Misha’s cold again. She’s been an above-blanket cat all of her life until now. She would become upset with any attempt to lay cloth over her, which meant instant pain and regret for the cloth-layer. I did once wake to find her snoozing at the foot of my bed with the blanket pulled up to her shoulder, but only the one time.
It’s different, now.
She’s been cold before, of course, but she’d find a cozy place, and wrap herself in her own warmth. She always did love a good lap. At times, I could sneak a corner of a blanket over her, but she never allowed me to cover her completely.
And sometimes, if I made an enormous cave out of the comforter, and kept a high ceiling in it, she’d abide for a time. Never for long, though. She loved playing cave, but she’d get claustrophobic after a bit, and make a rapid exit.
As she got older, she seemed to lose interest in playing cave. She wanted her pillow with the warm fuzzy cover, or my lap, but nothing more.
Then, this week, her wants suddenly changed. She asked for a cave. I made her one, expecting the usual few minutes’ Indiana Jones act, and rapid exit. But she tucked in beside me and snuggled for a long time.
And again, a day or so later. She stayed under the covers so long my arm got tired holding up the blanket cave roof, so I lowered it. She didn’t mind.
She asks for a cave several times a day now, and doesn’t always care if I keep up a good ceiling. Sometimes she’ll leave nothing but her tail sticking out.
Sometimes, there’s no visible kitty at all.
Misha’s cold again. She nuzzles the blankets, walks round looking for an opening, as I try to sleep. When I don’t make her one, she utters a disgusted, impatient little mrrf in my ear. It says, Why, I never.” It states, “Some humans. Humph!” I drag myself from sleep, rearrange self and blankets to her satisfaction, and am rewarded for my efforts by purrs as her wide, interested eyes take in the views from within her cozy new realm.
I know this means she’s gotten much older in a week. She’s having trouble staying warm. She’s also easily bored with food. Only strong tastes please her. I discover that chicken boullion crushed and sprinkled over her crunchies get her to eat some. She’ll do a bit of tuna. She loves treats. She’ll have bits of cheese with me, and lick my plates. But she still never eats much. She’s skinny, and arthritic, but still imperious and cranky and curious. She explores the house, and sometimes goes on little gallops, and she’ll play-fight with B. She’s not quite thriving, but she’s doing more than surviving. She could make to to 21. She’s only got a few weeks to go. If we’re lucky, we’ll see 21 and a half. Wildly fortunate, and she’ll celebrate her 22nd by making new demands.
I treasure these moments, because I know there won’t be countless more. I’ll miss her terribly, so completely, when she’s gone. But I’ll never, ever forget what times we had.
Is it time for another cave, my girl? Just say the mrrf, and I’ll make it for you. I’ll keep you warm.