A Lesson in Feline Routines:
By Lisa Smith
For many years, I was that person that didn’t understand the point in making the bed each morning. After a night of sleep, the blankets were already settled into an apparently comfortable configuration. All I would have to do is jump back into bed the next evening and avoid wasting precious time on getting the blankets just right. My husband has encouraged me, for probably the entirety of our relationship, to please make the bed in the morning. I became consistently inconsistent in this task, neither enjoying it nor understanding the point of it all.
Enter Butterscotch. My cat has been a nervous kitty since the day I rescued her. She likes to be up high to survey her territory. She doesn’t like strange surfaces or unexpected movements or sounds. She is my shadow; always attentive and curious of my activities around the house. She sleeps in the bed. But I noticed that she never got back in bed while I got ready for work. She would sit in the window, or on the dresser, or on the bathroom counter. I would try to convince her to get back on the bed by throwing one of her toy mice on the bed, thinking she might like to try to find it hidden in one of the creases of the tousled blankets. Not interested.
Then on one of my successful bed-making days, I noticed that she quickly jumped onto the bed as soon as the blankets settled. I tossed a toy mouse onto the freshly-made bed, and she had fun batting it around and tossing it into the air. So, we played for a few minutes while I got ready for my day. I probably enjoyed that interaction as much, if not more, than she did.
I decided to try it again the next morning. Sure enough, she jumped up when the bed was made, but most certainly not before. We played for a few minutes. When she got tired of playing, I talked to her and pet her between the ears.
Some days she would jump up when only the first blanket had settled. I watched as she would step out of the way so I could get the other blankets in place. And then she would step on the finished product and wait for a mouse to fly in her general direction.
The once-tedious process of making the bed became a source of quality time for both of us. Cats sometimes have a reputation for being aloof and fiercely independent, but they can be quite attuned to the household schedule. I encourage you to find those times and activities when you can share a toy mouse and ear scratches and indulge your cat’s routine.