Thursday, October 30, 2008

Family Matters

I was released from Parent/Teacher Conferences last night at 8:30.  There was no negotiating on this matter.  The fact that I had but two conferences and that they were both scheduled for the afternoon did not affect the situation one little bit.  Rules are rules and, if I want the extra time off at Thanksgiving, then I'd better just suck it up.

Note:  This sort of sounds like I tried to negotiate and that I was all forceful and self-advocating about everything.  I wasn't.  I just sat in my office and grumbled...

As I made my weary way to my car, I suddenly realized that things had gotten a bit nippy outside.  Downright freezing, if you want the truth.  And the fact that a colleague suddenly found the need to stop and chat with me from the comfort of her nice, warm car helped to make that point even more clear.  By the time I got to my own chariot, I was shivering to the point of convulsions.  

Yup.  It was cold.  This could only mean one thing:  It was time for The Talk.

I arrived home and took off my less-than-helpful-in-arctic-conditions jacket.  I greeted the kitties and informed them that we would be having a discussion once I'd fed myself and warmed up to the point where I could feel my feet.  

The Big, Fluffy Kitty, having heard this speech for years now, took little of my time.  She nodded vaguely as I spoke and it was clear that half her attention was really on her favorite television program.  That's OK.  She knows what to do.  Directions are really superfluous at this point in our relationship.

The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty, however, is new around here.  He was going to require the full speech.  This is somewhat time-consuming and I was awfully tired.  But I knew that it would be worth the investment in the long run.  These are serious days and it is time for everyone to pull together if we are going to make it.

I scooped him up, staggered a bit under the strain of the weight, and lurched to the couch.  I sat him on my knee and looked into his eyes in order that he might see the importance of my coming words.  

Then my legs started to go all tingly and numb because the average human frame is not meant to bear such gi-normousness.  Coincidentally, it was right around this time that the AGK remembered that he isn't much of a lap cat and began to make his opinion on this state of affairs known to me.  We all agreed that it might be better if we had individual seats and things progressed more smoothly from this point.

I took a deep breath and began my Winter Is A-Comin' Survival Speech:

My Dear AGK, it is time that we speak on a matter most serious.  The chilly days are upon us and we must all do our parts to make these circumstances bearable.  I am the human.  It is my job to fill the bowls, scoop out the litter box and earn money in order that we might have funds for life's necessities.

You, my handsome boy, are a cat.  You are fluffy.  You are also blessed with prodigious girth.  I have asked little of you up 'til now.  I have simply enjoyed your company and been grateful for your entertaining ways.  Now you must step up.  I know that you have not had a family for a while and that you are maybe unfamiliar with how families work.  But we are now a family and you must use your gifts to help our happy home function smoothly.

I therefor must ask that you lend me your fluffy, flabby gi-normousness.  Come bedtime, it is the responsibility of all household felines to repair to the bed and provide me with extra body heat.  I realize that this is a lot to ask and that it is going to require some negotiating with a certain BFK who has gotten used to being the only fluff ball in the bed.  But it has to be done.  I shall surely freeze to death should I not have a little extra insulation during the nighttime hours.  

Perhaps if I had been a better, more industrious knitter over the summer months, I might have been able to crafty myself enough warm and woolly accessories to avoid this sad state of affairs.  But there is no sense in finger-pointing at this juncture.  The situation is what it is.  Besides, I am but one person and I don't see how I could have really knit enough to cocoon myself adequately anyway.

I'll make it worth your while.  I have an electric blanket.  Between that, the BFK and your gi-normous ability to radiate body heat, I think we can all sleep comfortably through to the spring.  

I thank you for your time and attention.  I trust that you understand the situation and that I can count on your support in this matter.

I'm pretty sure that I made an impression.  I could tell by his expression.  He was very focused.


