Joan: Agney, my 8-year-old female cat, finds a great
place to sleep ó pet bed, closet, blanket ó and
sleeps there for two to six months, then finds a new
spot and never returns to the old.
deserted spots arenít soiled. Why, besides because
sheís a cat, does she do that?
Anne: While some cat behaviors defy explanation, this
one has a few.
sleeping locations is a catís natural instinct, and
reminds us that cats might be domesticated, but they are
just one catnip-stuffed mouse away from being wild.
cats developed the practice of changing up their
sleeping locations for their own protection. Catsí
sleeping spots soon acquire their scent, allowing
predators to track them to their lairs. So they moved
around a lot.
house cat has retained that trait, even though most
homes donít have predators stalking our felines. Your
cat is just doing what comes naturally.
will change their preferred sleeping spot depending on
the temperature. In the winter, when itís colder, they
like a warm, cozy spot. In the heat of the summer, they
might pick the bathroom sink as their primary place or
favorite napping spot.
doesnít sound like the case with your cat, but pain
can cause more frequent or constant switches in sleeping
places. Cats employ vertical thinking. If they sleep in
this corner and they have pain, they blame the bed and
try another spot. This behavior is more common in older
cats that have arthritis.
multiple cat homes, hierarchy influences where a cat
sleeps. The dominant cat will choose its sleeping spot
and any other cats have to defer.
Joan: Please help me identify this bug! Nobody at the
pool stores I have contacted have been able to help me
figure it out.
I have an
above ground-pool and I get tons of these small black
insects diving in my pool and stinging me. I assume it
is some sort of a bee, I just donít know how to get
rid of them. Why are they only attacking me in the pool?
Gina: I checked with my favorite insect identifier,
Steve Schutz, scientific programs manager for the Contra
Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District, and he
believes your unwelcome pest is a sweat bee.
generally donít sting you, he says, unless you swat at
them or press them against your skin, however they
sometimes nip people ó a bite that feels like a pinch.
bees are attracted to the salt in our sweat, and Iím
guessing that while youíre in your pool, the
combination of the heat and the water is causing you to
become a sweat bee magnet.
definitely be annoying, but the sweat bees are
beneficial insects that pollinate a lot of native
plants. Itís possible they are being attracted by
flowers in the yard, or there could be nests in the soil
dryer sheets inside pots and setting them around the
pool purportedly helps deter bees. You also can provide
an alternate source of water for them ó away from the
pool and you.