Monday, February 22, 2016

Bear, While Momma Sleeps

Do you ever wonder why Momma requires so many naps (other than for an excuse to snuggle with her favorite kitty)? There is no better time to see all the facets of Bear's personality than while Momma sleeps . . . with him, you never know exactly what you're going to get. He might caterwaul for hours . . . singing a deep and mournful song for his friends that pass by outside . . . or he might randomly meow as he's walking around, until Momma drags herself out of bed to check on him with concern . . . only to be chased back to bed by said cat, while he's nipping at her heels. Above all though, Bear is a snuggle kitty: when I lay down (even if it's on the floor with my head underneath the sink to fix a leak) he quickly and efficiently snuggles in right on top of me. However, while Momma sleeps in a big block of time like all humans, Bear gets up a few times to eat, use the litter box, play, or look outside. 

The frustrating episodes described in this post occur after Bear's finished whatever business he got up to accomplish and before he settles back in to snuggle with his sleeping Momma. Before settling, Bear feels the need to wake Momma up for an ever changing number of reasons. Because for Bear, EVERYTHING is an emergency. For most of his life, I trained myself NOT to react to a number of tactics he's tried, so I didn't reinforce the behavior (thus the cattle prod on his Wish List); these tactics include sticking his cold, wet nose in my ear, licking or biting my ear when the cold, wet nose doesn't work, banging his paw on the wall, and staring at me only a few inches from my face until I wake up. A year ago, during the anguish and anxiety-provoking week of not knowing whether Bear's tumor was malignant or not (which I talked about in Too Close to a Nightmare I Couldn't Handle), I gave in to every attempt because I'd rather have him alive and annoying than not have him at all. Thus began the period, that still continues, of Bear's insistence that I wake up for his every whim . . . and my begrudging compliance with his requests because I'm so thankful he's still alive to make them.

BC: Bear Cat
MK: Momma Kat

Bear, the Conqueror: 
BC: I have climbed to the top of the mountain! I've fought hordes!! I've suffered calamities! But I have CONQUERED!
{Pause}
BC: And what a beautiful view! I see the majestic mountains of China there! And the depths of the Pacific Ocean over there . . .
{Pause}
BC: Oh. That's just the couch and my water bowl.
MK: Haha. Very funny, Bear. I'm awake now. Happy?
BC: Are you petting me?
MK: It's kinda hard to reach you when you're standing in conqueror pose on my hip. If I turn my body to reach, you'll lose your balance and fall from your quite precarious perch.
BC: I see my litter box from here!
{Pause}
BC: FINE! But these ear rubs better be worth it! I worked hard to get here! {Sigh} Another formidable, assiduous, and ambitious feline reduced to the role of the common housecat. Good bye, greatness! Hello, ordinary!
{Pause}
BC: I love you, Momma.
MK: I love you, too, my formidable and assiduous housecat.
BC: You forgot ambitious.
MK: I love you, too, my formidable, assiduous, and AMBITIOUS housecat.
BC: Hmph. That's better. PURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.


Bear, the Helper:
BC: HIIIIIIIIIII!
MK: Wha? Beeeeeeeeeeear! It's THREE AM!
BC: I just thought you'd want to know the dishwasher is done.
MK: I'm going back to sleep.
BC: HIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!! Maybe you didn't hear me correctly the first time . . . . but THE DISHWASHER IS DONE!
MK: Okay. Thank you.
BC: Aren't you going to unload it?
MK: No. I just started it when I went to bed, I'll deal with it in the morning.
BC: But my food bowl is in there!
MK: Yes. But you have a replacement food bowl full of food on your mat.
BC: But it's not my USUAL bowl.
MK: {sigh} Yes.
BC: The food tastes different. Did you switch me to diet food?
MK: No.
BC: That's what I thought! The bowl must be defective.
MK: BEAR! It's the same exact size and style and material as your regular bowl! No one would know the difference in looking at them! They're IDENTICAL.
BC: But I know.
MK: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Are you SERIOUSLY {BLEEP}ING kidding me?
BC: I can't eat the food in that bowl. The good news is that the dishwasher is done so you can just give me my regular bowl back.
MK: Bear, I'm just going to dump the food from one bowl to the other . . .
{Bear stares at Momma}
MK: Really? REALLY?!?!?
BC: You wouldn't want me to go hungry.
MK: That's why I didn't just dump it on the mat like usual! Since you for some weird reason refuse to eat kibble dumped on your mat, even though you never eat from the bowl ANYWAY, because you just HAVE to paw it out on your mat first when you HAVE a bowl. I figured this way you wouldn't spend the night on the counter since you've gotten in the habit of sitting on the kitchen counter until the dishwasher is done. I tried something different. I gave you another bowl and just started the dishwasher when I went to bed. You HAVE a bowl! FULL of food!
BC: But it's not my REGULAR bowl. I'm sorry, you appear to be misunderstanding me, but this is NOT a negotiation.
{Pause}
MK: {bunch of mumbling as Momma drags herself out of bed, goes to the kitchen to get Bear's "regular" bowl out of the dishwasher, pours the kibble from the offending bowl to the usual bowl}. There.
{Pause}
{Bear sniffs the food and walks away}
MK: What?!?!
BC: I'm not really hungry.
MK: What?
BC: I'm not really hungry right now. I'll get to it later.
{We'll just end the dialogue here . . . if you share your life with cats, you are no doubt familiar with the words spoken in frustration in this type of situation . . . the only thing Momma can reasonably say for herself is that she didn't yell and she didn't yell or express her extreme frustration AT/TO the cat. Because then she would feel bad. So, by the time Momma calmed down, Bear was sleeping soundly in the same exact spot on her bed from which she was so rudely awaken. Cats. Huh. They are cute. And they are pains. In some ever-revolving order.}


