The trouble with Trouble the cat!

by Rita Reimers

I have a 10-year-old brother/sister pair of brown tiger tabby cats named Trouble and Sweet Pea. They are both wonderful kitties, great in temperament but as different as night and day. Sweet Pea is a docile kitty and is very true to her name!  It’s rare to see her act any other way than as the submissive girl that she is.

On the other hand, her brother Trouble can be very true to his name. He is sweet and good natured most of the time. He is my unofficial Alpha male, only choosing to exert his power when absolutely necessary. Mostly he struts around acting like he needs nothing from me but food, but then he will sometimes cry at my feet, asking to be picked up and cuddled like a little baby as he kneads my shoulder (OUCH) and rubs his face into my neck as he purrs. If any other kitty comes around while he is snuggling with momma, watch out!  He will definitely smack them until they go away. I have to laugh at what a complete baby this 17-pound cat becomes when he wants momma to hold him as he pretends to suckle like a little kitten.

Then there are times like this morning… He has this one bad habit that I literally cannot see coming. Sometimes when I am sound asleep, he will decide to reach out and grab my nose in his mouth and bite down hard! This morning he woke me by doing this, and I saw stars as I raced to the bathroom with blood pouring out of the two gashes he put in my nose with his teeth. As I leapt out of bed, I did notice that one of  the kittens was lying on the other side of me in bed. I can only deduce that it was an act of jealousy over another kitty straying into his sleeping place beside me. No matter the reason, it was very painful and I admit I cursed him as I was trying to stop the blood!

I tell you this story to let you know there are times when even someone with my 25 years of cat experience cannot predict the actions of our feline friends, nor explain just why they do what they do.  They are, after all, animals with unique qualities and habits that at times cannot be understood.  Even my Feline Behavioral studies can’t help with this one; a behavior that happens while I am asleep cannot really be corrected, since I am not awake to see the signs of a strike about to happen and divert his attention elsewhere.

I suppose I could banish him from sleeping in my bed with me. But I adore my Trouble, despite the pain of this morning, and could never sleep without him beside me.  But I do wonder; I should begin sleeping with one of those masks covering my nose?


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