We are connoisseurs of irony at Tabby’s Place. For instance:
The cats of Suite B are currently playing with a tiny stuffed George W. Bush.*
The cats with inflammatory bowel disease live in our staff lunch room.
And cats — or, at least, one cat — can acquire sleep disorders.
Yes, this is an honest-to-goodness fact.
Cats — the same creatures who sincerely require 18-25 hours of sleep every day — can have disordered sleep.
You might think, thinking reasonable thoughts as you do, that a “sleep disorder” means a cat somehow sleeps too much. That’s plenty strange.
You might even think, straining the limits of reason, that a “sleep disorder” would make a cat sleepwalk, sleep-talk, sleep-Snapchat. That would be exquisitely strange.
But, as usual at Tabby’s Place, it gets stranger.**
Meet the stranger who keeps getting stranger: one Bacon Rosenberg.
The Baconator smelled strange from the moment he arrived. That wasn’t his fault, exactly; his well-meaning rescuer had trapped Bacon by stuffing a bunch of bacon in a carrier. (Ergo the name, ergo the baconious odor.)
But the scent was just the start. The sweet, shy, dandelion-puff-grey guy would soon show us his strangest side.
Most cats spend their standard 3-week quarantine period sleeping, eating, and dreaming about eating. We play podcasts and talk radio for them to keep those dreams interesting. But Bacon took Quarantine to quirk city: he had Colossal Freak Outs (CFOs).
There’s no earthly parallel for these events. Picture what you’d do if, whilst you slept, Kevin Spacey, Willie Nelson and the entire cast of Game of Thrones suddenly appeared in your bedroom and began collectively poking you with stale Funyuns. And then they left for an hour. And then they came back and poked you again. Repeat process on a completely random schedule.
What would you do?
You’d probably wake with a start and leap with utter terror each time — as though you were literally trying to jump out of your skin.
That’s exactly what Bacon did…but with nary a fiend or Funyun in sight. Suddenly, unprovoked, and over and over again, he’d throw his entire body against the roof of his cage. The terrors took over just as his weary body tried to enter the deep, restorative sleep that makes daytime doable.
One second, dreamland; the next, whacked-out whirling dervish.
Was it a seizure? Demon possession? A trash-talking message from the mother ship?
We had what is formally known as “absolutely no friggin’ idea.”
After much investigation, Dr. C, Dr. Fantastic and company came to a conclusion: this seizure-like strangeness was not epilepsy.
It was…a sleep disorder.
My small and strange brain was, frankly, confused. A sleep disorder? In a cat?
In the immortal words of Jim Morrison, people (by which Jimbo meant cats, obviously) are strange when you’re a stranger. And we’re nothing if not a strange pack of strangers at Tabby’s Place.
We’re also a smitten pack of strangers, which bodes well for beleaguered Bacon. It’s not yet crisply-clear how to treat Bacon’s fits, but we’re doing everything in our power to do right by him.
Since his CFOs are rather unpredictable and toss him violently, we’ve moved him into a room without any tall ramps from which he could take a tumble. We’ll soon be starting him an a medication often used in people with a similar disorder. (I don’t think it’s the med in that weird commercial where a sleepless woman cuddles a vaguely feline, walking word SLEEP — I am not making this up — but, man, that would be ironic.) Our hope is that this will let Bacon enjoy the sleep of the just — at last.
We’re also encouraging Bacon’s Kardashian side, as he’s on 24-hour video surveillance.
Yes, really: we’ve placed a security camera in Bacon’s bungalow, which means we get fearfully-worded “Security Alert!” messages every time motion is detected. So far, these security breaches have included terrifying still images like this:
(Kim K., watch your back; Bubbles is clearly building her media empire.)
These are strange days in Suite Bacon. But, fortunately for one crispy cat and his friends, Tabby’s Place has love enough for all the strangeness.
*Would I lie to you?
**Others may seek to get better, faster and stronger. We’ll content ourselves with getting stranger. We know our strengths.
***And while we’re at it, will someone please feed the poor WAKE cat in the basement?