5 Things I Learned Last Night When My Cat Woke Me At 4AM

If you follow my blog regularly, you may know that I am a Crazy Cat Lady, and that I have two cats. The first is Boo, my 16 year old baby I’ve had since the tender age of six. The second is Finn, the insane 2 year old rescue cat I got a little over a year ago. Today’s post stars Finn, who is currently wedged in my lap as I awkwardly try to type around him:

Please excuse my WORST WEBCAMERA EVER.

Please excuse my WORST WEBCAMERA EVER.

I would just like to mention that this is a screaming anomaly; Finn is zealously anti-cuddling except for the few random times when he decides HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH AND HE NEEDS YOUR ATTENTION RIGHT NOW ZOMG. But even during those times, he rarely wants to actually sleep snuggled up to you as closely as possible. Generally he’d rather just rub his face all over your feet because he has some kind of platonic foot fetish (he’s neutered, don’t worry ASPCA!). But since I’ve gotten home from college on Friday, I’ve set up my laptop at my kitchen table and have been spending time writing here. In a bizarre turn of events, Finn has decided that this is the time that he loves me more than he ever has at any other point ever since I adopted him, and he forces himself into my lap and essentially melts onto me in a puddle of sleepy purrs. It’s like as soon as I sit down in that chair, a forcefield suddenly springs up around me and creates a space that has the appearance to Finn of everything he loves best in the world and which is irresistible to him. It’s both insanely adorable and intensely bewildering.
But, as I so often do, I digress. Well, in a way. This story is still about Finn. It’s just not about Finn cuddling in my lap while I write.
Last night I was asleep, snoozing in comfort with my cat Boo curled against my side. Now, don’t judge, but I sleep on the loveseat in the living room whenever I’m home from school. Our house sadly does not have enough bedrooms for our family, and I prefer not to share a room with my 26 year old sister. But to be honest I actually like sleeping in the living room much better; the loveseat is as comfortable as any bed plus no one can complain when I let my cat sleep with me (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, BIG SISTER).  I admittedly had not been asleep very long, and it takes awhile for me to fall into a heavy sleep. So when sudden, swooshing, violent movement occurred, it woke me up. I discovered that this movement was Finn, who had been passed out on top of the loveseat. Something had apparently roused him in a hurry, and he was crouched with his head shoved under a footstool, which was shoved in turn against a box. This is where five new life lessons were added to my repertoire.

1. Finn Literally Has Spider Senses

I haven’t mentioned it before, I think, but I am a raging coward. One of my number one top fears is spiders. The subheading rather gives away what I found Finn trying to attack when I moved the footstool, but I’ll go ahead and say it, for clarity– it was a spider. Somehow, this freak of nature cat went from being dead asleep on the top of our loveseat at least ten feet away to being able to detect the movement of a quarter sized insect on the floor in the dark. Now, there’s been some suggestion of this enhanced talent before; once I was sitting on the couch and there was a Walmart bag nearby, and Finn suddenly showed up and started pawing at it. I discovered there was a tiny bug inside of it. I have no idea where Finn was when he detected its presence. The only conclusion I can come to is that Finn has spider senses that actually tingle when bugs are nearby (like some kind of reverse Spiderman who would go by the superhero name Anti-Spidercat) to the point that they will WAKE HIM FROM A DEAD SLEEP.

2. Do Not Use Airwalk Leopard Moccasins to Kill a Spider

If you know me at all, you know I love leopard. My mother, who fortunately knows me, is well aware of this fact, and kindly bought me a pair of leopard moccasins from a discount store the other day that I love:

Pictured here on some random internet person’s feet, because this is literally the only image of them I could find when I googled them. This makes me wonder if there’s something shady about these shoes…

These shoes were the closest spider-killing-appropriate thing at hand when I lifted up the footstool and discovered a spider crouched behind a lone Sonic straw that had been forgotten under the stool somehow. I gave a first enthusiastic swing at the spider, but he was completely unscathed. So I intelligently moved the straw, and tried again. To my consternation, he seemed completely unaffected. At this point he apparently felt bold enough to scamper into the middle of the carpet and I froze in horror for a second, before giving a very motivated smack at him, ready to dust off my hands in accomplishment. He remained entirely intact, and I began to fear that my worst nightmare had come true and spiders were beginning to evolve to be invincible. Gingerly I put down the leopard moccasin and picked up the next closest shoe, one of my Forever 21 canvas slip ons:

The black one there on the right.

