Being grandmother to a cat

Being grandmother to a cat

Representative Image

Sleeping with a cat in your room is akin to sleeping with a baby. Both cats and babies have no understanding of night and day. When our son’s cat, Odie, sleeps with me and my husband, she considers it her hallowed duty to dance on me for attention so that I can attend on her throughout the night.

A usual night will go on like this—I am woken up at 2 am with her jumping on my stomach and meowing loudly. “What is it, baby?” I ask her sweetly. I offer her cat food, which she devours instantly.

“Poor thing was hungry”, I tell myself, looking down indulgently at my little darling. I try to go back to sleep but within minutes she begins to mew piteously again. “Want some more?” I ask and fill up her saucer again. She takes a single bite (she probably needed just one bite more) and then proceeds to clean herself.

I try to sleep again and am just dropping off when I am jolted awake by her jumping on my chest. “Meow”, she says. “What is it now?”, I ask a shade testily. “Meow”, she says again by way of explanation. “Thirsty?” I ask. In the dim light of the night-lamp, the water bowl looks full so I switch on the light to see what the matter is. I find a tiny, almost microscopic dead spider floating in the water. Naturally, our Princess Odie cannot drink water with a spider in it. Would we drink such water?

I empty the bowl, wash it, and fill it again for her highness. She laps up a bit and then settles down at my feet to sleep. After about an hour, she decides that she is bored and would like to play. So she begins to nibble my toes. I simply pick her up and toss her out of the window into the garden.

Cats always land on their feet and they also like playing in the garden so I don’t feel guilty.

My mother-in-law, who raised six children, used to say that she could attend to babies in the night without even opening her eyes properly. She got used to changing nappies and preparing their feed with half-closed eyes. Though I cannot claim to have had the same amazing ability, as a young mother, I could attend to my children at night and then go back to sleep instantly. With advancing age, it is not easy to go back to sleep after being woken up.

But one thing is comforting—cats don’t need nappy changes, so that is one activity I do not have to do in the middle of the night. Another good thing is that if a cat becomes too tiresome, I can simply put her outside of the window!

I only hope that this habit of tossing my tiresome darling out into the garden doesn’t become a habit if and when I do become a grandmother in the future!