Your Move, Moose
A turf war with my cat
For the past several weeks, I’ve been fighting a nightly battle with Moose.
Moose is my cat, and he’s a jerk.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. He’s a very sweet cat. He loves people and always runs to greet everyone at the door. He has an adorable little squeak of a meow, almost like he never really learned how to do it properly. He truly loves belly rubs — he’s not one of those cats that just pretends to like belly rubs so they can attack your hand. He doesn’t scratch our furniture.
His main faults are that he smells bad, he only throws up on the carpeted parts of our floor, and he hates all other animals (he once jumped through the screen of our porch to get a neighborhood cat that got too close for comfort).
Oh, and lately he’s been drinking water from the cup on my nightstand at night.
I have to have a cup of water next to my bed every night. No matter how good I am about drinking water during the day, I always wake up multiple times a night needing a sip of water. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, and I’m always able to fall right back asleep. It doesn’t bother me.
But for some reason (it‘s because I’m a weirdo) I’m very particular about the type of cup I drink from at night. I couldn’t really care less what I drink out of during the day, but at night it has to be one of two types of cups: A.) a 16oz restaurant grade rest plastic tumbler or B.) a 16 oz reusable plastic cups with kids’ cartoon characters (see pictures). I don’t know why, but these are the only cups I like drinking from at night. Yes, I can drink from others, I just don’t want to.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I woke up as usual to take a sip of water and, lo-and-behold, found Moose with his head in my cup. I could hear his little tongue lapping away at my water. I shooed him away and tiredly wondered if maybe I’d forgotten to give him fresh water, which would explain why he was drinking my mine. Silly me, bad owner, go get fresh water and go back to sleep.
But it happened again, and then again. Not every night (as far as I know) but it was at least a few times a week.
Fun fact: more than 120 disease-causing microbes live in a cat’s mouth at any given time. Also, my cat licks his butt, a lot. I know this because he prefers to do it when he’s sitting right next to me. And, this may or may not be related to that last point, his breath smells really bad.
Long story short, I do not want to share a cup of water with my cat.
I began making sure that I gave him fresh water every night before I went to bed. At my mom’s suggestion, I even gave him water from the Brita because, as she argued, maybe he was mad that I was giving him sub-par water.
It didn’t work.
I tried moving my cup to the far back corner of my bedside table, thinking it would be harder for him to get to it.
That didn’t work.
I tried drinking out of a cup with a lid and a straw, but hated it.
I tried putting cling wrap over the top of my regular cups and poking a straw through, but I didn’t like that either. Like I said, I’m weird about my cups.
I don’t want to resort to using water bottles because A.) then I’d have to unscrew the cap every time I need water in the middle of the night (which is quite a lot) and B.) I already don’t do enough good things for the environment, let’s not waste more plastic bottles.
And dammit, this is my night-time cup of water we’re talking about, and I’m going to use whatever cup I want.
So, now I’m at war with my cat over water rights.
But, I think I’ve come up with a winning strategy.
You see, Moose is very weird about what he will and won’t step on (his weirdness fits in well with our family). For example, he won’t go on anyone’s lap because apparently laps are lumpy and bumpy and he doesn’t like that. He doesn’t like to lie on blankets if they are all bunched up. And he will walk around and avoid pretty much any object on the floor, like coins or paper, to avoid stepping on them.
So I started putting as many things as possible on my bedside table surrounding my cup of water so that he can’t step on the table to reach it. It’s like a mote of random crap that he won’t step on, blocking his access to my water source.
And so far it’s working.
Your move, Moose.
originally published on Medium.com