Things that go thump in the night


When you share a small house with four four-legged creatures you become accustomed to odd noises. Perhaps it is the distinctive sound of the old cat getting ready to hork, or the rabbit rearranging his furniture (he’s VERY fussy about the placement of his litter box), or just Sasquatch jumping off the bed. For seemingly quiet creatures, they can be pretty noisy.

Occasionally, they’ll make enough of a racket to wake me up in the middle of night. My usual practice is to listen for a moment to make sure there is no animal in distress and then roll back over muttering “damn cats” or “stupid rabbit”. Rarely do these noises necessitate getting my sleepy ass out of bed. However, the other night was one of those rare nights where I had to see what was going on.

When I go to bed I always put Mr. Binkles back in his pen for the night, whether he likes it or not. If he hasn’t had enough free roaming time, he tends to stay restless for a while and bang his pen around. He acts like he’s in jail. But it’s not like he’s in a little tiny cage. No, the little dude has about 8 ft by 4 ft of floor space, plus we built him a loft so he survey his kingdom. So, I don’t buy his prisoner rattling his tin cup against the bars routine. Anyway, eventually he settles down into either his loft bed or into his bunny condo and he’ll be quiet all night.

But the other night it was CRASH! RATTLE! THUD! and the sound of multiple paws skittering across the hard wood floors. What the? The ruckus was quickly over, and as each cat then wandered in my bedroom acting as if nothing happened, I opted to just roll over and go back to sleep. *THUMP* 2 . . . 3. . . 4 *THUMP* 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 *THUMP*. What the? I decided to get up and investigate.

There was Mr. Binkles in his loft sitting up on his back haunches looking very alert and more than a little pissed off. *THUMP* 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 *THUMP* . . . The little one was thumping his back legs to make a very pronounced racket. While I know rabbits are known to thump (hence Thumper from “Bambi”), but I’ve never seen my little buddy do it. The thumping either means danger or just to let you know they are not in the mood to be fucked with. I looked around to see if I could find the source of the ealier crashing, but everything looked normal. But, whatever happened either scared or pissed off Mr. Binkles something fierce. So, I gave him his space and just talked to him for a bit until he visably started to calm down and the thumping stopped.

I still have no idea what happened. My best guess is that perhaps Tangerine jumped into his pen to either steal some of his cilantro, play with her little lagomorph friend or because she was bored. Who knows. But it was certainly revealed another interesting bit of rabbit behavior. I would just prefer that these little discoveries not happen at 3:30 in the morning.

11 responses »

  1. You just made me very happy that I *only* have the two cats who wake me up with similar crashes of noise in the night. My favorite being the stray bottle cap or pencil found and then batted across the wood floors. Lovely sound. Or the random mournful meow. Yeah, not so funny or cute at 3:00am.

  2. I can only sympathise with you when it comes to noise in the middle of the night. Between 3 cats and dog there is no end to the noise. Usually its Chimo, our youngest, who is making the racket, as he likes to chase the yoy mice in the middle of the night. Apparently, while animals generally love their humans unconditionally, there is no regard given to normal hours of sleep.

    I guess its a worthy trade off….. where’s my coffee?

  3. tpgoddess & Adam – Until the recent addition of the rabbit and the younger cat, things had been pretty quiet at night. The advantage of older cats is that they like to sleep through the night. But, Adam, you’re right. While we make all kinds of accomodations for our sleeping animals (like give them 1/3 to 1/2 the bed) they do not have the same consideration for us. Little bastards.

    Marshmellows – nah, not techno. Not nearly rhythmic enough. I’m thinking more experimental, atonal.

    Ron – *sigh* I don’t know anymore about our status as twins separated at birth. The animal thing is at the core of my being. You want to reconsider?

  4. my house rabbits, Dobby and Muddy, would periodically thump their back feet too, just to let me know that I should BEWARE of something which had surprised them. Usually, it was something that they had trodden on or fallen over onto… but still, they thought they were being helpful!

  5. the distinctive sound of the old cat getting ready to hork
    the intermittent moanings of an unrepeated dork
    the scream of a baby being delivered by a stork
    the sizzle of a hot dog as its skewered by a fork
    follow by 42 seconds of throat gargling
    by John Cage

  6. You make me want a bunny! Chick said, “NO!” She thinks my tribe is more than enough of a posse for me.

    🙂 Shu

  7. are we the keepers or do the animals keep us?

    theyz gottus out numbered baby ~ the loggin truck with a bumber sticker =

    I love spotted owl
    On toast

    purty soon me thinks the entire eko system will be toast ~ i pray for bun knees

  8. Truce – that could very well be the case. Obviously he was as startled as I was at whatever it was that caused all that commotion. And boy, did he look alert. So, yes, perhaps he was trying to warn me. What a guy!

    Marshmellows – Nice. But, instead of “unrepeated dork” how about “unrepentent dork”? And yes, John Cage was more the genre I was thinking.

    Shu – bunnies are great, but they are not for the weak of heart. They take a fair amount of work and non-attachment to your furniture and woodwork. But, you can assure Chick that bunnies and kitties seem to get along just fine.

    Monkees – yeah, just another one of those interdependent relationships. Would there be pets with no pet owners? Pet owners without pets?

    Excuse, me I have to go run Alaska’s stool sample to the vet.

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