One of the best things about having cats when you’re sick is that they snuggle up with you and purr while you scratch their ears and bellies, acting like wee, fuzzy, vibrating blankets of love.
One of the worst things about having cats when you’re sick is that they have to crawl all over you to do it.
Cat owners will know exactly what I mean when I say that cats do not sit, but arrange themselves—circling around, checking out all the best options, positioning themselves, and then kneading for no fewer than nine hours before they will finally rest their behinds in one place. Sometimes, they’ll even have to have a few “test sits” before they settle into their proper destination of repose.
If it’s you they fancy sitting on, they’ll knead you. This is never an especially pleasurable experience at Shakes Manor, as Matilda and Olivia have are not declawed, and, though they try not to shred us into bloody pulps during their kneading sessions, it can happen nonetheless.
Kneading a gurgling and churning belly is really just ever so much worse.
But late last night came the worst yet. I had fallen asleep in my chaise in a rather awkward, curled-up position, and when I awoke, my entire right leg from toe to hip was completely dead. As soon as I stretched it out, the pins and needles started. “Mmph,” I mumbled, approximately, biting the insides of my cheeks. “FUCKING HELL OWWWWW!” was what I wanted to say, but Mr. Shakes was asleep in the bedroom, which is the next room over, so I couldn’t. Or didn’t, in any case.
Then Matilda jumped up onto the chaise and began walking up my dead leg toward me, kneading as she went. I convulsed, then paralyzed with the pain of it, knowing if I moved a muscle, I would let out a bellow that would wake the neighbors, no less Mr. Shakes. I reached out my clawed hands slowly and waited for her to get within my reach, then grabbed her and held her against my face, screaming into her belly, “AHHGGGGHH!”
Her fluffiness served quite well as a scream-muffler.
I let her go, and she looked back at me like I was insane. “Wev, weirdo,” she seemed to say, then licked her nose and walked away.