Posts Tagged ‘ veterinarian ’

Can You Sleep Train a Cat?

Monday, March 17th, 2014

For 7 years he slept through the night–sometimes for more than 12 hours. I thought we had it made. No more sleep training needed in this house. But ever since we moved to our new place, things have imploded. While my children progress, my cat has regressed.

Wayne Sanchez is becoming a real problem. He licks our hair with his bad breath in the night. He sits on our head to the point where have to put pillows over ourselves. He howls and yowls. And it all begins at the cheery hour of 3 a.m.

During the day he is the sweetest, most affectionate cat. He tolerates the children constantly rolling and carrying him around. He sits on my lap while I write. He curls up next to Phil at his computer. But come nightfall it all changes.

He won’t relent unless one of us gets up to feed him. Usually Phil gives into Wayne when I give into Emmett at 5 a.m. Bleary eyed, I go make Em’s bottle, while Phil takes Wayne downstairs to eat. Then he closes the door to the basement. We both get back in bed. Em sleeps. Wayne goes to the top of the steps, right between our bedroom and Fia’s, and begins his catcall. Again. This lasts until we get up with the kids. So basically we have broken sleep from 3-7 a.m.

We have a sound machine in Fia’s room and a high-powered fan in ours. But sometimes he gets so loud he could wake the dead. We find ourselves cursing the cat we rescued from Brooklyn’s toxic Gowanus Canal; the cat that we had to turn into a transsexual to keep him alive.

He gets 1 can of food a day. We used to feed him half at 7 a.m. and half at 7 pm. Now it’s more like 3 am and 3 pm, with a “bonus round” of dry food at 9 pm–which actually goes against the vet’s orders. She had us cut down on his dry food and he lost 4 pounds. I proclaimed him The Biggest Loser. Now not only is he wreaking havoc on our sleep, but he’s getting fat again. We’ve tried pushing the evening feed back to 7 pm. It doesn’t matter. It’s as if he’s still on east coast time, even though we’ve been west for almost 3 years.

We have nowhere to put him at night where he won’t be heard but still be close to his liter box. The other night Phil said, “That’s it. I’m putting him in the shower.”

“You can’t put him in the shower!” I said with strange indignation. I have no idea why I was defending the cat at that godforsaken hour.

We compromised and let him have free reign of the bathroom. There, he’s further from Fia’s room but even closer to ours. It’s not a solution.

We are at a loss of what to do. We’ve let him cry it out. We’ve tried Ferber. He is relentless.

Any ideas?

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Wayne Has Fleas–How To Treat?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Probably not as interesting or horrifying to you, except I did hear from my vet that this is a record year for fleas. So for all the pet owners: be forewarned. When I took Wayne in, she said they are seeing more indoor cats with fleas than ever before. Ugh. Gross. She also said Wayne was the cleanest cat she ever saw. This, of course, is no accident. The clean freak in me, well, freaked, when I realized all this “black dander” I had been finding on our bed, our couch, etc, was in fact not dander, but flea poop. Disgusting.

I spent the weekend in a sweatshop called my house, armed with a vacuum blowing out hot air and a dryer doing the same.  There were some linens and pillows I couldn’t wash so I at least threw them in the dryer for 20 minutes on high heat. That dryer–which is on our first floor that has no air-conditioning– churned non-stop in 100-degree heat. I should have just gone to Death Valley. It would have been cooler. I now feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. A hot one, spewing out exhaust.

I was going to ask you all the best way to treat fleas, but after all that work, Phil found 3 dead fleas and called in the exterminator. The apocalypse is underway. I took the kids to the beach. I am just now posting this with very little purpose in mind since my problem is now solved.

Wayne of course has zero appreciation. But he is now on a strict flea regiment in which I will apply some liquid drops to his fur every month to prevent this from happening again. Ever. I hereby declare him Flea Free. My house is Dirt Free, Flea Free, Mite Free–you name it.

I know I recently said cleaning is better than therapy, but I didn’t mean it in this regard. Really, I didn’t.

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