The Kitty What Meows at Night

Debbi and I have a problem: Newton, our 16-year-old cat, has started standing in the middle of the bedroom in the middle of the night (anytime between midnight and 4 am) and meowing. What does he want? We don’t know. Sometimes he’ll come up to snuggle with us for a few minutes, and then he goes back to the floor and meows some more.

And wakes us up, naturally.

My best idea for discouraging him was to put a night-light in the bedroom (so I can see him) and squirt him with a water bottle when he starts up. But it’s not really working, partly because he’s figured out what when I sit up he should go hide under the papasan so he can’t get squirted.

I asked the vet about it around Thanksgiving (it’s gotten more frequent since then), and she said that geriatric cats do strange things for no particular reason, and she didn’t have any suggestions. So we don’t know what to do.

We can, I suppose, lock him and the other two cats out of the bedroom overnight, or just lock Newton in the other bedroom by himself. The latter seems a little cruel, and while the former may become necessary, I can easily see him meowing from the hall and scratching at the door, so that’s no guarantee.

Last night fortunately he only meowed briefly after we went to bed, and then curled up under our top blanket. Debbi has a theory that maybe his old body is uncomfortable in the cold weather and he’s complaining to us about it. It was a little warmer last night. So maybe there’s something to that – it’s as good an idea as any, I guess.

But we’re not going to be able to survive him waking us up 4 or 5 times a week, so we have to figure something out.