Monday, 17 May 2010

Whiskers in the night............

Hullo ma wee blog,

I switched the lights off and crossed the hall to the stairs. It was late and The Lovely G had departed for bed hours before, followed conscientiously by Jess a few seconds later. Jess paused by the lounge door, yawned in a whisker stretching grimace and looked back as if considering whether to come back to her warm place beside me on the sofa, before turning and dutifully heading after her ladyship, her tail giving a dismissive flick as it disappeared silently from sight, leaving me to solitary TV.

By the time I was ready to follow it was later than late and I wearily went through some perfunctory ablutions in the bathroom before quietly creeping into the dark of the bedroom. As I entered, switching off the light on the upstairs landing as I did so, I could see Jess lying on the bed between The Lovely G and the edge of the bed nearest the door. She sleepily opened one critical eye to check that whoever was disturbing them had authority to do so and, permission granted, I left the door ajar so she could get to the kitchen and food or water or litter tray if needed during the night without disturbing us and padded silently across to the far side of the bed where I gratefully lifted the edge of the duvet to slip underneath.

I stretched comfortably out in the cold of my unoccupied side of the bed, revelling in what is, strange as it undoubtedly seems, to me one of life's little pleasures; cold, fresh sheets. I love to get into a cold bed and look forward to feeling warm within moments. I'm one of those people who seem to have a natural furnace which banishes cold rapidly - a trait that my wife also appreciates deeply and takes advantage of at every possible opportunity, being the complete opposite of me and hating even the thought of a cold bed. I have had to prise her from me, leech like, on countless cold nights to stop her putting me in meltdown mode before I manage to drop off. While I have to be relatively cool to have any chance of falling asleep, in bed she seems to prefer meltdown as a minimum temperature so I like to keep a little space between us when trying to sleep. Truthfully -  some nights I have prayed for a cattle prod to stop her homing in on me. It can be like trying to avoid a thermonuclear heat source sometimes, honestly!

As I lay there in the dark I thought again how lucky I was that she has never tried to persuade me to fit an electric blanket, even in the coldest of winters. To be honest, it's something I couldn't do anyway, and she probably realises that I would quite simply never be able to sleep in that artificially warm environment. {Not that I'd complain - much - of course} I relaxed, comfortable in the moment, enjoying the dark and the cold,  listened to the soft pattering of light raindrops on the velux windows of our bedroom, glad that I had put the garden to some semblance of order in the last couple of dry days. I felt Jess move on the other side of the bed, stretch in that impossibly supine feline way and give her characteristic little gurn of effort as she did so, before feeling her wade across the padded landscape of the duvet, heading in my direction. She stalked none too gently across my legs - it's strange how an animal can be by turns both incredibly delicate and a complete nightmare of a bruiser - and headed up towards my chest causing the duvet that was puddled loosely about me to tighten, marking each step of her progress towards me with an unwanted and restrictive pressure. Not wanting to wake G from her sleep I put out a hand towards Jess to stop her from coming all the way up to my face as was likely, she  firstly stopping suddenly with my movement, then coming forward to nuzzle my hand when she realised that it wasn't trying to swipe her off - what can I say - I'm petty when I'm tired. We exchanged greetings, human hand to furry face, and she sat down at the end of my reach to duck and twist her neck and shoulders to the massage that was on offer, switching on her powerful purr as she did so.

The grudging and somewhat lackadaisical massage continued for a while, encouraged by a gurn and a nuzzle when needed to keep the pace going, from an appreciative Jess who flopped comfortably down against me. It was clear that while I was beginning to fade, she had the benefit of a few hours sleep behind her to get her ready for a good old petting session. Soon my hand was being nuzzled more than it was massaging and Jess was clearly beginning to feel that one of us wasn't keeping their end up. She gave me a disgruntled "meh" and sat up, contemplating what should be the next move in invigorating the near comatose me, pulling the duvet tight across my hip as she did so, which caused me to wriggle sleepily to right the situation. Another gurn from Jess and she again walked in that duvet tensioning way to my face where she none-too-gently pushed a purry, furry head against a tired, uncomfortable and increasingly irritated me. I put my hand up and pushed her back down the bed and held her down with a solid shoulder rub and as she relaxed I too relented and she seemed to settle as I dozed off.

I woke some time later to find her sitting on my hip staring at me. God knows how long - or short - the time had between the last massage and this. Having got the reaction she obviously wanted she gave me a "Meh", stood up and walked heavily up my ribs, purring as she came until she was unceremoniously pushed off. Thwarted but not beaten, she purred louder and came duvet distortingly  back to my face to land a none-too-gentle head butt on me, resulting in a reciprocatingly none-too-gentle "Gerroff" and a shove towards my feet. This was repeated a few more times until a feminine but distinctly grumpy " for goodness sake, what ARE you doing?" came from the other side of the bed.

My whispered "Sorry!" caused The Lovely G to roll over in my direction and murmur a few gentle encouragements to sleep at me as she gave me a slow, gently delicious scratch up my spine from waist to shoulder, which in turn caused me to give a low groan and a shiver of approval. G slid up behind me and softly slipped her arm over my waist as she pressed into me. Jess at the same moment decided that perhaps another snooze was now in order too and also slid heavily down against my chest, pulling the duvet underneath her and took the purr volume button to 11. Behind me The Lovely G began to 'purr' too. Trapped with a cat in front and a burningly hot woman behind I couldn't move with the duvet pulled tight by Jess' weight.

I began to look forward to morning with some eagerness. This sleep malarky isn't everything it's cracked up to be.

Please.........let it be morning soon.

Listening to........The Dawn Chorus - for real!


Calgary Athlete said...

Just seeing whether this works ast comment disappeared into the ether for some unknown reason.

Great post.


Alistair said...

Hullo Mark and welcome to the blog.

As you see this comment has made it. It's my first received from you, so I don't know what could have happened to the last one.

Drop in anytime.


Scottish Nature Boy said...

Yep - cold, fresh sheets - with you on that - under-rated pleasure indeed! A newly-made bed, first night in it, slightly too warm and then finding the untouched cold spot on the sheet... aaaahhhhh!

Alistair said...

You know SNB, almost everyone I have ever said that to has looked at me like I'm a complete nut job, so it's nice to know I'm not alone.

I love it....

Rebecca S. said...

I have a feeling you are going to do just fine in that writing course you mentioned. I really laughed at this post. My husband and I are just like you and your lovely G when it comes to thermal preferances. In winter I have to have a hot bath before bed as I can't seem to get warm enough to fall asleep without it, but my husband loves the cool sheet thing and is used to my cold feet finding a home between his legs to warm up, or being pushed to the edge of the bed by my persistent cuddling for warmth. We don't have a cat, but I used to as a child. I remember having a nightmare that rats were running across my chest and waking up to find my cat, Kiko walking across my chest up to my face for a good ol' nuzzle. Ah, those were the days.

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