Notes: In an example of pure CAT LOGIC . . . Bear free-feeds from a bowl of kibble and before he eats, he must bat the kibble out on the mat under his bowl. But, if the bowl is in the dishwasher and the kibble is poured out on his mat, he refuses to eat the kibble and holds vigil on the counter above the dishwasher until it is done. When the dishwasher is done, Momma dumps the kibble from the mat into the now clean bowl, and suddenly that same kibble is edible again (after being pawed out of the bowl onto the mat). 



Bear, the Entertainer:
BC: Your sleep is over.
MK: Beeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaar! It's four am! Lemme sleep!
BC: And I'm freeeeee - free fallin'.

Yeah I'm freeeeeee - free falllllin'.
MK: BEAR! Stop knocking {BLEEP} off my bedside table!
BC: Come on, vogue,
Let your body move to the music (move to the music).
Hey, hey, hey.
Come on, vogue,
Let your body go with the flow (go with the flow).
You know you can do it!
MK: My body isn't a catwalk! You strutting up and down the side of my body wouldn't be so bad if you didn't stumble and give me a face full of tail or cat butt . . .
BC: Kitty at my foot and I wanna touch it,

Kitty at my foot and I wanna touch it.
Kitty at my foot and I wanna touch it,
Kitty at my foot and I WANT TO TOUCH IT!
Meow, meow,
Meow, MEOWWW!
MK: The Presidents of the United States Of America? REALLY?!?! REALLY?!?!
BC: You can pet me now!
MK: You couldn't find a better way to tell me that than to climb all over me like a jungle gym?
BC: Meow, meow,

Meow, MEOWWW!
MK: You're killing me, Bear. KILL-ING ME!
{Pause}
MK: Now that damn song is stuck in my head!
BC: Meow, meow,
Meow, MEOWWW!
MK: {Pulling the blanket over her head} GO AWAY!
BC: We are Siamese if you please.
BA-DUM-PUM-PUM.
We are Siamese if you don't please.
BA-DUM-PUM-PUM.
Now we lookin' over our new domicile.
BA-DUM-PUM-PUM.
If we like we stay for maybe quite a while.
BA-DUM-PUM-PUM.
MK: Cruel! You're cruel! Knocking me in the head with your butt to each beat of "BA-DUM-PUM-PUM." And you know I hear that song only ONCE and I can't get it out of my mind for MONTHS!
BC: So, I gave some to my cat, when he began to beg.
Then he licked his bowl and he looked at me,
And did the wild thing on my leg.
He used to scratch and bite me, before he was much, much meaner,
But now all the kitties run to my house for the Funky Cold Medina!
{Pause}
BC: I said "I got it goin' on baby doll and I'm on fire"
Took her to the hotel she said "You're the king"
I said "Be my queen if you know what I mean and let us do the wild thing!"
MK: Okay! OKAY! I'm awake! No more kitten making!
BC: HEY! I've had to listen to you sing all of these songs. I'm just returning the favor!
MK: I've never sung the "Kitty" song by the Presidents.
{Pause}
MK: {BLEEP}! I heard it on the radio in the car, I couldn't help it!
Meow, meow,
Meow, MEOWWW!
BC: {yawning} I'm EXHAUSTED! If I'm really lucky, I'll dream of all the kitties running to my house to do the WILD THING! EH - EH - Eh - Eh. Because you KNOW, my milkshake brings all the girls to the yard!
MK: ANNNNNND . . . you're grounded.
BC: This is why I must live in verse! 'Cause I can't do the WILD THING! EH - EH - Eh - Eh.
MK: There's no way I'm going to fall back asleep with all these songs in my head.
BC: Can you keep it down over there? I'm trying to sleep!


Notes: The soundtrack to this dialogue . . . given you're crazy enough to tempt fate and risk one or all of these songs stuck in your head:
*** Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers --- Free Fallin'
*** Vogue --- Madonna
*** The Presidents of the United States Of America --- Kitty
*** From Disney's Lady and the Tramp --- "The Siamese Cat Song" (We Are Siamese)

*** Tone Loc --- Wild Thing
*** Tone Loc --- Funky Cold Medina
*** Kelis --- Milkshake

Fun fact: Did you know the Siamese cats from Lady and the Tramp are named "Si" and "Am?"


