One evening as I sat with him in our lounge he was under the coffee table with one of his front paws on the top of my foot. He had been quite calm for a couple of hours when his manic grooming started up again. I tried to distract him by tapping my foot up and down, therefore moving his paw up and down. He stopped grooming and watched the motion, as I continued it seemed to send him into a trance-like state which led to him falling asleep.
An hour later he woke and started again, once more I tapped my foot and his, up and down rhythmically and he fell asleep. My brain started to work overtime: perhaps the rhythm was changing the manic rhythm in his head and preventing a fit? Maybe sound had the same result. It was getting late, my husband had long gone to bed but I now had a ‘Bee in my bonnet’ and needed to check this out. I retrieved my husbands’ metronome, wound it up and placed it in front of Charlie. As its pendulum swung back and forth with a loud ‘Tick Tick Tick’ at a speed of 60 beats per minute, Charlie was mesmerised by it. He lay directly in front of it watching and listening, he was calm but not sleeping: I changed the pace to 30 beats per minute and watched him fall asleep!
I was so pleased with myself I nearly woke Charlie with my laughs. Could it be this simple, the answer to all those long suffering cats and owners: a metronome? After 20 minutes Charlie still slept but I had a problem if I wanted it to last the night….. it was a wind up metronome that only lasted half an hour and I was not getting up each time to re set it.
I tip toed into my Step daughters’ room and found the ‘Mr. Bean’ alarm clock I had bought her a year ago, it had a wonderful loud tick (not so wonderful to the person sleeping next to it). I replaced the metronome with Mr. Bean…….. It had the same effect. Dear Charlie slept soundly all night.