Sometime between eight-thirty and nine Thursday night I burrowed under the flannel sheets and red comforter and turned out the light. Maybe a minute later, Jax whomped on top of me and curled himself into a tidy ball on half of my rib cage.
Now that it’s gotten cold, the cats have gotten friendlier. During the summer they stay as far away as possible from a warm body like me, preferring to snooze flat on their backs in any place with a good breeze. Over the past week, however, on the trail of the Polar vortex pushing wintery temps way down South, the cats have morphed into heat seeking missiles.
If I get up from my work chair to heat another cup of tea, I can bet that I’ll return to find a ball of fur gloating over having stolen the hot spot. When I curl up on the couch to watch television, Jax will invite himself onto my fleece blanketed lap. If I work at the table upstairs in the blue room, Jax will squish himself behind me and then push, push me to the edge of the chair. When I work at the dining room table, Jax will stare at me and emit a long string of little meows complaining that I’m taking too long with remembering to pile a fleece blanket onto the tabletop so he can make a nest in it.
Sophie is more reserved. Being a Maine Coon, Sophie does not sit on anyone’s lap. The only time she’s parked herself on my sleeping body was when I had surgery. I woke to find her face in mine and her four paws tucked under her body which was laying lengthwise on my chest. Other than when I am sick, she prefers to sleep beside my pillow or at my feet. During the day, she keeps a close distance from the back of the sofa or the armrest of the chair, or underneath my chair.
Such was the case Thursday night. Jax fell asleep on me and Sophie fell asleep across the room on the laundry hamper. Everyone soundly slept until Sophie decided it was time to Get Up and Play…at the ungodly hour of 3:30. She started with little trills in her throat, not really meows because she didn’t open her mouth. They’re quite melodious and I admire them when it is daytime or early evening. At three-thirty in the morning, nothing sounds melodious except for the sound of my own breathing in my sleep.
The trills didn’t get me up, so she moved on to the cord of the lamp on the other side of the bed. She jiggled the cord where it plugs into the wall. This mades the outlet cover jiggle along with the cord itself and it usually will rouse me as pleasant dreams burst into flames from fear that Sophie will electrocute herself. I don’t know how she determined this would be a good way to wake me but I have to admire the ingenuity. Nothing like threatening to blow yourself up to get your mama’s attention.
This morning, however, I wasn’t falling for that trick. “She hasn’t caught fire yet,” my sleep-soaked brain reasoned. “I’m not getting up,” I mumbled to Sophie. “Go to sleep. We are not playing or catching fire this early in the morning!”
Jax stretched beside me, agreeing that it was way too early and too cold to get up. He wedged himself more firmly beside me, yawned, and resumed his snooze.
This must not have been what Sophie wanted. She lulled us into a false sense of security with her silence and then, WHAM! A twelve very solid pound cat-bomb exploded on Jax and me. Jax shot a paw sideways and smacked Sophie, who returned the volley before jumping off the bed. Jax followed her, hitting the floor with a fourteen pound thud. There they wrestled roughly, shrieking and hissing, running and then tumbling, all of which sounds LOUD on a hard, carpet-free floor.
I gave up the ghost of slumber past. It was time to get up and let them outside, which they seemed to like in theory; however, once I opened the front door and the blast of freezing air hit their faces, they turned tail and ran back to the dining room. So much for letting them out and going back to bed.
They wanted food so I gave them food, gluten free and warmed in the microwave, of course. The cats’ fondness for licking my hand or getting in my face is one of the reasons why they eat gluten free like me. Cross-contamination by cat is no fun. I don’t want warming cat food with wheat germ oil in it to spill into the microwave and contaminate my food, nor do I want to pour some dry food with barley malt all over the counter. Barley malt is a popular ingredient in cat treats and cat food, especially those formulated for hairball reduction or treatment. Yes, those hairballs are more than icky, they can be downright sickening.
Jax went outside after eating, but Sophie took five trips to the front door, each time sniffing the ungodly hour pre-dawn air and then turning around and running back into the dining room and under the chair skirt. My job was to roll one of her toy balls at the chair skirt so she could shoot a paw out from under the chair skirt and nab the ball.
Forty-five minutes of feline frenzy at o’dark thirty, and THEN Sophie finally decided to go outside.
I closed the door and thought about going back to bed, but it was not to be. That sneaking suspicion I had been glutened yesterday was confirmed. Oww. I always forget how bad the gut pain is until it rips through my innards again.
After an hour of misery I checked outside and found both Sophie and Jax crowding the door. They tripped over each other in their haste to get inside. They completed the obligatory food bowl revisits and meowed for more gluten free gourmet Wellness Skipjack Tuna. I gave them the rest of the can.
After the nosh and a lot of paw and face washing, they decided it really was too early–and too cold–to be up. So, at 7 am we all went back to bed. Jax picked his spot first, which left not much room for me. I wedged myself into a space beside Jax and Sophie perched herself on the foot of the bed. We then all snuggled down to catch a few more warm and fuzzy zzzs, catnapping until a more Godly hour wound around the face of the clock.