Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


a year of morning thanks

Cat saws wood

It's one of those things that, when you see it, you tell yourself "I should have thought of it myself": pet insurance. Some dopey ad appears on TV, and you're less surprised at the idea, than shocked that you'd never seen it before. Even here in Sioux County, Iowa, where hogs and sheep and chickens and cattle and milk cows--thousands and thousands of them--are run off to packing plants daily, people love their pets, adore 'em, pamper 'em, smooch 'em, babble at 'em in baby talk. Us too.

Our old cat is huge. My wife says, he's "big-boned." In winter, when the sun passes deep in the southern sky, he likes to sit on the oak table in the kitchen, where the deck doors admit all of that sun, quite likely the warmest place in the house. He just about covers the table. I'm not sure how they do it, but, mid-winter, cats always seem to know the warmest place--not the warmest places, mind you, the warmest place.

Which leads us to this morning. On some winter nights, he makes it up to our bedroom. This oaf of a cat is not an afghan hound, so sharing the bed doesn't mean actual displacement. But still, he's edging close to 20 pounds, so when he decides to take a chunk of our bed, it's a land grab.

That's not all. He usually has to knead for awhile, which induces industrial-strength purring, of course. Cats, like all of us, have rituals, and those rituals must be adhered to. Sometimes, my ruthless wife sweeps a leg or two beneath him at this point and tosses the big lug off the bed. Maybe fifteen seconds and he's back on, drumming away.

Sometimes he climbs aboard when we're both asleep, and I don't know he's there until I'm suddenly conscious of being short-sheeted. The squatter is back, and he's not about to move.

All of that is annoying enough, but I'm typing these words right now because of his latest provocation. I'm up because he woke me up. I'm not kidding. This old man of a cat, more than slightly overweight--when he jumps up or down, he grunts--this heavy sleeper, this giant, this behomoth, snores. I'm not making this up.

He snores, and I wake up. So who's up there now, sound asleep in our bedroom on this cold and dark January morning? Who's still sawing away? That's right. Not me.

What I should do is hike two blocks to the highway and simply watch the steady stream of cattle trucks on their way to the packers. It would be good for the soul.

And here's another reason to off that big oaf: he's probably got insurance.

Sure. Yeah, he's got insurance all right. He's got us--the fat cat has us. Who needs insurance?

3 comments:

Harpweaver said...

I love this! My old kitty is around 12; he snores too :D He woke me up from my Christmas Day afternoon nap between festivities because he was taking refuge under my bed! Oh but I love him anyway...

hope42day said...

Love this!!! To get attention, in the middle of the night, my cat jumps on top of me, then on to the bed and then starts rubbing himself against my arm. Sometimes he gets a pat or two, other times he gets pushed away. I still love him though because he is the one that caused me to be a cat lover.

Anonymous said...

Methinks your tabby is spoiled and pampered—and possibly overweight, maybe obese.