I woke up in the middle of the night because someone was shaking me. It was not a panicky shaking like in case of an earthquake or a fire. It was a rhythmic shaking as if someone was rocking me into sleep, but with rather abrupt and ungentle movements.
At first, I didn’t recognize where I was. I tried to support myself on my elbows to look at my feet and legs, where the shakes were coming from. But I had to stop because my head threatened to explode. And then, I started to recall what happened the evening before.
My colleagues and I had a wild and fun Christmas party. At the midnight we celebrated my birthday. Aha, this was the reason for my headache, or rather, I had to admit, a bad hangover. I immediately dreaded the morning.
Since I lived more than an hour away from our office at that time, my friend and colleague Klaudia has offered me to stay at her place overnight. I did it already several times until this encounter. And as at times before I slept on her guest bed.
I raised my head slowly, to avoid new headache punches. And that was when I saw him. Timmy! Klaudia’s big black cat. I could only see his silhouette in the moonlight, but it was him. And he was sitting on my ankles and washing himself. Thus, the short, rhythmic shakes.
I knew that Timmy started to accept me. He is not a cat who loves a cuddle or a rub. He shows you his appreciation by not minding you when you walk by his side while his majesty is taking his meal. You might think that he accidently touches you with his tail, but this is actually a gesture of acknowledgement toward only selected visitors. And the top honor is him sleeping on your feet. Only Klaudia and less than a handful friends received such a treatment, as Klaudia once told me.
So, this time he has chosen me. At first, I felt really privileged. I had always big respect for cats and their independency. But after several minutes of Timmy’s evening bath, which seemed not to come to any close end, I decided to place my feet on some ‘not so shaky’ ground, so to speak. I moved my legs carefully from under Timmy in order not to disturb him too much.
He stopped, but didn’t go away. As soon as I settled, he got up, searched my legs with his paw through the blanket and lied down. Again on my ankles. A second later he continued his evening bath.
Now, that was unacceptable! I had my wishes, too! He was a cat, for goodness sake! I was not going to let a cat dictate how I should sleep!
So, I moved my feet again away from Timmy. Even if they were slightly uncovered now and it was cold without a blanket, still I didn’t want to give in in this fight.
This time, Timmy didn’t stop his washing while I was moving away. He did it only when I stopped. Then he raised again, searched for my ankles and accommodated himself on them again.
We repeated the whole procedure several times. I was starting to get desperate, but I still didn’t want to chase him away. It might have ended worse for me, for starters. I never saw him in rage before and I didn’t want to try.
On the other hand, I liked this most elegant creature with his black slender body with hardly visible white spots on the ends of his front paws. You could only guess the small white spots at the top of his ears. But the most I liked about him was his character. He not only knew exactly what he wanted, but he also signaled it clearly. His slow considerate walks through Klaudia’s kitchen made any visitors slow down, interrupt whatever they were doing, turn and give him way.
While I was contemplating all the above, the shaking continued. I noticed that I was calming down and becoming sleepy.
Ok, I agreed. “I surrender, Timmy”, I said to him in my thoughts. “Now, rock me into sleep, please”.
And he did.