If you’ve spent any time at our house, you may have encountered Wrigley, or Riggs, for short, a 9 year old, 12 lb. Maine Coon of questionable parentage. If you’ve ever spent the night at our house, you may be aware that as soon as everyone goes to bed, Wrigley gets a severe case of the Night Terrors.
By Night Terrors, I mean that she walks through the house carrying something small in her mouth, like Kellen’s sock or bib or mitten, signifying either her offspring or something she’s killed. Or both. While she does this, she screams very, very loudly. If you believe that cats cannot scream, I am here to inform you just how wrong you are. The sound is almost indescribable. If I had to describe it in writing, it would go something like: “RRRROOOOWWWRRROORRRRWWRRROHHHRRRROOWHH”. She only pauses long enough to take a breath and it can last for hours.
In the summer, you can simply banish her outside, but you can still hear her quite often when you’re on the second floor if the windows are open, but at least the sound isn’t in the hallway right outside the bedroom.
However, in the winter, you can’t just throw her out the door (even though that has happened on many occasions) since her lifestyle has evolved her beyond any normal cat survival skills, and she would likely freeze and die. If that happened, there would likely be a lot of guilt and crying. And Janet would be upset, too. The worst part would be if the boys found a cat-sicle in the yard. Not that they would be emotionally damaged, but that they would bring the cat in the house and put her in the microwave to thaw her out, citing the precedent of Han Solo at Jabba the Hutt’s palace.
If you’re quick enough to catch her and not crazy mad enough to throw her out into the cold, you can always throw her in the laundry room, where her food and litter box are located. This includes shutting the door behind you, so the cat cannot follow you back out into the rest of the house. Occasionally, this has been an issue. It does not bode well for an individual to be outsmarted by a cat at the simple task of using a door. I am reminded of the first rule of sorting hogs: You Have To Be Smarter Than The Hogs.
Anyway, I consider myself lucky if I can catch and sequester the cat two nights per week. The other five nights we have to deal with the Night Terrors. I recently discovered that if I sleep soundly enough or am tired enough, the cat doesn’t wake me. I first found that if I take some night-time Excedrin or Tylenol, I sleep right through the Terrors. However, you can’t take medications like that every night. It’s just not healthy. So I went in a different direction: Sweet Beer. I found that if I can consume 3-4 sixteen ounce cans of Miller Lite just before bed, I also sleep undisturbed through the night. And besides, beer is good for you, in most cases.
To summarize, if I develop an alcohol problem, it will not be my fault. The blame falls solely on Wrigley.