buddy Suus had just passed away. The sounds she produced echoed through the stairway, so loud that I feared it would cause the neighbors to complain about it! But this was never the case, and by now it seems Lily is mostly used to being an only cat.
If it wasn’t for the nights, they still seemed to last longer than she cared for. Preferably, she appears next to my pillow before the crack of dawn, to meow in a way sounding in between a bit angry and lamenting. As I have learned the best way to deal with unwanted behavior is by ignoring it – anything else will be encouragement to do it again – I make sure to keep up. But Lily wasn’t born yesterday either: after she realises her tactics aren’t successful, she gets fed up and impatiently starts patting me against the head. After being outsmarted, I cannot do anything else but deny her access to the bedroom. Unlike her, I am not in a position to lie on the couch all day long napping! Sometimes, shutting her out works, but not always: it does occur that she continues to meow at me angrily from the other side of the door! My final resolution is to make sure she cannot get into the stairway at all. For some reason, her complaints then stops after a while. She is still close enough for me to hear her, but she seems to give up. As it seems, I have finally managed to get the message across!
Luckily, all seems to be forgiven and forgotten the morning after. Without exception, she greets me enthusiastically once she sees me. She meows at me perkily, as if saying: “Finally! What took you so long?” Then she first trots toward her favourite scratch pole and sharpens her nails once or twice. After that, it’s time for our morning dance. It’s the way we start every single day: with a kind of tango for two, with her meticulously getting in my way. When my right leg moves forward, she shoots in front of my left leg. When my left leg goes forward, she moves to the right. With every single step, I have to be careful not to kick or trip over her! Quite a challenge at that time of day.
But my first good deed of the day, without exception, is to spoil her with her favourite snack. Not long after that, the house is getting quiet again. But she only relaxes for real, after I sit down for my own breakfast. As if she knows, that soon her day is going to start!