I woke in the darkness, groggy but otherwise aware. I self-assessed the situation. My knees were pointed out into the abyss, cool in the early morning air. My cold shoulder was exposed in the breeze, throbbing and reminding me of the tendinitis suffered from burpees gone bad. I was contorted into an odd shape, but otherwise intact. I felt a warm body pressed against my lower back and another pressed against my calf. Alert now and bearings re-set, I recognized the larger body pressed against my back as the big cat, the pressure on the calf was coming from the smaller cat. I knew at once that they’d tried again to plunge me into the abyss in the night. Once again the plot was foiled when they ran out of time.
Those movies where the little child hides under the covers as the monster comes out of the closet? That scene was clearly written by someone with pets, for the rapidly disappearing covers were all that saved me from these ungrateful beasts who slowly, deliberately pushed me closer and closer to the edge; to the abyss. I know this to be true, for each night I go to bed with plenty of room, cozy under the covers. Reading quickly devolves to sleep, and I drift off to pleasant dreams, alone in the bed. Sometime later in the night, maybe five minutes, maybe four hours – I really don’t know, my bride slips into bed and attempts to sleep her restless sleep. Eventually the beasts creep onto the bed and begin their mischief, working in unison to pull the covers away from me. The pushing starts soon after. You’ve heard of the three dog night? I have the two cat night. They parachute in like ninjas in the dark, working into the small space between my bride and me. The dynamics of “cozy” change soon after to “cramped”, but I stubbornly sleep through it, waking to the full reality of the conspiracy in the early morning hours.
As a road warrior, I know the feel of a strange hotel bed in some random city. I used to wake often in the unfamiliar surroundings, trying to get my bearings when everything felt different. But now I find myself sleeping blissfully, waking refreshed in roughly the place I began my sleep in, without a fan blowing on me and nowhere near the edge. It seems that a night of sleep without nocturnal beasts playing dangerous games is possible. Just not in the comfort of my own bed. Here, in winter, the ninja games become a nightly reality. And when I finally get up, they move right into the warmth I leave behind. Such is the world I’ve built around me… Should’ve gone with the King-sized bed.