Nigel thinks it's very funny to get us up before dawn on Sunday mornings.

This is a plea for help from any cat whisperers out there.

How can we stop our orange cat, Nigel – the one of our feline trio with way too much brain and far too little to do – to stop plucking the carpet to get us to do his bidding?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how Nigel was getting us up in the middle of the night to feed him. Steve or I would add a fresh scoop of cat food to the mound that was already in his dish, and usually after a few bites he would jump back on the bed and settle down to get cozy again – at least for a few hours before repeating the process.

However, for the last couple of nights, he’ll follow us out to the kitchen, maybe eat a few bites and then be back in the bedroom. The warmer weather means that he doesn’t care about getting back on the bed. Nigel has decided it’s time for the household to get up and so at 4:45 a.m. on a Sunday morning, we hear that distinctive thwap, thwap sound as his claws make contact with the carpet backing.

We tried putting his favorite kind of cardboard cat scratcher in the bedroom. But he has figured out that using his claws on the carpet gets results while using the cat scratcher doesn’t.

We tried squirting him with a spray bottle. By the third night, he was thoroughly accustomed to it and sauntered leisurely past us while we’re madly spritzing him with water.

Let me note here, that we are getting ready to put our house on the market so although our carpet already has 17 years of wear from three kids, three cats and a dog, another threadbare patch isn’t going to help our short sale measure up.

It’s pretty bad when you start thinking that you have to go to bed early to make sure you’ll get enough sleep in case Nigel insists one of us gets up to enjoy the sunrise with him.

We can’t be the only people who have a rocket surgeon cat. So I’m looking for suggestions – besides opening the front door and letting him find his own nightlife outside. He may be smart, but he’s not street smart. His spongy pink pads have never touched anything rougher than tile.  Help!