Midnight Bites: A Cat Lover’s Tale
I awake in the dusky purple of late night, long after sunset but well before dawn. It is that eerie hour when unseen creatures cavort in the dark, when nighttime denizens share secrets in the trees and Spanish moss whispers a reply. My dreams ease from me, a slow trickling away of that other reality. What only moments ago was sensible and present becomes unnatural and distant. My mind fights to grasp that thread of sleepy cohesion, but it is too late. A vibration buzzes against me, and then a moist sharpness. My fingertips are being gnawed with gentle persistence.
I snatch my hand away and confirm all my extremities are within the borders of my bed, safe from prowling zombies.
Purrrr . . . .
Relief settles as I fully awaken and my dream is lost forever. The zombie is none other than Luna, my cat. The midnight hour is one of her favorite times for showing and receiving affection. Her favorite time, if you please.
She purrs louder and rubs her delicate face against my hand, finds my fingers, and nom, nom, nom.
She is gentle, so it doesn’t hurt a whit, but a cat’s mouth is no place for human digits. I draw my hand away. Luna slides her face against it. I give her a scratch between the ears. She goes after my fingertips. I withdraw. She insists. I shove my hands under the sheet. She paws at the bed covers as if digging for treasure.
Me, I just want to go back to sleep.
“I love you too,” I murmur and give in, petting her to stop the incessant pawing. “But now isn’t the time for this. Go back to sleep.”
I offer her one last stroke and bury my hands. Luna paws again, but halfheartedly this time and only for a moment. She abandons the pawing and begins kneading instead. She stretches. I cannot see in the dark but feel her long, languid movements.
Luna sprawls against my thigh, her nine pound body elongated to fit the length. She is snuggled against me, close as butter on bread. Her purrs tingle across my skin like reverberations from a velvet jackhammer. She nuzzles her face against me, and I love her so much that I chance uncovering my hands to give her the affection she seeks. She takes my fingertips in her mouth for a quick nom-nom, but doesn’t fuss when I withdraw them. She got what she wanted, after all—I’m awake and paying attention to her, accepting her attention to me.
I resettle myself with my hand beside her. She rests her sleek feline head over the fingers she was noshing only minutes ago. Her purrs are still set to high, but her nighttime game is done. She is snuggled up to sleep.
I, on the other hand, stare into the dark, afraid to move into a more comfortable position lest I wake her—not because I fear she’ll gnaw my fingers again, but because she is my dear companion, and I don’t want to disturb her slumber even though she has no problem disturbing mine.
I stroke my free hand over her silky head. She presses closer and her purrs begin anew. Sweet music in the dark. Over time, the sound wraps around me, a blanket of warm and peaceful dreams, and I drift back to sleep after all.
Am I crazy? Maybe. But Luna and I show our love in different ways. She doesn’t question how I show mine to her, and I return the favor. Everything she has done is part of her love language as a cat. This type of behavior is inveterate from her kitten days with her mother and litter mates. As annoying as it might seem to humans, these actions from a cat denote the utmost honor. Luna doesn’t nibble the fingers of just anyone, you know.
If you are not a cat person, you likely think me brainless or insane to tolerate these midnight shenanigans. But, if you are or have ever been owned by a cat—well, you are not surprised. You do not think me brainless or insane. You understand. You’ve felt it for yourself. You know what I know—that there is something mystical in being loved by a cat.
You had to know I wouldn’t let you leave here without at least one cat video. The first one is remarkable.
Are you a cat lover or do you avoid those furry beasties? Do you think I’m crazy? Or do you have your own cat tale to share? Please leave a comment. I always comment back. 🙂
Thanks for hanging out with me. See you next week!
Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last, Love to Believe, or Love to Win in eBook or print just click the book cover on this blog’s sidebar. Autographed copies are available for purchase on my HOME page. 🙂 The audio version of Love Built to Last is available HERE now!