The “third gen” of cats:  three on a bed.

We have raised three generations of cats.  All cats are different; even the different generations are different.

Our first cat, Chloe, was a Siamese.  She ate yogurt, balanced on the bathtub when I bathed (and often fell in), didn’t think much of books (why wasn’t I moving around?), and hung by the claws from a fiberglass ceiling in a cheap apartment.  “That cat’s crazy,” said a friend who looked after her over Christmas vacation.

She was very adventurous.

One day I came home from class and found a group of people gathered in front of my apartment building looking up at my third-floor window. Chloe was on the windowsill, having knocked the screen out.  There was much calling of “Don’t jump!”   She was doing one of her acrobatic feats.  She was, of course, fine.  I called the landlord and had the screen fixed.

Chloe and her gen loved dairy products and eggs.

The second generation of cats (the ’90s) and the third generation (the zips and teens) do not eat dairy or eggs.  Could it be the food is more processed?

One hates to speculate.

The nicest cat we’ve ever had, Emma, was a black cat of the second gen.  She escorted the elderly cat, Boss, to her food bowl, because the other cats picked on her.  Emma liked being read to, I swear.  When one of the cats was sick, I read a couple of pages of  whatever I was reading and she listened avidly.  She loved to “read,” in that whenever I read lying down, she would lie on top of me with her head facing the book.

The cats in the pictures are third-gen cats. They are very sleepy. Hullo, is it time to eat?  Time to play?  Unless it’s time to eat or play, they would rather be sleeping.

The third gen on their couch.  (Yes, it's a mess, but it's theirs.)

The third gen on their very own cat couch.

I try to shut them out of the bedroom at night, because they wake me up.  They like me to stay up till 3 a.m. and play what I call “kitty music” on the CD player.   Crosby, Stills, and Nash, that kind of thing.  They’re not too “rock”ish:  they like a softer tone.  The only R.E.M. song they really like is “At Your Most Beautiful.”

“Come on, guys,” I say.  “Time to leave.”

They meow: Oh, Mom, really?; why not let us stay in?; one sticks to the bed with her claws; another loves to play hide-and-seek.

I am glad to be the beloved, but I don’t like to wake up to find them purring next to my head.

So our schedule goes like this.

Midnight:  We close the “gate” in the hall to keep the  cats out.  Only Miss A is allowed to sleep with us, because she also sleeps.

12:30:  I can’t sleep, so I get up to get a glass of water.  Another cat, Miss B, runs into the bedroom and adorably hides under the bed.

12:35:  I go back to sleep. Miss B gets bored under the bed and decides she would prefer to go out into the living room.  Much scratching at the door.

12:40:  Miss A decides she wants to go out the gates and be with the other cats. This is the influence of  her sister, Miss B.

1:05.  I have just fallen asleep when I hear scratching on the door.  Miss A wants to come back in.


6 a.m.  Meow!  I can’t remember if Miss A left in the middle of the night or not, but I think this is she howling.  No, Miss B is back!  She decided she would much prefer to be in here with Miss A.

6:30 a.m.  Miss A has sensed movement in the living room and is now fully awake.  Meow!  She needs to go out immediately.

8 a.m.  I wake up and Miss B is adorably sleeping.

I wonder:  Do I get any sleep at all?

That’s why I recommend Advil P.M.

4 thoughts on “Cats!

  1. I really enjoyed reading this. You give a sense of your intimate (using the word broadly) daily life. I believe all you say about your individual cats 🙂 I let them sleep with me; when I’m deep sleeping they don’t get in my way and nowadays they make me less aware of how alone I am in the house.


  2. I enjoyed looking after my friend’s cats but what I experienced with a cat sleeping next to me was even after the cat would jump off the bed and leave the room while I was still asleep, I still most often would feel the sensation of the cat’s presence as if it were still next to me in bed! I would awake surprised to see it had gone! As a gift, a friend gave me a book of adages about cats. One of them I remember was by an Indian, i.e., from India, who said, “The reason we have the cat is so that we may pet the tiger.” Another from Russia went: “A man who loves cats loves his wife.”


  3. Ellen, I have known so many cats, and it is very nice to let cats sleep with you. This group is too lively, though. And these stories ARE true. So many cats…

    Joel, the phantom cat! I haven’t quite had that, but it’s true I sometimes think they’re in the room and then…where are they? What lovely adages! I do love cat books.

    Karen, no, they don’t.:)


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