Why Can’t You Teach an Old Cat a New Trick?


#sol17- Day 11/31 March 11, 2017

I know there is a saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but I wish I could teach my old cat just one new trick! Pele (named by my sons 14 1/2 years ago. Yes they are soccer fans, she is female, but Pele is also the Hawaiian goddess of the volcano) and I are all alone now. At one point there were six of us living together, but since then I have divorced, my two sons have grown up and moved out, and a year and a half ago Pele’s litter mate died.

Pele has always been snuggly (also known as clingy), but as time has passed she has become even more attached to me. When I walk in the door she comes running in dog-like fashion. When I sit on the couch she is usually as close to me as she can be, if not actually on my lap. I thought the worst of this is that she likes to sleep on my pillow at night, but I have changed my mind.

The worst is she wants company early in the morning. Pele is an early riser, usually waking between 4:30 and 5:15, though truth be told I am often not sure who has woken who up. My weekday alarm goes off at 5:15, so this is often not a huge deal (although I blame her for stealing those last minutes of shut eye). My weekend alarm is rarely set, but sadly Pele does not consult a calendar. Last night I was up late, which should have clued Pele in to the fact that today is Saturday. Unfortunately, Pele must have heard her internal alarm clock chiming because before 5 she was meowing incessantly. If I close my bedroom door she scratches on it, so her meows shocked me awake. She does not settle down until I get up, and it is never because she needs food or water, she just seems to think I need to be out of bed.

So I dutifully got up to read on the couch and what does she do? She falls asleep peacefully next to me-if only I had those napping skills. So the new trick I need to teach Pele is to sleep in on weekends! Even my kids learned that trick in their teen years, so maybe there is still hope. Weekends are my chance to catch up on sleep, but not with Pele on the job.

13 thoughts on “Why Can’t You Teach an Old Cat a New Trick?

  1. Good luck. Our big Lab gets us up by 5:30 every day. To compound this, Saturday and Sunday are ‘Dog Days’. She knows we will have time to go the park and won’t give us peace until we go. Who is training who here? LOL

  2. Pele sound so much like a cat we had. He would wake us up around 5 every morning, but he was so snuggly, so happy to see us. He would curl up on top of my head sometimes as I slept. I still miss him.

  3. Oh, I so know how you feel – cats seem to be on their own time schedule. Whenever we change the clocks (yikes, tonight) it takes several weeks before the cat and I can get back in sync again. I too envy their napping skills! Looks so easy.

  4. I have no pets but personally, my internal clock seems to wake me up every calendar date at 5am. I do love that feeling of realizing that it’s Sat and I can close my eyes again. Favorite line: My weekend alarm is rarely set, but sadly Pele does not consult a calendar.

  5. oh, I had so many connections while reading this post! I value sleeping in on Saturday mornings so much. But my children as babies, cats as kittens, and my dog when he decides it’s time for me to wake up have never respected this idea!
    Your post has inspired me with something to write today! Thank you!

  6. Ha! I have a similar problem sometime between 4-5 am. My 19 year old cat Charlie with the slight of claws out stretches his paw across my face. Over and over, until I pat him. When you figure out the weekend sleep in thing, let me know!

  7. We have an old dog who also seems to really want our company these days. She doesn’t wake up early, but she does wake up coughing in the middle of the night, and that is pretty annoying. I wish we could teach her to leave the room when she feels a coughing spell coming. 🙂

    Enjoy that sweet cat of yours. 🙂

  8. The good part is that she naps! I have never been against taking a nap at 6am on a Sat…that leaves room for another at 1:00.

  9. Oh, you captured perfectly the dichotomy of loving this sweet feline family member and the frustration of not being allowed to sleep in on the few days you can! I hope Pele learns this new trick soon!


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