Bear, the Sensitive Kitty Lover:
BC: MooooooooommmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMA! Come quickly! It's a disaster!
MK: Wha? It's TWO AM, Bear!
BC: MY LIFE IS OVER! I'm DYING. DYING!!!! I DON'T WANT TO GO ON!
MK: What's wrong, Bear?
BC: Kitty got stuck in the paper bag!
MK: How the heck . . .
BC: I can't reach her!
MK: How did you get her in the flap at the bottom of the bag? I'd have thought she's too big to fit!
BC: I was showing her my ninja moves!
MK: You can go around to the other end of the bag - where the opening of the paper bag is, Smarty-cat. See?!?!
BC: Phew. I thought I'd lost her forever!
{Pause}
BC: DO YOU MIND? 
MK: What?
BC: Are you still here?
MK: I was admiring you and kitty snuggled up together.
BC: This is a private moment.
MK: Excuse me.
BC: You're welcome.
Kitty after the daring rescue . . . and for reference as to the flap at the bottom of Bear's paper bag, and the relative size of Kitty to that flap . . . 


Bear, the Sweetheart (well . . . mostly):
{Momma is sleeping, Bear jumps on the bed}
BC: {While rubbing up all over Momma - very persistently} Oh Momma, I love you so much. Pet me! Pet me NOW! I can't live another second without loves! You're the best Momma EVER! I love you so much! NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
MK: Bear! I'm sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeping!
BC: But I need loves NOW!
{Momma pets Bear once}
BC: CHOMP!
MK: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! That's going to leave a bruise and a scar - in addition to the fang hole now in my arm. Seriously? After all that effort to wake me up?
BC: You're welcome.
MK: @#$%^&*!
BC: Thank you!
{Pause}
BC: Momma?
MK: What?
BC: You don't like me.
MK: And why is that?
BC: You're not petting me or playing with me.
MK: I tried! I didn't even get an entire pet in there before you bit me! And I was SLEEPING before that! You know - sleep - that thing where you curl in a ball, sometimes snore and every so often your tongue sticks out just a bit? So cute!
BC: You DID NOT just go there! Do you really have to air my dirty laundry for everyone to see? At least I don't drool!
MK: Not that you know of.
BC: HUH! You're evil. And this "sleeping" you claim to be doing isn't cute.
MK: Nice, Bear.
BC: Yeah, well, maybe next time you should validate my feelings.
MK: You can be slightly dramatic.
BC: INVALIDATING!
MK: Not everything is about you!
BC: What planet are you on?
MK: Clearly not yours.
BC: Then you don't like me. I'm going to take my planet elsewhere.
MK: Can you be quiet there?
BC: Never mind, I'm going to knock your planet out of its sad, messed up orbit.
MK: What else is new?
{Pause}
BC: You're not petting me.
MK: How about some sleepy snuggles?
BC: I love you, Momma. Even when I can't resist the urge to bite you.
MK: I love you, too, Bear.
BC: You really ARE the best Momma EVER! PURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Psst . . . keep up with the two-handed ear rubs . . . I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE those!


And in a twist of cat logic . . . what happens when Momma accidentally wakes Bear up?
BC: Do you MIND?!?! I'm SLEEPING!
MK: Excuse me?
BC: I was sleeping in here! You turned the light on and made noise!
MK: I'm putting laundry away!
BC: I was sleeping!
MK: If I limited my active time to the times you're awake I'd get nothing done! Especially since you spend 95% of your active time pestering me by a variety of means including staring at me, causing trouble, and putting your nose in everything.
{Pause}
MK: And I was tip-toeing and being as quiet as I could.
BC: You sound like a herd of elephants. And there was a GIANT THUNK!
MK: Well, yes, I walked into the wall.
BC: I missed it? Do it again! Do it again! I want to see!
MK: It was an accident.
BC: Even better! The look on your face!
MK: I'm not here for your entertainment.
BC: Party pooper!
MK: Fine. How about you repeat when you fell out of your cat tree last night because the heat turned on. You were all poofed up.
BC: That DID NOT happen. Please turn out the light and vamoose.
MK: And while we're on the subject . . . how come I have to tip-toe around and I can't accidentally wake you up, but you have no problem using me as a jungle gym, a balance beam, AND a trampoline while I sleep?
BC: I have needs!
MK: Oh! And you have no problem staring at me while I eat . . . but if I sat down by your food bowl and stared at you, you'd get all paranoid and flip out?
BC: Because watching me eat is all you have to do with your life?
MK: AND! You have no problem watching me in the bathroom, but if I accidentally catch you in the litter box, you act like you hear voices that tell you I'm coming to kill you.
BC: How do you know about those?
{Pause}
BC: RATS!
{Pause}
BC: Man are YOU grumpy! This conversation is over. Please turn out the light and vamoose.
MK: How convenient . . . for YOU. ONCE AGAIN.




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