It was, of course, Spike.
Now this is not new behavior for him. Ever since the little dude came to live with us, he has exhibited emotionally needy behavior. If neither Leia nor one of his humans is available to play with and he wants to play, he just stands in the middle of an empty room and cries. He can keep it up for a solid hour; I've timed him.
According to a bunch of books on cat behavior, you're supposed to ignore your feline companion when it behaves this way, because "giving in" will just encourage him. Right. The problem with that approach is that he is loud, really loud, and his meows have a hierarchy of patheticness that runs as follows:
Level One: I'm down here; pet me right now.
Level Two: Are you ignoring me?
Level Three: You are ignoring me!
Level Four: Oh my God, how can you ignore me when I'm this cute?!
Level Five: How can you make me suffer like this?! I am seriously suffering here!
Level Six: I don't understand what I did to make you hate me. Am I such a terrible kitty that you have decided never to pet me again?
Level Seven: There is nobody petting me! Nobody! I think you are all dead inside.
Before you think I'm just horribly cruel and don't deserve a sweet thing like Spike, let me note that I'm willing to pet the boy. If I call him, he'll jump up on the chair, and I'll start petting. Problem solved, right? Wrong.
You see, what he really wants is to play, to run and fight and go nuts. Which is fine if it's not 2am and I'm in the middle of a paragraph. If I fail to go from petting to playing, however, he jumps down, marches out to the dining room and starts crying again, at ever escalating volume.
I usually cave around Level 4. Last night, though, I was really getting some work done, so I tried to ignore him, only flinging the occasional "Cut it out right now! There's nothing wrong with you!" in his general direction. Clearly, this was a mistake. When I got up this morning, I found the following:
- Half a box of kleenex shredded and strewn about the dining room.
- Two lamps knocked over.
- The bottom kitchen drawer pulled out and zip lock bags scattered all over the kitchen.
- The laundry basket with the clean laundry turned over.
- Cat vomit in my shoes.
Spike, Really Pissed Off at the World.