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One of the hardest things about a seperation, I think, is sleeping alone.

When you've been together for years, you just plain get used to having somebody else in the bed. You've worked out all the negotiations of sleep--whose arm goes where, which knee goes on top, whose feet stick out, what part you poke to keep the other person from snoring. And then it's not there any more, and you're left feeling vaguely as if you'd spent years negotiating an elaborate and complicated peace treaty with a nation which suddenly decided to close borders and become an isolationist state.

Ben is definitely saving me. Having another living being around does something to the human brain. We're stronger in the company of other people, as much out of pride, I suspect, as anything more noble. It even works, to a certain extent, with a cat.

It would be nice to say that he sits on my pillow and purrs, but frankly, Ben is not that kind of cat. (He is, for example, the only cat I've owned who belches regularly, generally when I'm petting him.) Once I've gone to bed, usually with a book, Ben comes, plops down between my feet, and begins to groom himself.

There are cats who groom themselves with quiet grace, tongues flicking neatly over dainty paws, paws slipping over sleek fur.

Ben is not that kind of cat, either. Ben grooming himself is a wet, smacking, slurping affair not unlike fish being processed, and he takes his time. I can generally get a couple of chapters read before he is satisfied that his belly fur is sufficiently clean (or at least soggy.) Then it's on to the shoulder, or the back leg, or in times of special celebration, the genitals.

When he's finished grooming for the evening, the slurp-smack-smack-slurp noise stops at last. Then he flops back across my ankle, heaves an enormous sigh--hygiene is exhausting--and goes to sleep.

I can't say it's a graceful affair, but there's also never any question as to whether I'm alone in the bed, and there's a lot to be said for that.

Maybe he thinks he's a dog?

Could be. I sometimes wonder if the whole designation of species things was one big hallucinatory trip. I mean by definition my husky-shepherd makes a far better cat than she ever has a dog, while I've met any numbers of cats that act more than suspiciously doglike. Is there something more to this we should be knowing?

Be glad you're of the sex whose genitals complain the least at being walked on by sharp-clawed heavy cats (who like to turn and turn around until they're fully comfortable).

- Cuetzpalin.

Oh, I SEE. Cleaning HIS shoulder etc. I was thinkin that was where he migrated afterward.

I blame cat-induced paranoia for my inability to read to the end of the entry coherently.

in some odd way your entry made me feel a little better about somethings in my life. Thank you...your entries are always a lovely journey to read all on their own :).

My Harley is the comfortable kind of cat who sits on the pillow and purrs; he's done that for years, and I've gotten used to it. Now I have Maggie, my new girl, and she's a twitchy, slurpy groomer who thinks it is the best thing in the world to curl up behind my knees and spend half an hour putting every hair in place just as I'm trying to fall asleep. Not only is it noisy when there's no other sounds, it makes the blankets move in odd ways (particularly since Maggie's a tiny thing, not quite heavy enough to really compress the blankets completely.) I feel your pain. ;)

I'll put up with a lot to have those small spots of warmth in the dark of night, though.

I hate to go too off-topic, but I saw this and my first thought was: "What would Ursula do?"

Here's a link in case the picture doesn't display:

The one thing I fought to keep in my divorce was the cats. I couldn't afford a proper bed for a while, so I had this narrow little thing that barely fit me... and I'd still get five cats a night, curled up next to me. I'm fairly sure that's what got me through the worst of it.

On a different note, it was quite a while before I could feel comfortable with another human there, but my divorce was not an amicable matter.

I sympathize. My divorce has been an 'I'm sorry, but you have to fall off the face of the planet now' thing as far as my ex is concerned. But as another five-cat person, I can honestly say that my cats have kept me both sane and warm at night, and it's helped a great deal. Even the one who slurps while grooming.

The first time I ever took a trip alone, I was driving from North Carolina to Portland, Oregon. Through the mountains. In January. In a Honda Civic. If I hadn't had my cat with me, I'm actually not sure if I would have made it. Even in motel rooms in the middle of nowhere I was never alone. Plus, in a strange way, since I had someone else that I was responsible for, I didn't worry about myself. Y'know, who cares that you're away from everything you know, you can't give in because otherwise who'll feed the cat tonight? She would drive me crazy meowing and pouncing on me all night because she had slept in the car all day, but yeah...there's a lot to be said for not being alone in bed. :)

Cats are not clean. They are covered in cat spit.
Cats are not clean. They are covered in cat spit.
Cats are not clean. They are covered in cat spit.

Re: Repeat after me.

I have been saying this rather obsessively ever since I read this, because I thought it was so very funny. Consequently...

Yes. So much yes, to all of it. Heh.

Our Nyssa is a . . . vigorous self-groomer. And she loves to do it in the spare office chair (the old one with wheels, that rocks and spins) There's the constant 'Wonk wonk wonk creak' as it rocks back and forth, and occasionally attempts to roll away.

It's never woken me up in the middle of the night, probably because it's on the other side of the house. Thank goodness.


I only managed to last eight months being married, and it took me nearly that long after my divorce was final to start sleeping in my bed again instead of on my couch. It wasn't even the same bedroom, but the feeling of emptiness, the sheer aloneness of it, made it too much for me to face.

Cats definitely help - between getting oneof those, and a very dear friend threatening to fly in and kick my ass if I didn't give my livingroom furniture a break, I got back into the habit of sleeping in a bed again.

My wife and I had two big German Shepherd-like dogs that slept with us all their lives. One would only sleep under the covers between my legs, the other would only sleep on top of the covers on my wife's feet. When they died within a year of each other, my wife and I never rested quite as well since.

The more I read about your Ben, the more I'm thinking about my Valium, 5kg of kitty love, muscle and sleepiness with about the same cleaning habit.
Except my big furry dummie must think I'm his litter mate of something, I can't lie down without having him grooming my (very long) hair, hand or face.
Be glad Ben hadn't take your cleaniness at heart. Be very glad.

Yes, in essence, having a cat around is a lot like having a man around...

He wants petting on his own terms, particularly if he sees you engaged in something else,
He'll often do things noisily, just so you know he's there,
He doesn't want the whole bed, just your half,
and it seems like you're always picking up his crap!

And yes, men would celebrate special times by licking themselves rudely, ...if they could!

That being said, men have they merits as well, and I love mine for his. I wish you the best, come what may. Has there been any progress in the way of starting up counselling yet?

I understand about the company thing. This is why I adopted a dog. I am allergic to cats, alas..