Ray was estimated at 2 years old when picked up by the Humane Society in Nov 2012 … so that makes him around 10 now.
Above pic taken a few weeks ago.
He has started wandering around the house at night whimpering. Every now and then he will hear something and go rigid for a moment, and then often go behind the sofa in our living room. He used to be sensitive to the furnace starting up, and the sounds of the metal ducting expanding and contracting … but he has experienced that for 8 years, so I would not think that is the issue.
It would appear that whatever he hears is outside our range of hearing but, of course, his hearing ability has always been better than us mere humans! The sound source appears to be elusive because at times he will stop and stare at a particular heating vent; at an electronic device; at a table; at a window; at a different heating vent etc. We know that he reacts badly to power outages (the kitchen stove “clunks” and things “beep”), and he will be startled by similar sounds coming from the TV. Electronic sounds in general cause an “alert” mode, and he cannot be around when we test the smoke detectors.
Just recently, he has taken to coming into my bedroom and gently butting me. If he does not get the desired response, he hits me with a heavy front paw! This is usually around 1:00am – 2:00am, and then he tries to ensure that I do not get back to sleep. When I eventually get up and dress at my usual 5:00am, he will sometimes totally crash (sleep), but one morning he continued to wander and whimper. We have some light “sleepy” music playing all night for him now, which may be having an impact.
I have heard heard him nudging the (horizontal) blinds on the windows and, assuming that perhaps it was outside activity that was bothering him, I have raised the blinds sufficient for him to see outside. That appeared to make no difference so perhaps he was just drawing attention to himself? It worked!
In contrast, he will usually be fine sleeping during the day (smoke detectors are still an issue during the day, and “beeps” from electronic devices can still bother him in the evening.). Perhaps he is more tolerant during the day because we are both around which means he does not feel a need to stay awake and protect us? Perhaps he is simply exhausted after an active and stressful night?
While we monitor him and exercise our evaluation skills, we are conscious of the fact that there really could be activity outside which is bothering him (there are coyotes in the neighbourhood), but what has changed since he came here in 2013? Perhaps he is simply over-reacting as a result of getting older? Hallucinating? Early dementia?
Regardless of the rationale for his behaviour, he is in the right place at this time in his life! We will certainly do whatever we can to make his life as stress free as we can, and if we cannot come up with some solutions soon (and if he makes no progress on his own), then we will have to start consulting the professionals! Sadly, his vet moved to California, but we can work around that detail if necessary!