Okay, I want to know why they call it a “Cat Nap.” People say “I’m just going to take a little cat nap,” meaning a brief snooze. Have you ever noticed how much cats actually, really-truly sleep?
I’m told that cats sleep an average of 16-18 hours a day. That being an average, means that some sleep more and some sleep less. My cats weight that average heavily on the “more” side. Case in point — yesterday I went to do errands and marketing. “I’m going out for a bit,” I told Smokey and Black Jack who were curled together on my bed, sound asleep. They didn’t hear me and they didn’t care.
I went in search of Paddy who was asleep on my desk, just like he’d been for the last hour. “I’m going shopping,” I said to the comatose cat. Not even an ear twitch.
Lop Ear was outside in the warm dirt under the fig tree — no point telling him. He could sleep through an earthquake (and has) but the sound of the cat food can being opened brings him instantly alert and moving at the speed of light.
So I went shopping. I did marketing. I ran errands. I came home 2-1/2 hours later and guess what? Yes, of course. Black Jack and Smokey were exactly where I’d left them. Paddy was still sound asleep on the desk — I watched for a moment to make sure he was still breathing. He was. Lop Ear had actually moved — he was now sleeping on his right side instead of his left side.
By my calculations, I figure my cats rack up about 20 hours of sack time every day, waking only long enough to stretch, eat, poop and sometimes take a few minutes to contemplate climbing a tree. Unfortunately, the waking part of their day often begins at 4:30 a.m. Once they’ve decided they want me to get up, there is no hope for it but to get up, put out the food — in the kitchen for BJ, Smokey and Paddy O’Cat, on the patio for Lop Ear — top up the water dishes, and then stumble back to bed.
“Just close your bedroom door,” people have told me. Really? Do you know how much noise a determined cat can make when it wants a door opened? Tigger, a cat I was keeping for a friend tore up the carpet in my office. Within one week he had clawed up a patch nearly an inch wide all along the bottom of the door. There are still gouges on the inside of the door. And if the clawing at the carpet and the door aren’t enough, Black Jack can meow nearly non-stop for as long as it takes. I don’t know how he does it — he must breath through his ears.
So yes, I get up when they say to get up, and I feed them when they say they’re hungry, and if I’m lucky, they let me get back to sleep. But most days I just have to flop down in the afternoon and take a cat nap!