Well, it’s Autumn and the weather is finally cooling down, it’s pitch-black outside at 5pm again and it’s time to throw an extra blanket on the bed.
This is also the time of year when my three cats suddenly find me to be of use to them once again.
Despite their luscious fur coats that insulate them against the cold in every possible way better than my three layers of clothing, they still want more warmth.
That is where I come in. The colder it gets, the more vigilant they become about watching my every move, ever ready to insinuate themselves into my personal space as soon as I sit down.
My little female, Scully, is a somewhat reclusive little soul (kinda like her Mother) and usually disappears to some mysterious nestling place under the bed during the day.
But the *guys*, Jack and Mulder, are the ones who pretend that they are like helpless little kittens who are going to simply *die* from the cold.
Cats are often sneaky and subtle as they scheme and hatch their plans to provide for their own comfort. Thus, when I return home from an outing, the watchfulness begins. They know my routines and the order in which I do things, and thus are aware that it will only be a matter of time until the lap magically appears.
And when it does, let the games begin.
I guess it’s a “guy thing” but immediately the competitve jockeying for position begins. Mulder grabs my lap and curls up. Jack stares at the situation, trying to determine where he’ll fit into the limited space.
There is circling and pushing and a few meowy squawks of annoyance. Mulder, being considerably younger, is the least likely to give up his ground (or lap-claim). So Jack invariably winds up either stretched out along the calves of my legs or scrunched-up against my chest.
Now, I am not complaining about this arrangement since the Occupation serves to keep me warmer also and is much cheaper than turning up the thermostat.
Mostly the problems arise due to the cat’s perception of time and to the feline’s ability to be a “weightshifter.”
As far as poundage goes, soundly-sleeping cats tend to weigh twice as much as they do when they are awake. They are basically Dead Weight. Thus, my two 15-pound boys can start to feel like a 60-pound weight on my nearly-paralyzed limbs and body.
And as for time, they conveniently ignore my need to do other things beside provide a comfort zone for them. Getting up to eat or go out or retrieve an object from another part of the room becomes a struggle of sheer will versus absolute slothfulness. And God forbid that I should have to pee ….
And of course, the rules of time and need are there for them to bend and break as it suits them. Of a sudden, a cat will decide, however a cat makes such decisions in his mysterious brain, that he really *must* have a sip of water or eat a kibble NOW, thereby resulting in an urgent need to struggle to an upright position and jump off, using my body as a springboard.
And then, five minutes later, the jockeying, circling, pushing and meowing begins again.
At night when it’s bedtime, the ghostly Scully reappears, and as soon as I am under the covers, my legs are surrounded and pinned down by 90 pounds of cat.
And so it goes. Sometimes, here in California, the clearest indication that the seasons are changing comes from the heat-seeking activities of my cats. The Autumn and Winter Occupation serves the four of us very well. It’s all good.
© November 2011 by Phyllis J. Hanniver