September 08, 2013
Gray Cat is a living, breathing, purring, soft as mink sleeping pill
There is no other explanation for what has been going down at bedtime lately here at chez bookofjoe.
Long story short: for the past three weeks the following routine has happened without fail, every single night:
1. I get into bed, lying on my left side.
2. I pull up the cover to midchest, clearing a space right in front of me.
3. I prop my book — "A Naked Singularity" — on its side, leaning against a pillow about 18 inches from my eyes.
4. I extend my left arm at 90° from my body, creating a potential space between the top of the covers and my arm about 10 inches wide.
5. I bend my left elbow 90° toward the head of the bed, exposing the very pale, thin, delicate and tender skin of my inner upper arm to Gray Cat's ministrations which begin like clockwork, as she faces the wall behind the head of my bed and proceeds to walk in place — you call it "kneading" but I prefer my term, selected before I knew kneading was the preferred word —with her front paws, whose needle-sharp claws are so exquisitely sharp, honed during many intense daily scratching sessions on the rope uprights of her climbing jungle Jim to the point that they could easily double as acupuncture needles.
No matter how long these walking in place sessions go on — and they can extend more than a minute — in no case do I ever cut them short no matter how much it hurts — and it hurts a lot.
Why do I let Gray Cat have all the time she wants with her preparations?
Because I love her.
And you take pain from someone or something you love.
That is my definition of love.
You may not approve.
That is your right — but frankly, I really don't care one iota what you think.
And here is where I do believe I have had an epiphany, in taking this measured application of needle-like pain.
But it will have to wait a while while I continue my exegesis of my sleeping routine.
Once Gray Cat has completed her walking in place, she walks in a tight circle in the potential space between my upper arm, my chest, and the top of the covers, sometimes making three or four or five or six so circuits before finally pushing her back right up against my chest and suddenly collapsing into me, her head and front paws nestled in the crook of my left arm.
This is heaven on Earth.
I say to myself, I'll just put my right hand on her rhythmically breathing belly for a little while till she falls asleep, then I'll begin reading.
But it never happens.
Somehow, I just have time to reach up and turn off the reading lamp before I fall asleep, not a page read.
I'm only on page 89 of the 688-page book as a result.
At this rate I'll finish it sometime next year.
And it's not that I don't want to read the book: it's superb.
But I simply cannot withstand the power of Gray Cat's sleeping potion.
And now for the epiphany alluded to above.
I believe that Gray Cat's claws are functioning as acupuncture needles — finding critical meridians and resulting in enkaphalin and endorphin release and putting me to sleep.
I've never heard of anything remotely like that but that's what I believe.
I cannot find a better explanation for this series of events at bedtime.
And perhaps now you understand why I do everything in my power never to spend nights away from my own house unless it is absolutely necessary.
It's not just the nothing-like-home beds and mattresses in even the very best hotels — it's that there's no Gray Cat equivalent.
September 8, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink
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Peachy, you would only be unworthy if you weren't enjoying it.
Fur softness love contact from human = apotheosis of kitty bliss
Posted by: Flautist | Sep 9, 2013 10:30:29 PM
My kitten, black as a moonless night, 4+ months old has fur
so soft that I often wonder if I am worthy of enjoying it.
Posted by: Joe Peach | Sep 9, 2013 9:31:10 PM
Maybe you should test your epiphany/theory by getting a human acupuncturist to come in at your bedtime & work on your underarm with his or her needles until you're conked out.
Personally, I think it's That Touch of Mink.
Posted by: Flautist | Sep 9, 2013 7:51:35 AM
Adding two trivialities:
My dear little sister called the kneading/walking in place: "making kitty bread".
This post is long enough to be named, "Sixty shades of Grey Cat."
Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Sep 9, 2013 1:39:35 AM
awwww, so nice. That story makes me feel blissfully sleepy.
Posted by: tamra | Sep 9, 2013 1:04:08 AM
Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Sep 8, 2013 11:39:01 PM
That is so wonderful and I totally agree! I am a woman of many cats but Karma (my ragdoll who died of heart disease right before his 5th birthday this year) was my companion - a dog in a cat suit - and he slept on top of my head. Like Gray Cat he would knead and fuss and maneuver in the very tiny space between my head and the wall on my pillow. When he finally found the right spot (usually on top of an arm) his head would fall over with a thud and he's be sound asleep.......and in a very few minutes, me too. It was as if the whole universe was manifesting its love for me and the supreme contentment/happiness was bliss for sure. I miss him so much I've had to wall off most of the memories into a little space in my mind so I don't burst into tears....still.
Posted by: pamela gene daley | Sep 8, 2013 11:00:56 PM
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