A Call for the Catevator

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My cat Wilma is a sweet old lady. She had her 18th birthday this spring, and while she is still as charming and lovable as ever, she is definitely beginning to show her years.

Anyone who has spent much time around cats knows that they are creatures of habit. And like all cats, Wilma spends most of her time lying around in one or two favorite spots. One of those spots is on my bed. Wilma has never been the most athletic cat, with a stocky build and short legs and a clumsiness at leaping which is unbecoming of her species. But even though my bed is pretty high off the floor, she likes it so much that she will jump up on it anyway, however ungracefully.

Wilma is a very social cat, and will often migrate to a room where there is human company. She doesn't expect much attention, but she does like to be near the action. Sometimes if she's alone in another room, she will cry until somebody comes to check on her. The moment she realizes she has company she will chirp, walk over to greet the inquirer, and follow that being to its destination.

Often at night, after I've gone to bed, Wilma will cry forgetfully from another room until I wake up and call for her. She will always respond by pushing the bedroom door open with her nose and standing by the side of the bed. Sometimes she will jump right up from there, and sometimes she will sit there and meow. In the old days, if she meowed, I'd call for her again and she'd jump up. Lately she'll keep meowing until I dangle my arm over the side of the bed for her to head butt. At this point, I might be able to convince her to jump up on the bed with the kind of great encouragement that is difficult to come by after being awoken by a cat in the middle of the night. More often than not, it's easier for everybody if I reach down and lift her over the side of the bed in a maneuver I've come to call "The Catevator."

You would think that a cat as simple as Wilma would settle into predictable behavior, but she has always had a way of inventing new quirks and tricks to surprise me. In spite of the late-night assistance, she still jumps up on the bed on her own during the day when I'm not in the bedroom. But today she caught me off guard with something new. I heard her crying in the bedroom, in the middle of the day. I walked in to find her standing by the side of the bed, looking up and meowing.

She was calling for the Catevator.

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