Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sleeping With Cats

Fall is truly here now. Days are pleasantly mild, some nights are getting downright chilly. My basic daily attire has switched from tank tops and shorts to sweat jackets and "where the heck did I pack my jeans away last May anyway?"

And the cats have started wanting to sleep on the bed again. I can judge how cold it is outside by how many of our eight cats try to sleep with me at once.

Last night, there were only two, and they only stayed part of the night before heading off to prowl outside again. Later in the winter, when it's truly cold outside, there'll be mornings when I wake up with five of them piled all around me.

They all have different personalities on the bed. My oldest cat, Eoghan, prefers to sleep on the upper corner of the bed, next to my pillow. Sterling likes to pounce on any toes that wiggle under the blankets. Echo, if you let her, would literally drape herself across your face to sleep, that's how close she wants to be.

The funniest cat of all is Aspen, our long haired calico. She is very dainty and polite, but she really, REALLY likes a warm place to sleep. On cold nights, she'll climb up on the bed and walk around, trying to get me to open up the covers so she can crawl under the blankets with me. If I happen to be asleep and don't get her hint immediately, she climbs up by my head, grabs a mouthful of my hair in her teeth, and pulls on it---hard!---until I wake up and let her in where she wants to be.

Many years ago when we lived in Illinois, we had another cat, an orange Maine Coon named Aesun, who was a wonderful pet, but kind of high strung. He liked to lie on the bed with us, but he would never relax enough to actually sleep there.

Except one night, he must have accidentally dozed off at the foot of the bed, because sometime in the middle of the night, I twitched my foot a little bit and it bumped into Aesun. Startled awake, and clearly thinking he was under attack, he fled the rooms so fast, I think his paws barely touched the floor.

Ken and I woke to hear him crash into a bedpost, hit the bedroom door, and ricochet---twice---off the walls of the hallway before coming to a halt in the living room. A single thought filled both of our surprised, drowsy minds:

"Oh no. The cat's exploded!"


Meggie said...

Gee Nancy, I didn't know you had EIGHT cats! I have five and I thought that was alot. I cannot allow any of them to sleep with me...I would get no sleep whatsoever. They pounce and purr all night long....

Nancy Chase said...

Yes, I confess, we are cat people. Last year, we indulged our "kitten addiction" and adopted several kittens from shelters. I like to call them my "bouquet of cats" because they are so many different colors.

You can see all our kitties and our 3 dogs here:

I know what you mean about the getting no sleep part. Some of mine are very polite and quiet on the bed, and others are pests.

Most of them learn pretty quickly that quiet cats get to stay on the bed and cats who make a nuisance of themselves get pushed onto the floor and have pillows lobbed in their general direction!