In an earlier post, I presented a list I compiled of 50 things that make me feel good. In a moment lacking inspiration, with over thirty minutes of my daily writing time still to fill, I needed something to go on—I found a middle school prompt that I initially thought would take mere minutes, but required the rest of my writing time for the day to complete. To expand on this writing project, I began an effort to discuss each of the 50 entries, and this post is a result of that project. Read the list at the original post, here.
Let’s clear the air right away—my cats are bed hogs, on the real. While having a cat sleep on my chest or next to my head at night definitely makes the list of 50 things that make me feel good, it’s not all catnip roses all the time, okay? We’re going to open with some cold, hard, honest facts.
One, Tubbs doesn’t sleep on my chest or next to my head. He sleeps next to my feet and he acts like he’s got PTSD or something (not to make light of people who really suffer, mad respect) because he’ll be sleeping peacefully and purring and whatnot, then—attack the feet. Straight out of nowhere, straight out of Compton, straight out of whatever you want to call it…he’s unpredictable and I’ve got the teeny, tiny foot scars to prove it. None of that “Oh, he’s just a wittle ittle kitty kat having a weally bad dweam and you need to comfort him” stuff, either. The dude would scratch my eyes out if I tried to hug him or stroke him gently.
Two, Sir Floppenstein tries his heart-ist (hardest. get it? get it?) to cuddle with me. In fact, he used to sleep with me in the most adorable kitteh ways imaginable until we went and had a baby. Why doesn’t he sleep with us now that we have a baby, you say? I’ll tell you. My other cat, Cyrus (we’ll get to her soon), is my neediest cat. She loves me the most of all of them, she wants my time the most frequently, and she thinks she should get exactly what she wants when she wants it. When I started giving my attention to the baby, she found she could get uninterrupted time easier at night, in bed. This is why poor Floppy was pretty much booted from the nighttime sleeping scene. Now my bedtime rituals with Floppy include less cuddling on my chest and more of him attempting to jump into bed with me only to immediately get throat-slapped by Cyrus. He jumps up looking swagalicious with his crumpled over ear, gets one glance in my general direction, and is then cut down by Miss Razor-claws the Magnificent (AKA, Cyrus) before he can say meow. Trust me, when this cat gets cut down in the middle of the night, everyone hears it.
Three, Sylvia rarely sleeps with me at all. In fact, if I see Sylvia at night, it’s not usually nuzzled sweetly next to my head or snoring contentedly on my chest. No, generally she is zooming over my abdomen at 88 miles per hour after hearing (or maybe not hearing, I swear the cat is on LSD half the time) a random noise that set her off. Before I have time to recover from the shock of being stomach-scalped in the dead of night—be still, my beating heart—she’s flown by so fast she’s traveled back in time where she’s chilling with Doc Brown in a 50’s diner somewhere. Great Scott.
Four brings us to the only real example of why when a cat sleeps on my chest or next to my head, it’s a good thing worthy of my 50 things that make me feel good list. Cyrus was always my “cat.” Every cat lover, even cat lovers with multiple cats, knows that there is that “one” cat we have a special connection with over the rest. Cue Cyrus. She’s terrible, mean, rotten, annoying, crazy, and secretly plotting the death of my wife and infant daughter, along with all of our other animals, but she’s mine. #TrueLove. Seriously, I had to buy a guide to protect my family from her murderous plans. The truth—she’s adorable at night. Sometimes she sleeps on my legs, but most of her time is spent curled next to my head purring softly, or sleeping on top of my chest kneading affectionately. It keeps me calm, makes me smile, and helps me sleep. In fact, we may have to continue having kids so that when one of them turns 33 and finally moves out, there will still be another kid in the nest to keep Cyrus interested in sleeping with me at night.
Right, so sleeping with cats isn’t all some kind of wonderful. Half the time it’s a struggle to get any sleep amid the chaos. One minute you’re dead asleep, the next minute a cat has dive bombed off the tallest shelf of the bookcase onto your bladder. While sleeping with the felines of this world can be pretty boss most of the time, there are plenty of times you find yourself convincing your wife not to sleep on the couch. Nonetheless, this is why sleeping with a cat next to my head or on my chest makes my list of 50 things that make me feel good.