(Not So) Sleepy Kitty…

21 Aug

It seems that Holly is a “No Fear” kind of cat – A bit of a rebel, a risk taker. This does not sit well with my slightly neurotic tendencies, and whoever said that cats were good for your health obviously wasn’t taking into account the mini-heart attack she manages to give me every single day.

Although there are minimal risks for her to take in my small apartment I get the feeling she actively seeks out danger. At 8 weeks old, she learnt how to climb on top of my wardrobe. At 9 weeks old, she taught herself to death-leap from said wardrobe onto the bed. And at 10 weeks old, she realised that there was far more entertainment value in this if I was sleeping in said bed at the time. Being woken up at 4am is somewhat shocking at the best of times, but slightly more terrifying when you wake to find you’re being smothered by a 1.5kg hairball.

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I’ve tried a number of things to calm her down. Of course we have play times together where she chases a football or some kind of stuffed fish on a stick, which is fun. But then there’s crazy hour – usually just as I’m planning to get into bed – where she quite literally runs up the walls. She tears up the back of the chair, skitters across my desk, bounces off the couch, tears through the kitchen, across the floor and up the wardrobe, makes her famous death-leap onto the bed like it’s some kind of circus trampoline and then sprints back to the living room to start the whole circuit again. Nothing will distract her from this – not toys, food or even my high pitched shrieks as she inadvertently makes the kind of full speed tackle on my ankles which would reduce the average rugby player to tears.

A few weeks ago, in an attempt to calm her down before bedtime, I downloaded something called “Calming Music for Kitties”. Now, let’s just stop there for a moment. Less than 6 months ago I was the kind to girl who went to Snow Patrol concerts, who saw up and coming bands at a local venue during the week and followed a local music blog. The kind of girl who had an iPod with two separate mixes of dance tunes for both Friday and Saturday nights out. And now here I was, lying on my bed with an agitated Holly running riot around me, listening to a mixture of freshwater streams, rainforest sounds and Himalayan singing bowls. I’ll admit it, I don’t even know what a Himalayan singing bowl is.

Strangely, the first few times I tried it this actually seemed to work. Holly would sit down on her cushion and listen to the weird sounds coming from the speaker, looking somewhat confused as to whereabouts in the bedroom I was managing to conceal a waterfall and a bunch of singing crickets. And whatever a Himalayan singing bowl is, it certainly had the right effect on Holly. Unfortunately it also had quite a powerful effect on me, as I discovered a few days later when I woke on a Saturday afternoon following a 4 hour ‘nap’, having completely missed an important lunch with my friends. Come on, how do you explain that? “Sorry I missed your birthday lunch, the crazy cat and I were just chillin’ out on the bed with some Himalayan singing bowls and the cool vibe just knocked me out, man!” My friends would probably have me sectioned.

So, in an attempt to burn some of Holly’s excess kitten energy, I’m going to try to leash train her. I know what you’re thinking, I too have serious reservations about taking a cat out on a lead, but I’m a girl who needs need my sleep and if this is a way to calm her down then I will gladly accept the Crazy Cat Lady comments which will no doubt be whispered in my direction by nosy neighbours and complete strangers alike. Hell, if it works, I might even fashion a special cat walking outfit, complete with faux-fur coat and a jaunty cat-themed fascinator on my head, give them all something to talk about.

Project C.O.A.R didn’t start well, as halfway through fitting the harness Holly promptly bit me and tore off through the kitchen with the loose end of the harness trailing after her. Two hours later she was re-captured from her stronghold under the couch and I managed to get the second clip on the harness fastened, making sure it wasn’t too tight whilst at the same time being Holly-Houdini proof. Taking the advice from the packaging I left her in the harness for an hour… What followed was one hour of Holly rolling around biting the floor, scratching the harness and screeching at me. One hour of pitiful yelping as she tried in vain to push the collar section over her head. One hour of kitty tantrums that would have put one of those toddlers you see trying to throw themselves out of a supermarket trolley to shame. And then, as if by magic, she just seemed to forget she was wearing it – Cue me making a stealth ninja dash to get the lead fastened onto the little hook on her back whilst she wasn’t looking.

Finally!! Success!!

…We made it out of the door and as far as the lift, before Holly lay on her front and flatly refused to move. It seems that just the idea of going “walkies” is the perfect tool for turning a hyperactive kitten into a pet rock. Who’d have thought?

I plan to give Project C.O.A.R (yep, that’s Project Cat-on-a-Rope to you) one more shot this weekend. Who knows, Holly could still change her mind about the great outdoors and the Crazy Cat Lady outfit might just get an airing after all?!

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5 Responses to “(Not So) Sleepy Kitty…”

  1. lemonysqueezes August 22, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    I absolutely love her sweet face. Look at her. She looks so completely innocent, while creating so much havoc!! 😀

    Good luck with Project C.O.A.R. That sounds like quite an undertaking.

  2. Animalcouriers August 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Ah, life with a hyperactive kitty! COAR sounds like just what she needs but be warned, it can take a long time to get them used to just the harness and collar. Then you’ll have the fun and games of getting her used to the pavement and cars. Take it a little at a time and she should be a happy and exhausted kitty. We love seeing cats out for a walk – see it in some cities more than others – Prague seems to have a vogue for it.

    • Holly Cat August 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

      Thanks for your advice – yesterday we made it as far as the patch of grass outside the front door!! Holly seems to be getting used to the harness but getting her to walk in a straight line is more of a challenge…

      • Animalcouriers August 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

        ha ha, yes, they can look a little drunk at first 😉

  3. Hemingway and Shakespeare August 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Thanks for liking our post. We think Holly is adorable. I’m Hemingway and I like to jump from high places, too. I sometimes land on Mom when she’s sleeping and she’s not too happy about that since I weigh over 17 pounds now. I’m Shakespeare and I’m not as clumsy as Hemingway.

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