Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mr. B

A few years ago, I went to New York for my friend Erianna's baby shower. My friends Heidi and Katherine and I all wanted to make the trip but were a bit strapped for cash. We were about to cancel the trip when Erianna came up with a plan. A friend of hers in New York was going to be out of town and needed someone to cat sit. If we were willing to take care of her cat, then we could stay in her fancy New York apartment for free. It was perfect. Taking care of a cat is so easy!

About a week before we left for New York, this friend sent us an email thanking us in advance for taking care of her cat and attached some directions. Looking back, the fact that the directions were about 3 pages long should have been a red flag. If someone takes care of Maurice, here are the directions - he gets one can of wet food per day. The end. But these directions were very detailed. He only drinks water out of a human's glass that must be placed on the bedside table, he needs his liter refreshed multiple times throughout the day or he'll pee in the bed, he likes to play with a ribbon toy for 30 minutes per day, he enjoys a snack of brewer's yeast in the evenings, etc...

The cat's name was Mr. B.

All of this didn't phase me as much as the fact that she referred to him as a Cornish Rex. A what? I Googled it and was horrified. Mr. B was a hairless cat! Creepy. But at this point, we were too far in it to turn back and really, how hard could it be? And all animals deserve love, right? Even creepy hairless ones. And we'd get to stay in a nice apartment for free!

When we arrived at the apartment we were a little freaked out by his alien appearance, but nothing prepared us for what happened after we turned the lights out. The lights went out, we laid our weary heads down, and Mr. B went nuts. He meowed like the house was on fire. He ran circles around us on the bed. It was impossible to ignore - trust me, we tried. After about 30 minutes of denial, we finally turned the lights back on and looked at each other. "I'll change his liter box again if you want to get him fresh food..." We got up and dragged around the apartment trying different things, but nothing soothed Mr. B. We finally locked him out of the bedroom. He scratched the door and screamed to be let in. So we let him in and petted him for a minute or two. The second we stopped petting and tried to sleep, he'd flip out again. It NEVER ENDED. He did this ALL NIGHT.

Promptly at 8am when we finally got out of bed to start our day, Mr. B curled up in his cat bed and fell deeply asleep. Then our friend Katherine flew in from LA to join us and we all three endured together for 2 more nights. Don't get me wrong, the trip was totally worth it. But I distinctly remember thinking at some point when Heidi and I were wandering around the dark apartment trying anything and everything to shut the cat up that first night, "This must be what it's like to have a baby."

Last night, Edie was more poorly behaved than Mr. B. After sleeping for 7.5 hours straight on Tuesday night and then only waking for a quick feed before going back down in her crib until 8am, last night felt like a mean trick. She slept 4.5 hours and then woke up. And stayed up. She cried, writhed, wailed, and broke loose from her swaddle in rage. We took turns. One person would lie in bed listening to the chaos while the other dealt with a spastic baby in the nursery. She finally fell back asleep after close to 2 hours. Then she woke up 1.5 hours later. And didn't want to go back to sleep again. More crying. More back arching. Finally I half got her to sleep and brought her into bed and I don't even remember what happened after that. I just remember that it SUCKED.

Flash forward to tonight: It's 9:15 and Jeff just put Edie in her crib asleep. I'm scared for what the night may hold.


Tib said...

oh dear... on both accounts.

Kathleen said...

Oh, Mr. B. And Miss E. You naughty creatures. Hang in there, guys. Wishing you sweet dreams tonight.

jessie said...

I've been thinking of Mr. B this week as my stupid cats wake me up at 5:30 every morning with face licking and face smacking. But that's nothing compared to a crying baby - you can't shove a towel under Edie's nursery, right?

Hope things get better soon! Hopefully she's close to a new developmental milestone and all this will turn around . . . but if you need a babysitter so you can have a nap, we're happy to do it!

heidio said...

I'd do it again to be in New York in the spring again.
I hope that you had a good nights sleep last night.

Lindsey said...

You have always been a fantastic writer.

Totally understand your fear of bedtime. It has been a nightmare down here too. Good luck!

Betsey said...

Mr. B sounds horrific. That is much too demanding for a cat, it's even more demanding than a dog. Great comparison though and fun to read! I hope for a better night. Emmi is currently soothing herself to sleep after I just laid her down at 11:15. Seriously, where did 8:00 go?

Kristin said...

Oh, Mr. B!

Erianna said...

oh geez, I just saw this post! wow, yeah, Mr B as first training for having a baby. wow. Glad to read that you had a good one in there. hope lady Bee turns out to be a good sleeper. It's a little early to place bets. Thanks for the giggle :) And hope you'll come back to NYC sometime soon. We'll try to find you a cat-free sublet this time! Since you already have the baby.