I had a good feeling about it.  He'd ventured onto the bed once or twice over the weekend and I thought he might be considering sleeping there as a regular part of the routine.  Sure enough, he was game!  He was late.  But, sometime around midnight, I felt the bed shift sharply to the left as if a bowling ball had been dropped on it from some great height.

Sadly, he didn't stick the landing and invaded the personal space of the BFK.  She was less than accommodating about this and we had a slight "incident" over this social gaffe.  Happily, he was undeterred by this little setback. I awoke in the very wee hours to find myself quite securely hemmed in by my personal assistants. I so warm and cozy I almost couldn't stand it.

Seriously.  I almost couldn't stand it.  I was kind of hot.  And really claustrophobic.  But any good plan needs a little "tweaking" at the outset so I have great hopes for this strategy helping us in managing the winter months.

What a team I have over here!  I'm truly blessed.  I should have known I could count on them to come through in the crunch.  And it is a good team leader who trusts in her chosen ones.

I actually feel sort of guilty about turning on the heat just in case...



Donna Lee said...

I was trying to hold off on the heat for a little while longer but the temps are down into the 30's at night and that is a little too cold for me. There was snow in Northern Jersey this past week! Already, before Hallowe'en. Global warming, ha!

trek said...

We had a wee bit of wintry mix yesterday - right when it was time to retrieve the offspring from the bus. Then it stopped.


With frosts and temps near freezing, it was time for the heat. But tomorrow is supposed to be in the low sixties.

Go figure. :/

Carrie K said...

Like a bowling ball? LOL! It's good when a plan comes together.

Yarnhog said...

I don't think it will ever be winter here. You can borrow our Newfoundland if you want. Just make sure she goes out before you go to bed. We wouldn't want a repeat of that little bed-wetting incident.

Mel said...

I just filled up the hot water bottle for the first time tonight, so that the foot of the bed will be nice and toasty by the time I need to put my toes there. For the rest, we have flannel sheets, a couple of alpaca blankets, and a duvet. It obviates any concerns about being caught in the crossfire of a kitty fight (plus they're not allowed in the bedroom because of David's allergies).

Mia said...

that was a good post sheepie, made me laugh :) specially about the bed tilting with the weight hehehehhe.

Lorraine said...

LOL! With the advent of cooler temperatures, I've acquired an extra appendage with loads of fluffy warmth as well. Except mine is with me all day and all night. I'm so glad she only weighs 8 pounds.

Karen said...

We had to turn the heat on last week. Everyone had a cold. I felt guilty.

Deb said...

Ah - sort of like the "stewardship" talk at church this past weekend! "You all have time, talent, and treasures and we want them all!"

Terrye said...

Happy Hallowe'en, Sheepie. Here's Zombie link fer ya!


Anonymous said...

Cats = heat magnets. And heat providers. We are all symbiotic in this effort.

I just wish Hannibal didn't find it necessary to curl up on my face.

Luna said...

I have to have a similar conversation with my cat - the part about providing food and shelter and a clean litterbox - but with my expectation being that in return she is supposed to provide insect-extermination services. We have this conversation every time I find centipedes or other creepy-crawlies in the house.

So far my conversation with the cat is having far less favorable results than yours.

Knitting Linguist said...

You should have had faith in the AGK's ability to see his role in this heat crisis. (bowling ball forsooth)

Knittymama said...

Sigh...our cats just glue themselves to the radiators. So my feet are cold! At least I've got a snugly baby again. He's quite the heating pad!!

livnletlrn said...

There's a song on the newest episode of Cast-On (10/30/08) with your name all over it. :-)

mehitabel said...

Turning on the heat is good, since it will keep your water pipes from freezing. I can tell you that frozen water pipes are right up there with no electricity for misery. My cats understand that it is their duty to keep me warm at night, and they rise catboyfully to the occasion. Then they leave.
Sigh. Simon would love to be my bedcat but Hi-Hi is jealous.

Anonymous said...

Kitties certainly do make good bed warmers!