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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tiny Fur Coats

It's been a while since the last posting but I blame it on my attempt to keep warm from this seemingly, never ending miserable winter we have been having.  This entails being bundled up under the covers by 8 pm going to sleep early so I can forget about how cold it is in the house and outside.  Usually not too long after getting under the covers, the cats follow.  They usually come one at a time sometime through the night, but  they are nearly all there by morning.  By the time the alarm rings, I am usually trapped under the covers with them laying on top of me and next to me on all sides.  I feel like a mummy which can be a problem for a somewhat claustrophobic person like myself.  This late night gathering has led me to wonder what draws them to the bed in the middle of the night. 

If I were a superstitious person, I would conclude they were trying to kill me.  I imagine their methods would be either to smother me by laying on my head or steal my breath like the famous wives' tale of how cats kill babies.  Since I am fairly certain they are not trying to off me, I have to ask what is their motivation.  Since it would not be in their best interest to kill the hands that feed them, the obvious reason of course, is they are seeking warmth.  So rather than stealing my breath, they are stealing my body heat?

I have to question if this is the real reason.  If so, then why do they sleep with us in the heat of the summer and in your lap while sitting on the couch in front of the TV?  I would argue that there is something deeper and more complex going on than just body heat.  When the cats lay on top of my chest do they feel my heart beat and it relaxes them?  Like humans, do they appreciate and seek out the human touch?  Do they just want to be with their people to avoid being alone or feeling unsafe?  Cats are easily affected by stress.  Maybe this is one of their ways to cope with life. 

Having had many cats throughout my life, my hope is that they have been connecting with me for companionship just as humans do with each other.  They enrich my life beyond imagination so I can only hope I am doing the same for them.  I suppose for them, it might just boil down to seeking my body heat.  But I have to argue, they have tiny fur coats so shouldn't they always be warm......