Stray Cat

This is our cat. She adopted our home (when it was a construction site) when she was a kitten and lived through lean times before living in luxury. She apparently saw the potential. Because she was a stray, she was named Stray Cat. This has caused no end of confusion at the veterinarian.

Stray Cat

I don’t think I’ve ever timed a photo of her better than this one.

Rudy, the backup cat

We have a cat. She adopted our home as a kitten while it was still our construction site, and lived through many hard years before becoming the spoiled cat of the house. Her name is Stray Cat. This causes no end of confusion at the vet.

She does not like other cats.

This is an interesting conundrum because other cats like our house. They visit our yard and hang our on our deck. Sometimes they do so enough to have us give them a name. In recent months a ginger cat has decided to hang out on our porch. We have named him Rudy. If you ask me, it’s for “Rutabaga” which are orange when cooked. If you ask my husband, it’s for “Rudolph the red-nosed cat”. Either way, Rudy visits and gets a small bowl of kibble. He is skittish and won’t let us near him, but enjoys the kibble. We’d like to capture him and get him to the vet for shots and a check-up, but it seems unlikely for now. I’d love to get a photo of how he stretches his neck when coming out from under the porch to see if there is kibble in the bowl, but that will take a bit of luck. In the meantime, this is a photo of Rudy watching me wander around the yard taking pictures of flowers.

Diagram of a bad night’s sleep

I’ve been using a FitBit Ultra┬árecently – and in a future entry I will talk about the great things it does for my motivation to be more healthy, but that is not what this post is about.

One thing the FitBit Ultra does is track how well you’re sleeping. You wear it on a wristband and I assume however much your wrist moves around is related to how well you’re sleeping and if it should call you “awake” or not. It actually seems pretty accurate.

Last night I went to bed at a reasonable hour – around 10pm local time. I had worked hard during the day putting in many hours of yard work (including a grueling session of deadheading the day lilies – which results in something nice but in the hours I’m doing it I mostly hate). I was tired and sore.

I was, apparently, too tired to sleep. I hate that.

When I went to bed I called my cat – Stray Cat (that’s her name, don’t judge) – and she mrowled a lot. I explained to her that I was not about to go back downstairs to give her tuna or anything else and that her only options were come upstairs to sleep or not. She came upstairs. Here is a picture of her when she’s less annoyed:

sitting on mom’s lap on the deck


Now might be a time to admit that while I had been on the computer earlier in the evening I had a weird feeling that someone else was in the house. Mind you, I knew this was impossible – I had been walking around the house downstairs to get my 5 miles of walking in (for the FitBit, you see) and I had carefully checked all the locks on the downstairs doors. So I knew no-one was in the house but me and Stray Cat (my husband being away on business travel). I shook off the feeling because it was silly.

I went to bed. I tossed and turned. I tried multiple varieties of sound on the sound machine to help me sleep. Stray Cat did come up and jump onto the bed. She slept. I tried.

Around 2:30am I heard noises – then LOUD CAT MROWLS and more LOUD CAT MROWLS – only one of which sounded like my cat.

Now might be a time to tell you that Stray Cat has a pretty cool cat door – it is tied to her microchip and only opens for her. So another cat being in the house is hard, but not impossible. There are a couple of cats who hang around the house but are too skittish to approach. The will come in the garage (where Stray Cat’s food bowl is kept) and eat her food if we leave the door open. I try hard not to do that but I had been doing a lot of yard work. It was not impossible that someone had been inside the garage/shop when I went to bed and who then came inside (through a non-microchip door) from the garage later. Weird, certainly. Unprecedented, even. But not impossible.

The Suspects

There is a ginger cat and a black cat who hang out. We call the ginger one Rudy – either short for Rutabaga or Rudolph (red-nosed cat) depending on whether you ask me or my husband respectively. The other is Black Cat. We’re not that creative.

In any case – at 2:30am I’m awakened to what sounds like a cat fight. Stray Cat is not known for her bravery in defending her territory. This could be ugly. I rush downstairs sans glasses (not a great plan). I see no cats. I hear no cats. Eventually I spot Stray Cat wild-eyed on the stairs heading back up. I walk around downstairs and in the garage and find no one.

Stray Cat and I go back to bed. She sleeps. I get up twice more to investigate and make sure there is no other cat in the house or garage. Apparently there is not.

It is possible the other cat was never in the house and the mrowling was through a window – they can be quite loud. But usually Stray Cat ignores any cat “through glass.” I have no idea. All I know is that all of this combined meant that I reset my 5:30am alarm to 6:30am (thankful that I could) and regardless it was the worst night of sleep my FitBit has recorded since I got it:

this is what a bad night looks like.


Mind you – only the 2:30 – 3:00am part is what I can blame on the cats. The rest is just me having a bad night. All in all, I am truly hoping for better tonight.