The spider had perched itself right on my rug, which is a confusing wash of patterns and generally dark colors. With the light off, I momentarily lost track of him and swatted, panicked, what amounted to being a small piece of paper. After that, however, I managed to reorient myself and smash the spider to smithereens. So the moral of subheading 2 is this:



3. Be Very Thoughtful of Your Cat Scratcher Purchases and Their Subsequent Orientation in Your Home

Finn loves to scratch, as is normal for most cats. Luckily he is not particularly destructive, and he limits himself to the scratchers we buy him. The latest one is this scratcher from Petsmart:

finn's cat scratcherUnfortunately for both myself and my big toe, this lay in the path between the loveseat and the footstool with the spider hiding under it. Also unfortunately, I was somewhat dazed, it was very dark, and I was afraid Finn was about to be bitten in the face by some sort of poisonous creature, so I therefore neglected to take the time to remember the cat scratcher that always resides in the middle of the living room floor because our cats wear the pants in this family. We bought this scratcher because it was much sturdier than any of the others we’d bought previously. That’s like half an inch of pure, solid wood with a scratchy woven natural fiber top. It probably would’ve been better if I’d come into contact with the fiber part; it at least most likely had some give in it. My big toe and I can report that the wooden part did not. A sub-submoral here: even when you’re pretty sure your big toe has come completely off and you’re convinced that if you look there will be an empty space where it once was, you will generally find, to your shock, that it’s still there when you finally get the courage to glance down. Also, running your toe into a wooden cat scratcher  is not conducive to focus when trying to smash spiders.

4. 16 Year Old Cats Are Generally Not Terribly Interested in Spiders

It does not come as a great surprise that there are often a great deal of differences to be found between a 16 year old cat and a 2 year old cat. Boo’s main pastimes at this age are sleeping, snoring, sleeping, meowing for food, and occasionally wandering into the kitchen and then yowling distressingly because he is deaf and will sometimes feel lost if no one else is in the kitchen and he can’t see anybody from there. Finn’s main pastimes are sprinting insanely from point to point in the house, standing on his hind legs and staring out our bay window as he desperately tries to stalk the birds/bugs in the back yard through a pane of glass, attacking his stockpile of cat toys and his devil scratcher, and sleeping in the most bizarre positions I’ve ever seen. Oh, also, begging for treats from my dad, who is the biggest sucker ever for that cat.
Boo’s spider senses, admittedly scarce even in his prime, have been officially declared extinct after last night. He sat on the loveseat through everything with his little paws crossed , calmly observing the comedy of errors like a king watching his court juggler as he tried to chase down a runaway juggling ball. I would’ve thought he was laughing at me if I hadn’t been his owner for 16 years and already been supremely familiar with his expression of an absolute honey-badger level of not caring. He just looked mildly inquiring, as if to say, Whatever are you doing crawling on the floor? There is a spider down there, you know.
At this point, I’m not sure if I prefer Finn’s hyper awareness of spiders that alerts me so I can turn them into carpet detritus, or Boo’s complete disregard that allows me both to sleep and also ignore the fact that a spider managed to get into my house.

5. Finn Has a Thirst for Spider Blood

This is a metaphorical statement; I don’t know if spiders actually have blood or if they’re really just creepy balls of venom like I suspect. What I did discover is that Finn apparently craves the taste of spider death. After I killed the spider and laid back down, I watched as he proceeded to snoot tensely around the area where the spider was smashed. The whole time he looked slightly disbelieving, as if he couldn’t quite fathom that the spider wasn’t there and I had stolen the sweet thrill of the kill from him. After this went on for a couple of minutes, he went to stare morosely into the trash can where I’d placed the mangled remains of the spider.
He was apparently so shook up by this loss that it led to a couple of false alarms where he would suddenly and urgently leap down from the loveseat and intensely explore  part of the floor. At one point he looked so intent that I felt the need to get up and make sure that the deceased spider didn’t have a partner he’d been tag-teaming his home invasions with. Contemplating it now, I wonder if maybe Finn thought that if he just imagined hard enough, a spider would appear for him to destroy with the all the vengeance and barbarity of a thousand Attila the Huns.

I must admit that this experience was not the most pleasant of my life, but I feel like these are lessons that will serve me well in the future. And if you’re planning on pitying me because this is what I find relevant to my future, just enjoy this BuzzFeed article, charmingly entitled “15 Reasons Why Having A Cat Is Better Than Having A Boyfriend.”  Maybe I’ll suffer a few stubbed toes here and there on cat scratchers, but I guarantee you Finn and Boo look much cuter comforting me than a boyfriend would. To end with, I’ll leave you all with the picture I took this week, which is possibly the best cat picture I’ve ever taken. Enjoy:

My sister pushed Boo onto Finn...and they just stayed that way.

My sister pushed Boo onto Finn…and they just stayed that way.

Ceru, ka drīz atkal tiksimies,

PS I went with Latvian because someone from Latvia looked at my blog and how cool is that? The official language of Latvia is Lativian (surprising), and the phrase supposedly means “I hope to see you soon again.” Which I thought was appropriate since, you know, I hope to see you soon again on my blog.