19th March 2022


My cunning plan failed !

And the day is so blah, I’ve had to fall back on last year’s photographs to illustrate today’s post.

What cunning plan?

At a low ebb, as I recently was, rudely awakened at 3 am by two furry beasts, I decided enough was enough! This could not continue.

Cats do not permit closed doors. It’s pointless to even attempt such a thing as they simply scratch and howl.

But the door to our “guest room” is closed which they permit only because usually no-one is on the other side.

When I wander about at night, do I wake them up?

Or disturb the slumbering darlings in any way?

I do not. I would be hard put, even if I was to be so inconsiderate.

They are sound sleepers.

So. My plan was very simple.

Next time I was subjected to feline assault in the small hours, I would rise and take myself to the guest room where I would drowse undisturbed for the remaining hours of the night.

What could go wrong?

Toby nudged me. It was 4 am. So I extricated myself carefully from under the covers, quietly picked up my flashlight and crept out.

Toby followed of course, and that was where I made my first mistake.

The reason he wakes me is because he is hungry. He is always hungry and he’s a bag of bones, so we offer him food on demand.

With 10 other cats that are mostly not sacks of bones, one tries to be sneaky. Little pots of kibble are dotted about the house.

In the living room I knelt down and unscrewed one, easing out a small portion for the boy.

Guess who is not such a sound sleeper after all.

Willow shot past as if running for a train:

“Did I hear a rattle? Kibble possibly?” She asked, doubling back.

This was not a problem. In fact I had rather hoped Willow might share my short but blissful slumber. It would confirm to her that she is indeed a special girl. The spare bed is quite large enough for her to curl up without the necessity of cuddling. God forbid.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

My own fault, no doubt. Brain would not cooperate.

Brain insisted that I must worry…

…was Willow settling? Was she happy to stay in a closed room? Would she pee on something?

My theory is that cats tune in to active human brains.

When they choose to.

But I was surprised by a new “squeak!”

The more I tried to ignore the sound effects, the more awake I became.

OK. Light on.

“What’s up Willow? You want to go out?”

Open the door, exit the cat.

Light out.


Light on. Open door. Re-enter Willow.

Back in bed. Willow kneading her claws, purring. Oh good, she’s going to settle. Light off.

Willow jumped down. “Squeak!”


Willow was rubbing against furniture and walls and floor and squeaking that odd new squeak. Not normal Willow behaviour.

She has strange neurological issues. Should I be concerned?

In fact, I think she was trying to round me up, take me back to where I am supposed to sleep.

Once I had returned there, Ms Willow was content, settling back into whatever state she had been in before the muffled rattle of kibble had aroused her.

Blackie had not moved. She was still firmly glued to the spot around which I had so carefully and quietly maneuvered not half an hour before and she continued to doze as I reinserted myself.

Toby was grabbing another forty winks in preparation for the dawn assault accompanied by the ever-so enthusiastic Ms Patches.

My fatal faux-pas, of course was offering Toby food in the middle of the night which will only encourage repeat requests.

My other mistake? Not so much a mistake as an inevitability.

Letting a cat dictate your life.

So much for cunning plans. There is no hope of outsmarting a cat.



Blackie in 2017, soon after she was invited in.

6 thoughts on “Dictators

  1. “Cats do not permit closed doors.” So true.
    And: They know where you are.
    Not just dictators but insidious dictators.
    And – there is no solution.
    There is no remedy.

  2. Oh Caroline, I had a good laugh now šŸ˜. Like you said, there’s no way to outsmart your darling cats … in the end, you were the only one awake! You will need to start working on a Plan C ā€¦

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