Okay, in order to tell you this story, I have to give you a little background. That’s because the story concerns our cat and I’ve never really told you about our cat before. I say “our” cat but the cat is really the responsibility of She Who Must Be Obeyed. Yes, me, a dog person, married She, a cat person. The cat is a Siberian, and it likes to snuggle with my wife when she sleeps. Since my wife and I have different sleep schedules and the cat doesn’t like me, that works out for all three of us. She went with Siberian because I have pet allergies and Siberians are as close to being hypoallergenic as a cat can get. So right up front, you know She’s trying to work with me here.
Fortunately for me, Siberians tend to bond with whoever spends time with them, and since I don’t spend any time around the cat, it ignores me. The cat (whom I call Kat because what difference does it make what you call a cat?) does get a lot of fun out of Dawg, however. Because not all Bouviers are “other” pet friendly, when She brought Kat home, I put up some shelves around the living room for the cat to use, just in case.
Kat mostly lives upstairs and the stairway is blocked so that Dawg can’t get up there and eat all the yummy treats that live in Kat’s litter box (don’t ask!). But she likes to come downstairs when she gets bored. So I put over-lapping shelves running up the wall from the stairs to the top of one set of kitchen cabinets. More shelves run from the other set of cabinets to the picture window where Kat likes to lay in the sun and watch the world go by. The cabinets are connected by a plank I set up there to act as a kitty-bridge.
It turns out all that wasn’t necessary because Kat spends at least as much time on the floor exploring the house as she does using the wall-stairs. But mostly she likes to lay on top of the kitchen cabinets, looking for all the world like a Queen surveying her lowly subjects, and watch me and Dawg sleep in front of the TV. The whole time Kat is, of course, out of reach of Dawg, who’s not interested in eating her, but wishes she’d let him herd her every once and a while. After all, Bouviers are a herding breed.
So, being a cat with a kind heart, she’ll wait until it looks like Dawg’s asleep, then she’ll come down to the floor and run by him, making certain to tickle his nose with her tail. He’ll wake up and jump at her as if to start herding, and she zips up the stairs, laughing all the way.
Occasionally Dawg will get Kat cornered in my room or behind the easy chairs, but there’s never an issue. When Kat finds herself trapped, she just turns around, sits down, and stares at Dawg, who then suddenly discovers that he has urgent business elsewhere. Come to think of it, we used to have a bird as well. Kat really, really wanted to eat him, but the one time she tried, the bird almost bit off her nose, so that never really became an issue either.
So that’s life in our house with the dog and the cat. The cat ignores me, and, although she likes to prowl around the downstairs bedroom where I take my naps, she scoots right out if either Dawg or I enter the room. And she never, ever lays on my bed. Thinking back, I can remember every time Kat’s even let me touch her. There were three. Each time was when I’d been taking care of feeding her and emptying her litter box while She was in Wisconsin for a week visiting family. And when I say touch, I mean touch. Actually, I held my hand still and she moved her body to touch my fingers — then she ran upstairs to her safe place each time.
Okay, NOW I can tell you the story.
Dawg and I were napping in my bed, waiting for Her to come home from work. At one point I turned slightly. That’s usually a sign for Dawg to leave the room, since he hates to have his naps disturbed by me jostling the bed. However, this time, he continued to snore, lost in puppy dreams. Something, however, decided it was time to leave. I felt four paws with claws run from my shoulder, down my back and then I felt the critter hop off the bed. It was about the size of a small raccoon. (How do I know that? Well, a friend of mine had a pet raccoon when he was a child, but that’s another story.) As you can imagine, that jolted me completely awake. I looked around…Dawg was sleeping steadily. There was nothing else in the room.
After a little reflection I realized what had happened. Kat, apparently missing her usual bed warmer (my wife), had come into my room to explore. Finding the pair of us asleep, she nestled down in my bed, on my pillows, between me and Dawg — where she apparently fell asleep also. My movement startled Kat awake. Finding herself in a dangerously non-Queenly situation, she ran from the room via the most direct path possible (down my back), hoping to escape before anyone knew she was there.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Because it’s either that, or we now have a raccoon living in the walls. And frankly, I can do without the thought of little, furry hands reaching into my mouth when I snooze. They do that, you know. Well, my friend’s raccoon did it to his little sister all the time. Really. And I can do without that thought altogether, assuming I ever am actually able to fall asleep again…