We all like to curl up with someone warm and cuddly at night, right? Someone soft and loving, over whose gently breathing body you can run your fingers, and who’ll nuzzle you softly in reply.
I’m talking, of course, of our pets.
Wait, you didn’t think…?
Though as it turns out, not everyone wants to snuggle up to their pets in bed. Some people think that sleeping with snuffling, space-hogging dogs and cats is the height of repulsiveness.
Some people like… my husband.
Of course, he didn’t reveal this inexplicable flaw in his thinking until after we were married, so I passive-aggressively go behind his back and let them in when he doesn’t know.
When he’s away from home, my bed resembles an animal refuge. It’s only the chicken who doesn’t get an invitation, and mainly because I don’t want to wake up to an egg crushed among the bed clothes. I’m sure apart from that she’d be very well behaved.
Things always begin swimmingly. Dog and cat mark out their spaces with much circling and negotiation, both of them trying to get as close as possible to the alpha animal (that’s me).
The cat purrs, the dog looks at me adoringly, everyone drifts off to sleep in a sea of mutual affection.
And then, all hell breaks loose.
The dog decides he’d like to share my pillow. He’s got some anxiety issues which he expresses by chewing moistly, and loudly, on his paws.
The cat feels that sleeping on top of the quilt is an insult to her near-human status, so she slips in under the doona and curls up behind my knees.
By now, I’m well and truly awake and order everyone off the bed.
But when I go back to sleep, they creep back up, so that I’m restrained from changing position and wake up stiff and sore.
I could, of course, admit that my husband was right all along, but we all know I’m not going to do that. In a marriage, there’s only room for one person to be right. Right?