Every evening the same old ritual enfolds itself again and again. The Mistress goes to the bathroom, changes into her nightclothes, goes upstairs, takes the nightclothes off again, and then snuggles into the Nest. Several pairs of very interested feline eyes follow her every move. And if she is not being fast enough about the going upstairs bit, scolding pairs of feline eyes await her in the hallway. Usually there is at least one cat waiting there, eager to mount the stairs and get on with the truly most important event of the day.
Usually it is the black one who stands ready to urge her on. Who precedes her on the stair steps. Who jumps into the Nest even before the Mistress had the chance to click on the reading light and shed her nightclothes. Sometimes, though, he’s a bit late but you can hear the swift pitter-patter of softly furred paws on the stairs heralding the imminent arrival of 5.5 kilos of soon-to-be extremely happy cat. Loup-Garou doesn’t just love to snuggle down with any simian in the Nest, he has taken the whole event straight into the lofty realms of the Art form. And his favourite spot is next to the Mistress’ head, between the pillows of the Mistress and Grumpy Man. And, if he feels like it, sometimes on top of the Mistress’ head as well. Grumpy Man usually gets his nose full of tail. Guess who is the boss in this House hm ?
But as Loup-Garou lies softly purring into my ear I can feel a vibration trembling its way towards the Nest and I know that soon a white and black she-kitty will arrive as well. But at the Nest she stops shyly, not sure if she is welcome in it, and so she announces her presence with her formidable purr. Frankette is wont to purr in happy anticipation of good things to come. She likes it in the Nest. Alas, she does not like it in the Nest if also Bean Sidhe is present. But because Bean Sidhe rarely ventures higher than my knees smart little Frankette knows to check out things first at the head department and progress downward from there. So, when I make it known to her that she is -indeed- welcome, with a happy chirrup she jumps in. And after the initial snuggles at my head she will position her little form daintily somewhere in the vicinity of my shoulders. And she does tolerate Hrimnir’s presence there. Sometimes.
Usually it ends in a hissing fit and one she-kitty swiftly vacating the bedroom. Frankette is actually not so fond of company.
However, she is -for some reason that still eludes me mightily- very fond of Grumpy Man’s armpits. I can agree that the smell emanating from that particular region can turn on a simian female with a vengeance, but a she-kitty ? I must admit that if Eau-De-Grumpy Man didn’t include some heady pheromones I would be knocked-out straight by the other molecules. Frankette positively buries that sensitive nose of hers into it. Which leads me to conclude that she is not a normal she-kitty and needs some professional counseling, like, urgently.
Sadly, Freya too follows the same inclination, so I deduct that she-kitties are crazy.
Hrimnir sleeps often with me. He will first come over to me(and Grumpy Man when he’s available), collects his due share of scritches and pettings, and then proceeds to curl up somewhere near my shoulders, and preferably on Grumpy Man’s spot as well. Since he is the cat who gets along fine with all of the resident Feline Denizens of the House of Chaos his sleep is rarely disturbed by hostilities. Which allows him to adopt sleeping poses that can sometimes verge on the ridiculous but are always mega-cute. Even when you disturb him because you are changing your sleeping position he will not deign to be bothered by it. Easy-going he is, that kitty.
At some point Bean Sidhe will arrive too. First, though, he will check out what’s happening in the ‘hood by sitting on the windowsill and taking a peek outside, from between the window blinds. This always happens with a terrible clattering sound, and we suspect he revels in it. After a while he will be bored, and decide to joins us in the Nest. But he rarely comes up higher than our feet. When he does though, it is to lie down on my chest and collect scritches. Bean Sidhe can be so happy when he get chin-scritches, his entire body radiates bliss in the mega-watt range, his whiskers will tickle the sky in rapture, and his front paws won’t know where to knead. He’s that kind of kitty yes, the kind that will wallow in utter bliss when you give him chin-scritches. But after that he will always proceed to his customary spot on or near the feet. Since he is about 6 kilos heavy you can bet we are relieved with his choice of napping spot.
And then the room trembles again, as a rumbling purr roars its way into the Nest and sweet little Isegrim lets his presence be known. When he was a feral kitten he was shy to the touch and would never purr when we petted him. We could approach him and he began to appreciate the sensuous luxury of being petted. And after a few weeks his curiosity got the better of him and he followed the other kitties to the Nest, where he discovered… nirvana. Sort of. Isegrim not only learned to like pettings, he took ferociously to snuggling as well. He is so fond of it that he will spend hours and hours giving you immensely grateful sandpaper kisses in order to show you his undying love, with a preference for fingers and toes. Grumpy Man’s toes in particular. Izzy can just grab that big foot of his between his front paws and start rasping away with enthusiastic gusto. Not just satisfied with just sandblasting away the skin on Grumpy Man’s toes, he will nibble in the spaces between them as well. We call that “eating toe-cheese”. Clearly the little grey fuzz ball relishes toe-cheese.
The only one who has so far not been snuggling down in the Nest on a regular basis is Freya. I don’t know why, since she is otherwise extremely attached to us and wastes no opportunity to get some much-needed pettings all day long. She never enters the House of Chaos without immediately searching the Simian residents for a quick huggy. But so far she has only rarely snuggled down with us in the Nest. Which I find sad, because for me the daily nocturnal snuggling down has become more than a mere ritual. It has become a moment of bonding, when 5 softly (or not-so-softly in some cases) purring fur balls keep me warm and comfy company in the Nest. A happy hour indeed !
Fortunately she seems to be coming around, and lately she has snuggled down with us, with a weird preference for Grumpy Man’s armpits. And when she does snuggle with one of us, you can hear the faint soft but heart-felt purr only a former feral can emit when she knows she is safe and beloved.
On a different note: the feral Zorro-killer called Almost Franky has been entering the House of Chaos a bit often lately, not just coming over for the food, but staying for a quick -and warm and dry- nap as well (especially with the recent cold spell that had us shivering with temperatures of -15°C some nights). Last week I had to chase him off the Nest. Not that he needs much encouragement in order to be chased away by the way. He is feral after all, and we are not exactly friendly disposed to him, him having killed Zorro and regularly injuring Loup-Garou and Hrimnir. But that the vermin-ridden spraying stinking feline pheromones-oozing fur ball dares to repose into our Nest is an insult beyond repair. So far he has attacked and injured Grumpy Man twice already, but for some strange reason he allows me to pick him up and put him outside. His slowly budding trust that I would not attack him has been betrayed bitterly today. You see, I had this big syringe filled with water, and he was having this quiet but exposed nap in the Kitchen of Chaos…
Mèh, it wasn’t his happy hour at all.
Picture below: a very young Bean Sidhe and even younger Hrimnir having a quiet Nirvana-moment in the Nest. Bad quality of picture due to having been taken by a mobile phone at night. But oh so endearing… even more so because the Feline Residents of the House of Chaos so rarely sleep together…