A bit of frustration

Darren Blair | Shop the Insanity

As I type this, I’m rather hoping that Bit has, indeed, finally worn himself out and that I’ll have some time to get work done while he’s asleep. 
For those who are new to this column, Bit is the family cat. He was a rescue kitty, and the circumstances behind his rescue have left him rather psychologically abnormal, even for a cat. Just when we think we’ve finally gotten him figured out, something changes and we have to start all over. 
Bit’s best buddy, a dog named Rusty, passed away back around October due to cancer. Bit didn’t exactly handle things well, as this meant that he was the last one. We’d tried to introduce him to other potential roommates in advance of this, but he was far too territorial at the time. So in that sense, he only had himself to blame. 
The change in the weather didn’t help matters. Not only did he himself begin feeling the effects of the cold, he got a double-whammy when the cold and rain resulted in the windows being closed more often than not. Then of course we put the Christmas tree up, and anyone who’s had cats will understand how they react to trees…
Put it all together, and we’ve reached the point that Bit basically has three modes: sleeping, acting out, and the crazies. 
For those who have never had a cat, “the crazies” is when they have excess energy and so vent it by randomly running, climbing, and otherwise engaging in assorted athletic activity. For some odd reason, this is especially prone to happening while you’re trying to sleep. Imagine going to bed at 2 AM, then being woken up at 3:30 AM by a cat who’s running time trials right across you. And people wonder why I’m a bit cranky some mornings…
Beyond that, however, Bit is now in the habit of acting out if he wants attention. Problem is, the “attention” part can mean anything. Lonely? Hungry? Cold? Bored? Cue the process of trying to figure out what he’s doing and why. He’ll act out, we’ll guess wrong in trying to resolve it, he’ll act out again, and things will go from there. It’s getting pretty hard to tell what’s just mischief for the sake of mischief and what’s him trying to get our attention. You can actually tell what part of the table I normally sit at when I’m on the laptop by seeing which leg has the most claw marks. Yes, as I mentioned earlier he tends to act out the most in the evening when I’m trying to get things hammered out, making it harder for me to just drop everything and go through the process. 
I’m honestly at a bit of a loss. Do I go ahead and get him a new roommate? That’ll be him and another cat having to learn to live together, and that cat having to learn the rules of the house. But Bit won’t be bored or alone anymore, and it’s possible that they will indeed learn to become friends. Or do I focus on Bit as he is now, and presume that this is just a phase that will go away when spring comes? 
He’s still a cuddle bunny when he’s asleep though, and does still want to sleep with people. So there is that. He can still be a good kitty when he wants to be. He just needs a little extra patience right now. Just like I need some extra strength aspirin for when he acts up again…

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