Monsoon season forces Guido out of the ferns
and into the house in search of a new napping spot.

TARGET and Guido are usually out and about in the morning and early evening. They have marathon naps (which we refer to as “22-hour cat naps”) in between, with Target usually curling up on my desk in the office, and Guido snoozing in the bathroom in the mornings and among the ferns in our front garden in the afternoons. However, now that it’s been raining every day, the ferns are soggy and Guido has had to find new napping places.

When the afternoon rains started, I didn’t really think about how it might affect Guido. If you’d asked me, I would have thought he’d just extend his morning naps in the bathroom. Guido has a shelf there that he’s claimed as his own. You can find him there after his second breakfast, snoozing comfortably on the blue towel that is also his. However, he has decided that it’s not a suitable napping place after lunch.

I think the reason that Guido won’t sleep there in the afternoon is because the bathroom window overlooks a small roof. When it’s raining, the sound of the water splashing on the tiles is quite loud and the sound echoes through the bathroom. I love the sound of rain when I’m sleeping but maybe it’s too intrusive for his super-sensitive ears.

Although Guido doesn’t use his shelf in the afternoons, it doesn’t mean we can use it. If you try to take advantage of his absence and put something on his shelf, he turns up in a heartbeat and gives you the stink eye, a look that clearly says, “Excuse me! That’s my shelf, thank you very much!”

Guido is an easy-going cat, but he knows what’s what and that shelf is his. Anything that is left there is in peril of being batted to the ground or given a clawing.

So when it started raining in the afternoon, our junior cat tried out new napping places.

On holidays and weekends, when Guido’s Best Pet is home, the two of them hang out upstairs, catching up on projects and playing computer games. Guido has his own chair up there, complete with a small rug from Tunisia, and there is also a cardboard box he likes. The box used to be Au’s but when he passed away, Guido claimed it as his. It’s too small and it has raggedy edges from where Au clawed it, but it’s officially a treasure, so it stays.

I thought he might end up there but during a normal weekday, the upstairs room holds no attraction for Guido. What was funny was that he found a pair of trousers lying over a chair, waiting to go to the dry cleaners. Guido spotted them, jumped up on the table and cuddled up on top of them for a nap.

He used to enjoy sleeping on the treadmill that stands by the window downstairs (so I can watch reruns of Buffy and Star Trek while I’m doing my best to keep at least a little bit fit) but he’s gone off that space ever since one of the Persians from next door jumped through the window and landed on top of him.

The sofa is comfortable, and he has his own favourite corner, but for some reason that’s an evening napping place, not a daytime napping place. He tried out the new red plush comfy chair we bought a month ago, but that was also swiftly deemed an evening spot.

Our bed is prime snoozing space so you might think that Guido would wallow there, comfortably cosy in acres of pillows and sheets. At night, we’re all in there, with Target claiming his own pillow and Guido staking out the space behind my knees. Target sometimes has a long lie-in, staying in bed until eight o’clock but Guido only likes a comforter when there’s company to share it with. So you won’t find him here in the afternoons.

Our junior cat is quite sociable, so he eventually ended up in my office. There is a chair next to mine that is usually stacked with books and papers, so we cleared it away, put a thick red beach towel on it, and Guido took possession.

Target was a bit taken aback at first. He couldn’t decide if maybe he wanted the chair too but after sitting there for a bit one morning Target decided he prefers to be where the action is and that being curled up around my keyboard is the best space for him after all.

I’ve always had Target with me for most of the day but now I have both kitties in with me in the afternoons. It’s very nice company, and Guido is now instituting some new rules and adding his own character to the workday. For one thing, I’m no longer allowed to stack stuff on “his” chair. I’d like to tell you that this makes me a tidier person but what it actually means is that I now have a stack of papers on the floor underneath his chair.

Also, Guido has taken to helping me print things. The second I put the paper in the machine, the junior office cat is up and awake, with his whiskers quivering with interest.

He stomps over the desk, treading all over Target, and ends up sitting on top of the printer, watching the paper go through.

I’m not keen on endless rain and grey skies but I must say that for me, this monsoon season has come with a furry if not a silver lining. Happy New Year!

Visit the Katz Tales facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/KatzTales to catch up with Target, Guido and their friends.

Bedding down: Guido has made himself comfortable on a pair of trousers on the table.

About cat naps

STUDIES show that cats sleep at least 12 hours a day and that 16-hour naps aren’t unusual either. A rule of thumb is that kittens and old cats sleep most as they need to conserve energy. If your average healthy adult cat is sleeping more than 16 hours, or seems to suffer from insomnia, it may be a sign of illness.

When your cat decides to take a nap depends on your pet’s personal preferences. There are some who say that cats are naturally most active at night. Supporting evidence includes special receptors at the back of the eye that make your cat’s eyes gleam in the dark, and also work to give them excellent night vision. Your kitty only needs about one-sixth the amount of light you need to see clearly.

However, pet cats tend to adapt to the family they live with. If you’re out all day, this is most likely the time your pet naps, and then he or she will be awake and ready to socialise when you come back. If you’re working from home, your pet will most likely spend the days with you, and snooze all night.

Some cats are easy-going and will change their habits from time to time but others may impose a strict routine. My mum’s cat Qwill, and our friend’s cat Ollie, go to bed at 10.30pm – and will meow at their humans to say it’s bedtime, and chase out visitors to boot! They then sleep the night through, and get up at 7am.

If you adopt a kitty with strict ideas about routine and you want to sleep in, you will have to negotiate. My advice: get up, offer your kitty a sumptuous breakfast and when he or she is indulging, sneak back into bed. — Ellen Whyte