If a cat would live to a ripe 20 years he’d spend 18 of it sleeping. Or that is what most simians think whenever they behold yet another fine example of the feline species securely and most certainly severely ensconced in the tender embrace of Morpheus. Or was that Meowrpheus ? Oh, never mind.
Nevertheless you have to admit that our beloved feline overlords do seem to devote a rather substantial chunk of their time to the activity we are wont to designate as “sleep”. We do, however, overlook some very serious aspects of said activity and it rests upon my humble shoulders, or rather fingertips, to disclose these to you, the esteemed reader:
Cats need sleep in order to recharge their batteries. Maintaining such a perfectly toned and lithe corpus demands such exertions as to render extremely feeble a lesser being – like say, a human. It is no wonder thus that a cat needs must replenish his energy by sleeping off the exercise. Kittens need the largest amount of sleep, anyone who has ever had the extreme pleasure of watching these little furry bundles of dynamite go off at full tilt will certainly agree with this, but adult cats too require much-needed rest after a busy day of chasing off miscreant trespassers and chasing down pesky rodents. Even keeping an eye on the wide wild world outside the window of one’s apartment can be quite exhausting you know.
Sleep is also the perfect antidote against boredom. Every cat who lives in a house and isn’t allowed to leave it will tell you that. If the simian minions are not home, toys are not plentiful and exhilarating enough to keep said cat happily occupied until the servants do return, and there is no other pet available to merrily torture, a cat can only stave off certain death by boredom by applying himself diligently to that good old trusty snooze. And for these formidably hedonistic creatures sleeping off the day is no sin at all ! They rather regard it as a virtue, as something to be proud and boast of. No wonder fanatic witch-hunters throughout the Dark Ages deemed cats to be servants of the devil… they condemned sloth as a mortal sin and the sight of a drowsy feline snoring all day long must have seemed anathema to them.
But sleep has another important function for our furry friends. We all dream. They too. Like us a cat needs to dream during his sleep in order to get everything he did during the past day sorted out in his brains. Observing a dreaming cat is somewhat akin to watching a good movie: you can see him relive whatever he’s done today, paws twitching, whiskers trembling, snout curling around flashing fangs, tail trashing, and all kinds of other little movements that betray a dream going on in full action. But I do wonder… do they dream like us of things we would rather do ? Of nice things we want to happen to us ? Does Zorro’s slow smile on his bewhiskered snout tell us of a dream in which all other cats bow and scrape to his undisputed Majesty over them all ? Do Hrimnir’s frantic paw-movements betray how he is stealing my mug of milk and not only getting away with it but getting to empty it as well ? And is Loup-Garou’s deep sigh a herald of sweet dreams about uninterrupted naps in the sun and a soft pillow on an even softer bed ? Who knows ?
And then there is the fourth -and maybe most important- function of a cat’s sleep: whether he’s curled up in a tight furry ball against the cold, or stretched out in full splendour in order to catch every ray of the sun, whether he’s snuggled up against a sleeping simian or a fellow snoring feline, whether he’s tucked up in a snug box or splashed over a clean pile of laundry… he looks so cute when sleeping that we hapless simians are doomed to stand by and helplessly admire it. Come on ! Admit it !! Have you never stumbled upon the sight of a snoring kitty and stopped whatever you were doing for a short yet heartfelt *aaawww*-moment ? Did it not move you to the deepest bottom of your heart ? Did you not discover that you had an hitherto unsuspected core of sentimentality ? Most people do. And that is where the cat is cunning. You see: it’s all part of their ongoing PR-strategy. Of luring us into thinking they are cute and loveable. Of making us believe that nothing in the world is more endearing than A Cat At Sleep and that should be protected, coddled, guarded.
They’re not endearing at all. They’re vulnerable as hell. And they know it. That is why, when the cat sleeps, he looks so utterly cute. He is dependant upon that cuteness to entice us into protecting him. Very few people realize the amazing truth when they behold a cat sleeping, but I do: a sleeping cat is a target. And very few people dare to do what I do. I silently walk over to the snoring kitty, stand still with proper admiration, stick out a tentative finger and…
Picture below: KITTEN CUTENESS OVERLOAD ALERT !!
Hrimnir napping. How sweet…
lessee… which finger ? where ? ah… decisions, decisions…
We’d better wake him up because it’s time to board the Friday Ark.
We are going to take part in the Catster competition and Hrimnir has been allowed to be the first to enter. Will you vote for him ? Just click on this :