I woke this morning to the sound of the wind blowing against the side of the house, rattling the screen just enough so that I was able to identify the sound, reminding me that it is once again time to pull down all of the screens and store them in the shed, and put up the storm windows that will add a layer of glass and air between the inside and the outside. There was a chill in the room... I was going to need to turn the heat on.
That was the thought floating in my head when I realized from the number of warm lumps pressed against me that, at some time in the night, my dog Calvin and our three cats, Pixel, Midnight, and Lightning, had joined me on the bed.
They were each curled up in their own special way, reluctant to be disturbed in their warm furry sleepy goodness. Commander Calvin had burrowed under the covers and had assumed his "I am a doughnut!" shape pressed against the backs of my knees, while Pixel (a 19 year old American Shorthair cat) had somehow managed to position himself between my pillow and shoulder, partially covered by a fold of the down comforter.
The two sisters, Midnight and Lightning, occupied the end of the bed by my feet, and were curled up together for shared warmth -- an unusual position for them as they are more cat-like in their aloof haughty ways. They must have really been cold to share the same few cubic feet with Commander Calvin willingly...
Clearly sensing that I was now awake, Calvin emerged from under the covers, the still-sealed package of Jack Links Premium Cut Teriyaki Beef Jerky chunks in his mouth. After he negotiated the cat pile he made his way to my pillow and dropped the package in my chest, clearly saying: "Oh good, you are awake now. Would you mind terribly opening this package? There are treats inside and I want them."
At this point Pixel noticed the package too -- though the jerky really is treats for Calvin, our dean of all things Cat is not above having a taste or two when he can, and this morning he decided that was a good idea. As I struggled with the package, which was wet and slippery from someones drooling on it all night -- it was with the insistent thwap-thwap-thwap of a tail smacking me on the arm, and a dachshund nose pushing my fingers this way and that, you know, to "help" me in getting it open.
Pixel stretched in this amazing transformation move that somehow makes him twice as long as he normally is, paws stretched in every direction, big yawn, blink, yawn, blink, then an inquisitive "Bleeerrtt?" which roughly translated means "Why is this taking so long?!"
I get the package open and give them each a piece of jerky, and they happily munch, the distinctive aroma of the teriyaki making me think about a Burrito Supreme from Taco Bell, but as we do not have a Taco Bell conveniently nearby it will have to remain simply thought. The girls are ignoring us -- they do not want jerky, they want my wife to wake up, and until that happens they are content to stay right where they are, curled into a warm pile of cat.
Suddenly the bump on the other side of the bed moves, and it is as if time suddenly freezes. Four sets of animal eyes lock onto that motion, as I become a thing to be ignored. I can actually hear the mental telepathy based conversation between them...
"She is awake?"
"I believe that she is!"
"Oh most excellent! The life giver will present us with feasts. The smelly one has served its purpose!"
They move as one to the other side of the bed and begin prodding, poking, and making friendly noises to the lump.
"Good morning!" my wife says.
"Indeed it is," I agree.