When bedtime comes around, everyone has their own routine. Some make sure all the doors and windows are locked, some take a shower, others make a cup of chamomile tea, while others still read a few pages of a book to calm down. Me, I count my cats before turning in.
Most of the time, finding them is no trouble at all. Charlotte usually sleeps curled up on an old duvet in the walk-in closet, Holly sits in her basket, while Halley and Greyson are already on my bed. As such, getting into bed requires some acrobatics on my part. With a cat here and a cat there, getting a space to lie down takes a certain amount a sliding, twisting and turning to get under the duvet.
While some cats get up at the slightest movement, Halley and Greyson are like rocks, they don’t move an inch. I can push them, gently shove them, put a foot under them, and try to lift them, it all makes no difference whatsoever.
As soon as I turn off the light there’s movement though. Holly comes and drapes herself on my chest. Not only is this a considerable weight, but it’s also quite warm. Welcome in winter, but not so much in spring and summer. Meanwhile, Charlotte joins the gang and likes to position herself on my head. Another source of heat.
Smart as they are, they know my routine though. As long as I’m on my back they can expect to be petted, but once I turn on my side, I want to go to sleep. So, they move. Now there’s another problem though … purring and snoring.
Holly likes to share my pillow, which is fine, but with her happy noises, it sounds like there’s a helicopter hovering near my head. As for Halley … it’s amazing how such a small nose can produce such snoring effects reaching several decibels. As for Greyson, he likes to give kisses. Kisses on my cheeks, kisses on my forehead, and kisses on my ears. These kisses are accompanied by purring.
While a cats’ purring can be quite soothing if the cat is at a distance, when his nose is stuck in your ear … well, you can forget about sleeping. It gets to the point where I have to say ‘Come on Greyson, that enough’ or ‘Greyson, time to go to sleep. Yes, I know you love me, I love you too.’ When I push him away, he gets the message and curls up to sleep.
In the morning things are quite different.
Charlotte and Holly are late sleepers, but Halley and Greyson rise with the sun. They seem of the opinion … when we’re up everybody should be up. As such, Halley starts meowing, only she doesn’t meow like a normal cat, she pronounces meow as mayo, as in mayonnaise. When I try to shush her, she adds a few decibels. Not that I have any intention of getting up at whatever time she starts her nonsense.
Greyson never asks for food, he knows he’ll get his breakfast once I’m showered and dressed. Until then he plays with his favorite toy, a plastic spring. Unfortunately, we have hardwood flooring and when he chases the spring it makes a noise. It’s like an army of mice running around.
When he gets tired, or bored of the game, he jumps on the windowsill and watches the cars go by or listens to the birds. Unfortunately, he does more than just listening, after a while he starts talking to the birds. Cats owners will know exactly what I mean. Cats can make a sort of chattering sound when they talk, making it sound like … ney ney ney.
With all this going on, I eventually give up and get up. Once in the bathroom, I’m immediately joined by Holly, and a short while later by Halley and Greyson. While I’m in the shower, Holly sits on the toilet, Greyson prefers the floor, while Halley likes to drape herself on the bathmat.
For me, that’s a problem because Halley is a big cat and when stretched out takes up the whole mat. Where am I supposed to put my feet when I come out of the shower? I rather don’t step on the floor for fear of slipping, so I gently nudge her to get up. Sometimes she does, sometimes she seems to think ‘I was here first, deal with it.’
So I deal with it. I put my feet in what little space I can find and start to dry off. Unfortunately, while bending over, my wet hair drips on Halley’s fur which she doesn’t like one little bit. When water droplets fall on her head and back, she turns to me with a ‘Hey, watch it!’
Is it any wonder that I’m glad to have four cats and not four Labradors …