My cat is up all night. To be clear, its not quite my cat. Rather she is not quite my cat. She is my youngest daughter's cat. But, as what happens to all pets that belong to children when the children go off to college, the cat is mine. Kinda. Also.
She is an incredible cat. Her name is Ophelia. Named after Hamlet's girlfriend. When I named her it was when Natalie Merchant's album Ophelia came out and so a lot of people thought that she was named after that album/song. No. She was named after Shakespeare's Ophelia. Get thee to the nunnery. (And what did Hamlet even mean when he said this?)
So my cat. Who is really my daughter's cat. She is up. All friggin night!. Constantly. Meowing. In a really awful siamese sound. Did I mention she is a Ragdoll cat. Which is this fantastic breed that is relatively new - and part siamese - and the kittens are just so cute and so, of course when the kids were young and we were filling up our house with cats and dogs and gerbils and rats and snakes and bunnies, we had to get this adorable kitten. And she grew up. And became Ophelia. And is fifteen now. Born on the 4th of July, 2000. And she has this awful meow.
So she's heading towards her sixteenth birthday and cries a lot. I think part of it is that she sleeps all day. Under my bed. And snores. And so, because of the all day napping, she is up all night. But I also think that she may be hungry. That is a possibility. Even though she's been fed already during the day and there is a bowl of food just waiting for her to graze upon at any time. The thing is she doesn't go downstairs to get her food. She just cries next to my head. And takes her paws and brushes my hair. which is kinda nice. Sometimes. Well not often but occasionally.
The other reason why I think that she cries a lot is because she is deaf. And being deaf, I believe, means that she cannot hear that she is making this god awful sound that she makes. I truly believe that if she knew the sound that comes out of her - a true siamese nails on a chalkboard sound - she would never make a peep. She just loves us so much that she would not want to torment us with this pain.
But, alas, she doesn't hear herself or is perhaps hungry or wants to be petted up and loved and given attention because during the day she sleeps under my bed. All day.
I have thought about waking her up during the day and keeping her busy. But it's really nice to be up when when pets are sleeping. It gives me some time to do things without their input, looking for my input.
Which brings me to my dog. My sweet and smart and so breathtakingly beautiful doberman puppy who is lying next to me on my bed right now. Passed out. From an intense game of ball this morning. It is part of our routine. We get up. We go for a walk - sometimes just the two of us but more recently with my husband along which I truly love as it gives him and I time together before the busyness of the day. Then my dog has breakfast and we head to the dog park for some intense ball throwing.
She - being a true working dog - is focused only on the yellow now turned to a muddy and covered in grass and dirt colored tennis ball. It does not matter if other dogs come into the park. She is zeroed in on that ball.
And not just the throwing of it.
In fact, what interests her more than chasing the ball is getting the ball. As in focusing in on that mother of a ball and grabbing it before I can. This is the game she truly loves to play.
This is how it works. We play fetch for like three throws. Because she thinks that's what she wants to do. But then I throw the ball and she watches it sail away into the air and then looks back and me to see if i have a second one at hand. Which means a number of things. One: it means that I have to go fetch it which is not an easy task considering the now blended into the grass color of this once yellow ball. And two: the game has changed from chasing the ball to the intense interaction of my brilliant pup getting the ball.
She loves this. I make her sit. The ball right there in front of her. Inches away. And I slowly bend in with my nifty black chuckit knockoff so that I don't have to touch the slime that has settled deep into the fabric of the truly disgusting at this point tennis ball. She watches as I move my plastic ball throwing thingamajig closer to her prize. Her body quivers. Stay I say. Don't move.
And then in that last second I go for the ball as she does, too. It's anyones guess who will get it first. Often it is me. Just as frequently it's her. And the game starts again. Drop it. Leave it. Stay.....
Until we head home. Where we make our way up to my room and onto my bed. And she curls up to rest after saving the world one yucky ball at a time.
And my cat snores quietly below.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Dog and Cat lover.