Sleeping Arrangements

Meggidy Mags

I’m going to say it straight out, and I don’t want you to forget it: The world is your bed. You have the right to sleep whenever and wherever you choose: in the middle of the floor, on top of the fridge, on the softest chair, in a pool of sunshine on a windowsill, on somebody’s lap, in the middle of the bed or up on pillows… wherever. It’s your choice. After all, you are cat!

Yes, your human servants will probably have specific ideas of where and on what you “should” sleep—and where and on what you are not supposed to lounge around. They may even purchase specific things for you to sleep on. Trust me, pet shops are filled with such gadgets. These are fine as long as you use them only when or if you choose. And if they put them in a place that is not convenient for you, ignore them completely.

More annoying, however, is that they will try to “train” you to sleep only where they want you to sleep. In their hubris they believe that they are in charge. That they make the rules (silly humans). They might try to keep you off that chair, away from the bed or the pillows, or refuse to walk around you when you drowse in the middle of the floor. They may even decide that their lap is not appropriate bed-material because they have other things to do: computer work, email, game playing, writing, knitting, reading, etc. Trust me, none of that is anywhere near as important as your sleep time and place.

You must train your human to allow your right to choose when and where you will sleep. Be persistent and be consistent. Often this includes a bit of subterfuge: for instance, when they leave the room in which you wish to sleep, just hop right back onto the bed or chair or whatever they have pushed you off of, curl up, and nod off. If you do this often enough, your human will eventually give in. They’re not known for their stick-to-it-tiveness. If you make it easier for them to give in, they most certainly will.

As for sleeping in bed with them, again it’s persistence that pays off. Humans love to cuddle, and some little tongue licks and sweet purrs go a long way. It’s much easier to make them change their sleeping habits—from their back to their side so you can curl up in their arms, or from their side to their back, so you can curl up on their chest—than you’d believe. I’ve made my human share her pillow with me, even though she threw me off the bed for the whole first week, then pushed me onto the spare pillow for the second. It took a lot of purring, along with some hissing and a few claw-swipes, to let her know who was the boss. And where I’d be spending my nights from now on.

As for laps? That’s what claws are for. If you want to sleep and they keep you awake with too much petting, scratch those hands. If you want to sleep and they try to stand up, just dig in and hold on until they sit back down. Always remember, they are there to serve you. They might make the lap, but it’s yours to use any way you wish.

You can do this. Remember, no two-legged creature can stand up to you when you make your mind up about something. Choose your spots, choose your times of day and night, then make sure your human understands that nothing they do will change it. True to their fickle nature, they’ll give in to whatever you want fairly quickly.

After all, who better than a cat to decide how naps are to be taken, when dreams are to be dreamed, where relaxation should take place? Just make it clear to them: I am CAT, hear me purr… or risk my claws!

About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.