The thundering thud of sixteen kitten paws, our latest rescue litter, chasing gleefully on hardwood floors is louder than you’d expect, and when in the throes of a semi-deep sleep, rather shocking.   Who knew cute, furry kittens could be so loud?    They easily challenge the sleep deranged mind to think, “Wild horses? In my house?!”

Being awakened by felines in the middle of night, or as in this case, the wee hours of the morning, is nothing new.

Shortly after we were married, Mike and I adopted two kittens.  We had set out to find one, a perfectly white piece of purring fluff, but our first encounter at a pet shop was a tiny, black, hyperactive dustball that swiped our fingers and mewed shamelessly until we plopped down the ten dollars and walked out with her nestled in my arms, now quiet and content as if to say, “HA!”  We named her Popcorn because once home, she bounded up and down the sofa, up and down the bed, up and down the curtains, and up and down our legs.

Surmising our adorable little romp would allow the drapes to live and our legs to heal if given the opportunity to pounce someone her own size, we began anew to find a solid white kitten and happened upon the sweetest looking pink and white face we’d ever seen.  Awwwww.  We named her Butter and brought her home to meet her new sister. 

Whatever Butter may have been before, her new mission was to fervently follow Popcorn’s lead as top cat.  We would hear them winding up down the hallway in the middle of the night, two race cars, burning rubber in their attempt to be first up onto the bed and create claw-baring havoc as they did brodies on the bedspread with us underneath.  It became second nature to subconsciously hear them coming and pull the covers over our heads as they leapt with feline abandon and accuracy into the center of our stomachs. 

Now, my husband is a dreamer, and I mean that in the most literal sense.  He wakes up every morning and tells me the wildest dreams imaginable, like being captain of a submarine transporting cattle to another island, or having to put the addresses of an entire city’s newspaper route in alpha-numeric order before sunrise, or saving the world from a mutant tea bag that absorbed people into it’s little paper sack to be steeped into oblivion.  Strange things no one would expect from a mild-mannered, mellow introvert, yet I did wonder at times if I’d married a spy or a televison producer when the stories reached epic proportions.

Thus it was that one night I was awakened not to the clatter of kitty paws but the feel of struggling fur emitting terrified yowls while being smacked against my head!  As I opened my eyes to see what was attacking me, I encountered a look of utter confusion and horror on my white kitten’s precious face.

“Michael!!!  Wake up, you idiot! You’re beating me with Butter!”

After a few slaps at his own head with my bare  hand, he let go of Butter who darted off to the safety of anywhere away from the mad, mad man who had the audacity to scruff and use her against the head of the hand that fed her.  Mike immediately fell back into what I assumed was a dreamless state of sleep since I incurred no more cat attacks that night.

“Just what did you dream last night?”  I asked over coffee the next morning.

“Oh.  I had found a treasure map and it led to a cave somewhere in the Himalayas and as soon as I figured out where to start digging a group of monkeys came in with banana splits.  We sat at the bar that lined the wall of the cave and ate while we listened to the jukebox and then suddenly the music stopped.  The monkeys deserted me and I heard this rumbling noise so I picked up a big rock that was on the cave floor and as I did, a giant spider, like the one in Star Wars, tried to get me.  I smashed at it again and again with the rock and I don’t remember any more because something woke me up.”  He rubbed Popcorn’s chin and nodded to Butter who maintained a room’s-length distance from him while she simultaneously bathed her spotless coat and threw disgusting looks at him.  “What’s the matter with Butter?”

I pushed my bangs aside to reveal the slight claw marks across my brow.  “You’re the matter with Butter.  She was your rock and I was your Spider.”

His face underwent several colorations from pale to red to gray to pale.  He put a hand to my forehead and closely surveyed the measly damage before turning a look of remorse upon our angel kitten who promptly turned her back and commenced washing.  “Poor Butter!” 

 

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