Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sleeping in a Heap

In the pet section of yesterday's Chronicle there was a small piece on a very expensive pet bed, one with a heating pad, so that Puff or Fido could have a comfortable place to sleep that wasn't the family bed. But our cats, Emma and Dashiell, would take one look at it, turn up their kitty noses, and head back to our bed. Yes, we all sleep in a heap, particularly in winter. And because this winter has been especially cold, the cats have joined us every night.

The cats believe that they are accommodating our needs by allowing us to sleep on their bed. After all, we're forced to scoot into bed around them. Should Emma choose to sleep at the foot of the bed on my side, I have to sleep diagonally, with my feet in J's territory. And if Dash wants to sleep between us, we use our best contortionist skills to allow him his chosen position. I do draw the line, though, at allowing Emma to sleep on my pillow.

I suppose I shouldn't expect the cats to sleep through the night since I don't. But I don't walk back and forth across the pillows, licking the faces of the beings thereon. I also do not engage in nighttime races across the bedroom, over the bed and back again. Nor do I challenge my bedmates to wrestling matches at 3:00 A.M. I remove myself from the bed carefully, so as not to disturb any of the other occupants and pad quietly to the living room. But this means that when I return to bed, I have to locate the other occupants to determine the contortions necessary to insert myself into the available space. Sometimes I'm amazed that I am so flexible.

Within a couple of months, though, Emma and Dash will decide that it's too warm and remove themselves from the bed. In the summer, when not sleeping on the living room chairs, they often sleep next to the open sliding glass doors to catch the evening breeze and keep an eye out for marauding cats who may be in THEIR YARD. (Emma, in particular, seems to take umbrage at the neighborhood cats who sometimes traverse the yard on their nighttime romps.)

When they relocate for the warmer months, we will miss them. I think.

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