Can a cat actually blackmail someone? you ask. Well, okay, blackmail may not be the exact right word, but I don’t really don’t know what else to call it. Here’s the story:
About a month ago when I got into bed, I was surprised that the sheets were so cold. Then I realized they weren’t just cold — they were wet! I jumped out of bed and discovered a big wet spot by the foot of my bed. What on earth is going on? As I pulled back the covers, I realized it wasn’t just the blanket and sheets, the mattress pad was wet clear though. With sinking heart, I felt the mattress underneath and yes, it was damp. How could this be?
Well, obviously it was a message from one of my cats, but which one? I suspected Paddy O’Cat, because the foot of the bed is where he sleeps. I was not happy that at 10:30 at night I was stripping the bed. How could this happen? Had he suddenly become incontinent? Was he just so sound asleep that he didn’t know he had to go?
I stripped the bed and piled everything into the laundry basket. I’ll deal with it in the morning, I told myself. I grabbed my pillow and a spare blanket and went to sleep on the couch in the living room. Paddy came and jumped up on the couch with me, but I gave him the evil eye and he jumped down again.
At least the next day was bright and sunny which is good because I dry my laundry on the solar drier (known in the olden days as a “clothes line”). I remade the bed with fresh sheets and the clean mattress pad and blanket. Although I wasn’t pleased, accidents do happen, I suppose.
But then several weeks later, it happened again! This is no accident! Something is definitely wrong. I reported accident number two to Jean, Paddy O’Cat’s godmother. She was the one who named him Paddy O’Cat because he had been living on my patio for several months after having left his tumultuous home across the street which he shared with 8 other cats. two pit bulls and an assortment of children. He was not a happy cat, so one summer day a couple of years ago, he picked up his little fur butt and decamped to my house with grass, trees, shade and no dogs. A couple of cats, but compared to where he’d been living, that was simply a bump in the road.
Unfortunately, my cats did not like him and made no secret of it. Smokey said nasty things to him and Blackjack would not even glance his way — as far as he was concerned, Paddy was invisible. Paddy made a few overtures but Smokey would hiss and Blackjack would simply turn away. I felt bad for him but still, he had a nice comfy house to live in, no dogs or kids chasing him, food always available and he could sleep anywhere he wanted. Pretty good life, I thought.
The second time I discovered a wet bed I was ready to drop-kick him across the room. I found him in living room, scooping him up, marched into the bedroom and shoved his face at the bed. “No!” I screamed. “This is bad! You are a BAD CAT!” I gave him a little shake for emphasis. He growled at me. I dropped him on the floor and yelled “Bad cat! Bad Cat!” as he made a dash for the cat door. I slammed it shut after him — let him stay outside overnight. I’ll be sleeping on the couch.
When I told Jean, his godmother, she was sympathetic but didn’t have any solution. “Maybe you should check the internet.”
The internet had many articles and discounting the advice to have him checked out by a doctor (he had just had his annual check-up), it boiled down to, “he’s asking for more attention.” I wonder how much attention he’ll get at the pound, I thought. I told him that if it happens a third time there will be consequences and he won’t like them.
So I’m making a concerted effort to pet him, praise him (through gritted teeth), and tell him what a good kitty he is. I’m also wondering if he wouldn’t be happier in a one-cat home with a person all to himself. After all, I never wanted to be the Crazy Cat Lady of Harmony Avenue!