There's a war going on in my house, and it's over the best spot in on the bed. It's the spot in front of the pillows on the other side of my bed (where I don't sleep). It's where the sheets are exposed, between the pillow and the top fold of the comforter.
This is traditionally Cotton's spot to sleep. It's his favorite spot in the whole world, and he watches me all day to look for clues that it's time to go there. If it even looks like I might be going to bed - if I go into my room to change socks - Cotton runs into my room, jumps on the bed and curls up on his spot. Except, he needs me there with him or the spot's no good. If I'm not in the room, he refuses to stay.
Until this year, when the weather was cold, Cotton would start in that spot and then shift under the covers after a few minutes. He'd be a lump under the comforter for the rest of the night, until I pulled back the blankets in the morning and forced him to come out and go outside. This year, for some reason he's not telling me, he doesn't want to be an under the cover dog anymore. This year, he's staying in his spot all night long.
The problem is that Winter has noticed this change in Cotton's habit too. It used to be that shortly after the little dude crawled under the covers, Winter would curl up in Cotton's spot and he'd usually stay there most of the night. With Cotton not vacating the spot anaymore, Winter's habits are having to change too.
Every night for the last week, I've found Winter in Cotton's spot when it's time for me to go to bed. He jumps up on the bed, is rudely presented with a cat in his place who is ready and willing to defend the territory, and Cotton gets thrown into a tizzy. If I go to bed and let Winter stay in Cotton's spot, Cotton will be very upset. More than once when I've tried to convince him to find another spot on the bed to sleep, he's worked himself into a full-blown panic attack... which is hell, for everybody involved.
As a result, I've been having to be the meanie and move Winter to another location before I go to bed. He's not happy about this, and is not shy about telling me about it - or lashing out at Cotton to show his displeasure.
So, I've taken to finding excuses to lure Winter out of my room. Yummy food. Cool toys. Strings. Or, sometimes I'm just mean and lock him out of the room until Cotton's settled in. Each night, I've been making Winter move. Each night he's been parking himself in the spot a little bit earlier. Wednesday, he was there by 8:00. Thursday, he was in place by 7:00. I moved him numerous times, but each time he returned. Ultimately, bedtime came and the cat had to be cleared out - but not before he hissed and spat at Cotton, who had just arrived on the bed.
Today, I looked into my bedroom at 2:00, and the cat was already there. I'm thinking that maybe I'll just sleep in the spare room for a while.