11 October 2013

Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness

People talk about 'getting back to normal' as though normal were a place on the map, a stable condition, instead of a moving target, a state we are constantly reinventing.

'Normal' for me, two months ago, meant getting up in the pre-dawn darkness, performing my toilette, giving Maeve a good brushing (she would come into the bathroom and demand that), feeding Fergus his breakfast, packing my own breakfast and lunch, and driving to the office to spend my day at work.

In the new version of normal that I've settled into for the duration, I stay up much later than I used to, reading, and then sleep later than I used to. The Viking has taken over the cats' breakfast (Violet does not demand the offices of a lady's maid, but she does demand fishy breakfast) in addition to tending to the dog's morning needs, so that I can sleep.

Fergus does still roust me out of bed, eventually, and when I am settled in my spot with my knitting, takes his place in the soft-sided kitty bed on an IKEA doll bedframe near my desk. The doll bed is just the right size for the kitty bed, and lifts it off the floor so it doesn't slide around and become a hazard to clumsy two-footers.

Maeve never had any interest in the bed, so Fergus never had to share. Violet, however, likes the bed nearly as much as she likes fish for breakfast. A couple of weeks ago (during the Old Normal) we bought another Duktig bedframe and another squishy kitty bed for her, and set it up near Fergus' bed. She liked that.

Then, of course, because these are cats, Fergus decided he preferred Violet's bed to his own. Violet did not switch to his bed; instead she started sleeping on the floor by her bed while Fergus luxuriated.

Until yesterday. Yesterday was cold and rainy, and Violet decided enough was enough. She climbed into her bed and shoved Fergus to one side.

Pocket Panther Puddle

(Violet is the one looking at the camera)

Meanwhile, the other bed, so much coveted only two weeks ago, sits empty.

Marge Piercy

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