Technically the cats belong to my daughter. But don’t tell the cats. As far as they are concerned if they like the way we treat them, they might bless us with their presence.
For years before going to bed, my daughter would find the female cat, Kramer, and drag her off to bed with her like a blankey.
She fell asleep stroking the cat’s soft paws and nose. The cat loved it. Before snuggling down for the night, the cat reciprocated by washing my daughter’s arms and hands with her rough pink tongue.
Through the years Kramer picked up that my daughter’s bedtime was shortly after 10. However, during the last couple years of high school, the clock often neared 11 before my daughter was ready for bed. Kramer began finding my daughter wherever she was studying, watching TV … or doing her nails. She would walk around my teenager, rubbing against her legs, pushing her towards the bed. Kramer did a better job of getting my daughter to bed than I did.
Cat and girl had a great relationship, until my daughter’s senior year. One night as the cat began the nightly bathing ritual, my daughter realized she did not want a cat bath. She shoved Kramer off her bed. The cat found another place to sleep that night.
The next night the cat escorted the daughter to the bedroom, jumped up on the bed and began setting in for the night only to once again be shoved away by a teenager who refused to be mothered by a cat. The cat got the message and stayed away, allowing her teenager the space demanded.
A few days later, after a stressful day, the teenager came dragging in late one night. She searched the house for her cat blankey, scooped up Kramer as she always had, flopped into bed and prepared to snuggle down for the night. Kramer wiggled out from the arms encircling her, leaped off the bed and stalked away.
It was the beginning of the transition to my daughter’s going away to college. I thought Kramer would be lonely and search me out at bedtime a she had the summer my daughter went on a mission trip. Kramer has managed just fine. She laid claim to a couple corners in the house and ignores me except when she needs food.
Oddly, it has been Kramer’s son, Gorby, who had joined us in bed since my daughter went off to college. He chooses the warmest part of the bed: Any space between my husband and myself. We can shove him off all we want, he leaps back up and curls up somewhere else.
Gorby was not content to be the cat in my bed. He to be the cat in my tub. The other morning I was still in the tub when he and Kramer came rushing into the bathroom when I pulled the plug. The cats like to watch the water swirl down the drain.
Kramer discretely peered over the side, but that day Gorby leaped into the water in front of me, intent on capturing the elusive swirl of water over the drain. Every time he swatted and hit the water spout, it disappeared, teasing him by reappearing a second later.
He stayed until the tub was drained, too absorbed to notice when I left. As I said, if we treat the cats right, they may deign to bless us with their presence and then again they may not.