29 Times

Years ago, when I first moved into my condo, Carmen did not readily transition to the new place. She was a bit anxious. Occasionally at night she would sing the song of her people.

Carmen the weekend I got her - cat on couch meowing

After having been suckered out of my bed by my previous cat, I learned not to give in. The last thing I wanted to do was reward this bad behavior by paying her attention, so I let her cry. This is when I learned that cats will not meow more than 29 times in a row before giving up. This knowledge was quite helpful. When she would start crying, I would count them, knowing what the upper limit would be. After a few nights of getting no reaction, she stopped.

April was a heavy travel month for DH2U. This was stressful on both our cats. Carmen’s bullying tendencies are strengthened during these times; she protects me and the bed from Lemon’s evil presence. As a result Lemon doesn’t get as much affection as normal.

Lemon the cat

Early in the month, during DH2U’s first trip, Lemon was so stressed by his absence that she had an asthma attack. It was a scary experience for both of us.

As if she wanted to create a perfect bookend, during the last night of DH2U’s final trip, Lemon decide it was her turn to get my attention in the middle of the night by meowing. This was a battle of the wills that I was going to win. After the first couple of meows, we both knew we were in it for the long haul. I had the upper hand – I knew the 29 time rule. Lemon finally petered out at 23. That victory was celebrated by deep sleep.

Has anyone else come up with an equivalent of the 29 meow rule? or Have you given in and rewarded negative behavior?

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