Thursday, August 12, 2010

In Which R is Sick...Or How I Learned My Cats Aren't Cuddly

I don't have too much of a history with cats. We had one when I was a kid. I remember my brother, sister, and I finding a stray as it wandered into our backyard. We wanted to keep it badly, so we wrote some ridiculous song and sang it to my parents, convincing them about how much fun having a cat would be! what we could name it! how creative we were to boot! I don't know how Mom and Dad sat there and listened without falling onto the floor and rolling about in cramp-inducing laughter. I think that's what parenting must be about, really-not laughing at your kids for being ridiculous. Needless to say, they took pity on our attempts at melodic greatness, and let us keep the cat. We named it Doodles. Doodles...well, I don't remember much about her. She eventually lived in the basement (which was part of the house and didn't have to be entered from the outside, lest someone think us cruel), until she decided to pee on everything in sight. So she "Went to a farm," which I found out only 2 years ago meant she had to be put down. Why my parents felt they had to resort to a "code" about this I have no idea. They evade the question when I ask it.

Then we got dogs. Or rather, my brother and sister got a dog (and eventually my mom, and my nephew). I, unfortunately, never got a dog, though I hold out hopes of one day fulfilling this dream. Our oldest dog was Peachie (rest her soul, she had to be put down last September). She was a canine trash compacter-her favorite food was turnip peels, and she also ate chocolate chip cookies and a whole tube of neosporin. The only thing that almost killed her-as a puppy, no less-was some sample dog food. Go figure.

Peachie had an amazing knack for taking up room on the bed. When my brother, N, would have to be out of town or at a friend's house or whatever, she'd sleep with me because my room was right next to his and her whining kept me up all night. She'd proceed to get in my bed, position herself between my body and the wall, and stick her legs straight out, thereby reducing the space on my twin bed for me to about 6 inches. And she smelled. But she was a nice dog.

What I'm trying to get at is that Peachie was cuddly, as much as a beagle-mutt who smells bad and eventually had bad joints could be. Doodles I never got the chance to find out. And our other dogs (until the recent SkippyJon addition-a chihuahua who I'm convinced is secretly a parrot who sits on our shoulders because we're all pirates though we don't know it yet) are too big to snuggle. Lesson-dogs kind of cuddly. Cats, until this point, I had no clue, though I did house-sit one summer and that cat spent every night attacking my feet, until I figured out a way to fling the sheets and send said cat flying. It was pretty righteous.

Which brings me to Gizmo and Leela. Giz used to be incredibly cuddly, but he's not so much anymore. He does enjoy being picked up and held on his back, getting his belly rubbed, but he's not the biggest fan of sitting in my lap (though R is his BFF so he'll sit there every now and then). Leela, on the other hand, is a maniac for sitting on my lap or laying on my stomach and kneading my chest and generally getting in the way of whatever it is I'm trying to do, which is usually read a book for school. I'd call her decently cuddly, on her own terms.

Which brings me, in a rather round about way, to last night. R is sick with who knows what (fever and aching and fatigue). He was going to sleep in our spare room, but I was gallant and told him the sick person should get to sleep in our own bed. I actually do believe this, and when I'm sick he can sleep in the other room, although this is the first time in our life we've had to do this. Anyway I'm sleeping in the spare room and I think, "Hey, the cats aren't allowed in our room, but why not let them sleep in the spare room with me? the sheets will get washed, so no cat hair issues!" I thought "this will be fun! awesome! adorable!" not to mention they would provide some heat as well as white noise with their oh so peaceful purring. This is what I had in mind, or some variation on this (and I'm too lazy to rotate the pic, so deal):

These are my actual kittens on the day we brought them home. Gizmo takes up that entire bed now, by the way, when he chooses to sleep in it. Which is never. He prefers the weight bench.

The night started OK. The cats were intrigued by these things called "sheets" and "blankets." Luckily they didn't give a damn about the pillow, lest I have to go spritzing them. I read for a while, and turned off the light. They walked around a bit but then left the room and generally ignored me. Gizmo came in a few hours later and laid down on part of the bed, but there was no cute cuddling action going on. There was nothing going on, really.

Until 4:30 AM.

I should say that I have no idea where my cats sleep at night. Whenever I get up for my inevitable middle of the night pee, Gizmo might be sleeping on the bathroom floor, but usually neither cat is anywhere to be found. But it's always quiet. We get up on weekdays around 6:30ish, so that's when they eat. And they sometimes stir before that, but we've never been woken up by the cats before 5 something, I'd say.

Until this morning. At 4:30 AM.

My cats became this:

Only with the curtains. And really only Leela (who's a black cat). But I thought this picture captured the mood (the picture itself, if you click on it, will take you to the site where I got it. See? Not plagiarizing is awesome!)

Leela thought this would be the most awesomest time to attack the curtain above my head. Not the other curtains in the house. That particular one. And did she ever show that curtain who was boss (imagine said gun pointed at a curtain).

So then I had to show her who was boss, and I kicked them both out of my guest room (figuratively) and went back to sleep.

Lesson: Hilary's cats do not equal cuddly sleeping at night cats, but are rather curtain attack cats after 4 AM. Especially Leela. Gizmo just orders the hit.

1 comment:

Mom said...

These pix are adorable. Thanks for being honest about their origins - I'm so proud :)