Thursday, August 23, 2007

Guardian of the Doorways

Alex and I have both been doing a lot of sleeping during the day because of the heat, which usually hovers around 90 F inside the house. That means that we are both generally awake when the temperature drops around 4:00 a.m. Between then and 10:00 a.m., when the temperature usually begins climbing again, I try to get as much done as possible. For example, I left home at 5:00 this morning to shop for groceries and, of course, cat food.

With this change in our routines due to the heat (we’re under another heat advisory now that runs through Saturday night), I have noticed some changes in Alex’s sleeping habits. For example, and probably for the best, he no longer leaps into my bed and wants to snuggle. It is just too hot for snuggling.

The other change in the cat who owns me’s sleeping patterns is that he now reclines almost exclusively in doorways—the doorways of the rooms that I am occupying:

This doorway sleeping seems to me to have but one purpose: I have to step around or over Alex to go from one room into another. Of course, when I do, Alex awakens and follows me.

OK, that’s the outcome Alex’s new sleeping behavior. My question is: why is he doing it? Of course, I’ve asked him, but the little furball doesn’t give me an answer. ‘Tis a puzzlement!

Oh! When you have a chance, check out Alex’s Album, my first experience at posting photos to flickr.


  1. Perhaps he can feel just the slightest of breezes - he obviously doesn't want to stray far from you even if it is too hot to snuggle.

  2. I give you guys credit! Your type of heat is much more extreme than ours. I remember working for a call center in NY, servicing parts of KY, AL, MS and other southern states. We had a rule where we couldn’t send our telephone technicians up into a person’s attic after 12 noon. Many people suffered cardiac arrest or heat stroke.

    Up north, it seems to be different. Even if the temps are the same, it’s just a tad more refreshing up here---even though I can’t handle the heat----period! I try not to go out in it, because I have asthma and breathing problems. In the evening – I am out all the time. I become like a vampire.

    Glad you two are doing ok! :D

  3. Our German Shepard likes to occupy the doorways as well. And let me tell you, it's a bit tricky to step over a huge dog rather than a much smaller cat!

    Last week I ended up tripping over the dog because of her choices of where to lay out. That was not much fun.

  4. Animals know that doorways are the best place to hang out when its hot.

  5. Silly cat! Have you ever stepped on Alex or tripped over him? Could be dangerous for both of you! :)

  6. I like the Alex gallary. My favorite picture is the "I am not a bowling ball!" picture- when you're happy, your whole face lights up!

  7. I'm thinking there must be more of a breeze there. Animals are pretty smart about that stuff. Lucy does this same thing when it's hot. Imagine stepping over a 100 lb. pile of wagging, panting fur. LOL!

    It's horrible hot here too. And we have the steamy air to go with it. I'll be glad when we catch a break on this stuff.

  8. I don't know how you're doing it. I hope your heat wave breaks really soon. Probably not as much as you do, though. :-)

    Alex's doorway sleeping, I think, is that he wants to be close to you. But it's just too hot to be too close.

  9. PAULINE: You may be on target. The only breezes that may be blowing on Alex come from the fan I move from place to place. I know he doesn’t want it blowing directly on him, because when I’ve set it up to do so, he avoids it. However, if I’m between the fan and Alex, he gets a bit of a breeze, which may be what he wants. Since he follows me from room to room and usually does the doorway sleeping when I next either in a chair or the bed, I suppose that he does want me near him.

    DEB: You’re right. The humidity in this valley intensifies the heat. I’ve been in the 105 F dry heat of the Arizona and Texas deserts and it is not nearly as oppressive as 85 F here.

    SILVERNEUROTIC: I hear you! It’s difficult enough to get through a doorway with 10 lb Alex in it. I’d hate to have to step over (I suppose one could go around) a large dog.

    THE LONE BEADER: That may be, but this is a first for Alex. In the past the only time he has done something close to this is when I would go to be. He’d wait in the doorway of my bedroom until he saw that I was in bed and had turned the light out. Then he would scamper in, leap on my bed, and snuggle next to me.

    CHINA GIRL: I have stepped on Alex only once since he’s been doing the doorway thing. That was when I left the bedroom without turning on the light, thought I had stepped over him, and unfortunately stepped on the tip of his tail.

    THOMAS: Thank you, Thomas. It was fun putting the Alex Album together. As I my experience with flickr, I had to do some learning, but the more photos I uploaded, the more proficient I became. As for the "I am not a bowling ball!" picture, I see what you mean about my face! That photo was taken by my ex-wife at her house when she was allowing Alex to stay there and I had not seen my kitty in almost six weeks. I was happier than I can express!

    CRABBY: No, I would not want to step over 100 lbs of fur! I remember when Bruno, the Labrador who owned me about 30 years ago, would do his “I ain’t movin” thing. Getting past him was much more difficult than over Alex.

    SQUIRL: The only break forecast by the weather dudes on TV is on Sunday—and that won’t be much. Other than that, for the next week it’s highs in the high 90s or 100s and lows in the high 70s or low 80s. We’ve been breaking high temperature records for the past three weeks and everyone I know is more than tired of it.

  10. I think Alex just wants to be near you.

  11. Alex is just being cat-smart. He sleeps in the door ways so he can up and follow you when you move from room to room. Then, when he decides he’s hungry, he does not have far to walk before he can stick his claws in your balls to get your attention and demand to be fed.

    Stay cool, youse guys!

  12. Since Alex is a cat, whatever the reason for his sleeping in doorways, be sure that it benefits Alex.

  13. Hi Nick ~~ Alex must find the slightest breeze from the fan and
    also wants to make sure you do not leave him again. Glad you liked the
    story about Drink Drivers - and I shed a few tears while typing it.
    How is your mother these days?
    Take care Nick and don't trip over
    the cat in the doorway. Regards, Merle.

  14. there will be a gentle draught he can sense, doorways are like ley lines long which breeze travels. my cat loves doorways too. and he has a clear line of vision to you, so he can keep an eye on what you are doing. my cat follows me around from room to room, unless he's incredibly sleepy and dead to the world.

  15. Alex is so cute. My sister has cats who like doorways too. Perhaps he's practicing for an earthquake :O)

  16. AZ is that dry heat-----I'm not sure which is worse----humidity or dry heat.

    I'm moving to Alaska! (hehe)

    Enjoy your weekend, Nick!

  17. ` This is why I live in Western Washington.
    ` Western Washington: Where Air Conditioners Aren't Worth It!

  18. If there is any movement of air at all, it will be most noticeable in a doorway because of the venturi effect. Cats are able to sense the slightest air movements via their whiskers.