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Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Cat & Me - We're Both Feeling Our Age

I spend a lot of time hunched over a laptop these days, or squinting at a monitor, since the writer stuff is finally paying off. More often than not, I slide into bed with a crick in my neck or back.

I found myself a nice heating pad at the store with a 2-hour automatic shutoff, and I usually crawl into bed with it just under my neck and shoulder, and drift off to Dreamland -  that is, until a few weeks ago.

My cat and I have a routine, you see. She watches me carefully each night, and when I get up from the table or the couch and start shutting off lights, she walks to the foot of the stairs and waits patiently. If I'm having a late night and haven't gotten up yet, she'll jump up beside me and voice her disapproval. Sometimes she'll put a paw on my arm or even across the keyboard of the laptop, the fat bugger.

Once I get upstairs, I set up the heating pad just below my pillow, turn it on, and head into the bathroom to brush teeth and remove contact lenses. She usually waits in the bathroom or by the bed, and then when I'm done I lift her up onto the bed. She's getting arthritic in her hindquarters now - she's 14 after all - and it's hard for her to jump that high.

A few weeks ago, I set her on the bed, and instead of going to her side (yes, she has a side and curls up right by the pillow), she sat her aching joints down on the heating pad and would. not. budge.

I finally bullied her off there, turned the heating pad down to a lower setting, and laid it out on her side of the bed. She circled around and plopped down onto it, purring like mad, and fell blissfully asleep. She even woke me once in the night so I'd turn it back on again.

The heating pad is hers now. It's the least I can do for the old girl. She's been by me through a hell of a lot. And each night we lay there, stretching away our aches and pains, sinking gratefully into the mattress, with my hand lazily stroking her fur and her tail curling up and down in a slow and steady rhythm to her purring.

I know I won't have her much longer. And I can buy another heating pad. Then we can lay there side-by-side, feeling our years. Two old dames just livin' the life.

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