Monday, 14 June 2010

Whiskers at Dawn........

From the bedroom window.

Hullo ma wee blog,

A paw lands softly on my thigh. I look down from the laptop where I sit blogging away insomnia and am met by two huge luminous green eyes engaged in unblinking human contemplation in return. She is beside my chair here at the kitchen table, illuminated by the glow of the lamp which is the only light in the room. She stands on back legs, holding herself erect with her right paw against the chair seat, leaving the other to deliver a gentle tap to the top of my thigh which is feather soft  yet by its very softness, reminds me that there are claws behind it which can be deployed against tender flesh if needed.  The eyes narrow and a pair of whiskered white cheeks move as they funnel a quiet, soft and manipulative miaow in my direction as she repeats the movement, emphasised by a slight deepening of those same green eyes, an act which only seems to increase their concerned impact.

Jess has arrived. I left her sleeping beside The Lovely G a couple of hours ago when my twisting and turning threatened to wake them.  {experience has taught me that waking either of them in the middle of the night isn't a plan to be described as good.}

I murmur 'good morning' as I reach down and scratch behind her ears. Her head tilts against my palm and fingers with approval, turning and twisting to achieve the desired effect as we exchange greetings, her and I together for a mutually pleasant moment or two before I leave her and turn back to coffee and computer. She sits back down beside me and as I begin to type I wonder if she will head to the utility room a few yards away where I have already filled her bowls with food and fresh clean water.

Engrossed in what I am doing I'm startled when she appears sitting beside my elbow, a place and position she has reached in one with an impressive and silent leap. Not bad for an old lady. She contemplates me anew and surveys the content of my efforts. She's not in the least impressed and purrs a few suggested improvements in my direction, nudging my arm to hint that perhaps I should get started on them right away. As I obey she rubs an approving cheek against my bicep with her eyes fixed on the screen to make sure of typo-free amendments before resting her head on my shoulder as I carry on typing and reviewing, typing and correcting, in my stilted two handed, four/sometimes five/rarely six - fingered typing style. Approval is purred directly into my ear.

Job done she is bored now and stands to step over my right forearm into the circle of me and computer, standing full, obliterating my view and turning, tail raised, to show me proudly how clean her bottom is.

"Aye, very nice Jess! Lovely! Thanks for that."

She turns and repeats the maneuver from the opposite direction as if  to show the effect is the same from any angle before folding herself into a curled position with her back against my chest, stretched out from left to right round the support of my arms. She proceeds to raise a front paw and begin her morning ablutions by fastidiously running her teeth through the fur of her forearm and licking the tug free area back down to run in the right direction. She stops and looks at me for a second, not understanding or caring that this is not the best place she could be doing this - in my humble opinion. "After all," she seems to say,  "what could be better than writing about a cat - and you only ever see what's right under your nose!"

I continue to write, half-heartedly now as I watch her, engrossed in contortions to reach each and every recalcitrant hair, impressed by her methodology and feline thoroughness as she clears tugs and straightens hair, moving on to the next only when catty approval is reached after close inspection. I find myself wondering if she would be equally impressed with my own shower technique.

Probably not.......

I reach for my coffee to find it's cold. Time has moved on and dawn is softly pushing a hint of pale amber through the window at the end of the kitchen. I'm suddenly tired and Jess is looking expectantly at me once again. Even before I move for the light switch she is up and moves to sit at the door to hall and stairs. Her eyes turn to me once more as she steps aside to let me pass. As I take the stairs to the bedroom she is two steps behind. Somehow I know how a sheep feels being herded expertly towards its pen by a collie dog.

I know my place.

By the time I have shed my clothes and climbed quietly into bed beside my Lovely G,  Jess is already there, curled in a ball and apparently just as deeply asleep as when I left them a few hours ago.

Bloomin' cat!

You WILL obey me........

See you later.

Listening to;


lom said...

I love the way you write, I was in the room with you

Morning's Minion said...

That is a beautifully written essay, coming, I think, from complete and sympathtic observation. Anyone who has shared their space with cats recognizes the interaction.
One cannot ignore a cat.

Big Swifty said...

Glad to read about your nocturnal companionship, even if it's clear who's in charge (the four legged one!) However, I'm sorry that your insomnia is back, after a good spell when you were away.

Unknown said...

Al, once again truly wonderful writing. I always seem to find myself grinning at the end of one of your posts like this one.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a few minutes of bliss. That is why we keep cats in the house whenever they allow it.
I am grinning once again.
Thanks, I needed that,

Alistair said...

Thank you everyone.

That one just flowed first time and was a laugh for Jess and I to write together. She can be quite helpful at times. I'd no idea what I was going to blog about until she stuck her oar in and changed the direction of the post altogether.

Bloomin' cat!!!

thanks again........

Alistair said...

9pm and I'm shattered tonight Swifty, so maybe a full nights kip ahead. Here's hoping!!!

Rebecca S. said...

Cats are sooooo sure of themselves, aren't they? Lovely story about your pre-dawn working relationship with Jess.

Giulia said...

I loved sent me the link & I finally had a moment to give it a proper read. Really wonderful & my Julie would no doubt approve. If I could wake her (it's her afternoon sleep session...& she doesn't even need a sleep mask--I do, at any time). You made me laugh, too, so thanks for that. I hear you about the insomnia. I'll leave it at that..

Oops, I'm being patted at by someone who is awake after all & I shall obey, yes.


Alistair said...

Cheers Giulia,

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I thought it might appeal to you having visited your blog.

Come back anytime.......

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