Does anyone remember the poem:
Cats sleep anywhere,
Any table, any chair
Top of piano, window-ledge,
In the middle, on the edge,
Open drawer, empty shoe,
Anybody’s lap will do,
Fitted in a cardboard box,
In the cupboard, with your frocks-
Anywhere! They don’t care!
Cats sleep anywhere.
My aunt used to recite this to me when I was a child and it has always stayed with me. I have been repeating it to myself a lot in recent weeks as the cats are settling in for the winter. We don’t have a piano and I don’t remember anything in the poem about an old rucksack lying on the study floor (a favourite spot for the Princess) but you definitely get the idea. As the season draws on, both cats have decided that they are warmer indoors, so they are both often to be found snoozing in a variety of beds around the house. The Princess loves the sofa bed in the dining room and has also adopted Calamity’s radiator bed. Calamity isn’t too bothered – she has rediscovered her all-time favourite home: her giant scratching post. It has three sleeping platforms inside it and a cosy bed on the top. She used to love it in Scotland but hasn’t really used it since we got here. As it is so huge, I was considering getting rid of it and she was clearly horrified by that idea. “You can’t do that – it’s mine!” We only realised she was using it when D went to move it slightly and she shot out of one of the holes, complaining loudly at being woken up. Since then, she has stuck to the bed on the top, safely visible, and has been there every day, making it clear that I am not even to think about putting it on Ebay.
They are also obsessed with cupboards – they have clearly read the poem too. We have a lot of storage in the hall and the study and one or both of them often sit gazing hopefully at the doors, trying to get in. Calamity has been known to sit crying until we open the door for her, even if it’s a cupboard she has never shown any interest in before. D recently converted a spare wardrobe in the study, to make a cupboard for me to store fabric and sewing machine for my curtains. Calamity was desperate to help and insisted on getting in to inspect his work on a regular basis. Even the Princess has deigned to have a peek inside. It doesn’t quite live up to the airing cupboard, with its stack of cosy towels to curl up on, but it will do at a pinch.
Of course, nothing matches up to the fire. We are lighting it every night now, following a log delivery last week (our log store up in the garden is totally full for the first time since we arrived here). I have learned the hard way that spreading my curtain samples on the rug in front of the fire to do some hand sewing was not a good plan. Calamity was convinced I had spread out a new blanket especially for her and took great pleasure in sitting on it, meaning I couldn’t do anything with it at all. Maybe she was reminding me that I still haven’t made them any cushions for the bookcase under the window in the study.
The combination of less exercise, the fact they are still eating us out of house and home and the arrival of their winter coats means that both girls are looking pretty enormous at the moment. The Princess, in particular, always looks splendid through the winter, tending to lose condition in the summer. It is getting harder to tell them apart from a quick glance. Often, the easiest way to tell is by seeing where they have chosen to settle.
Cats sleep anywhere, it’s true – but they definitely each have their special spots.