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Chapter 1 : Blessed sleep, please
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I get a night to myself for once with no children who want to ‘play’ and grab my tail. She’s sent them to be with her mother and they’ve gone out for the night. I’ve already slept all day, so now it’s time to patrol. I sniff around the cupboards, looking to glean crumbs that have been dropped, but nothing catches my interest. I gather myself and leap, climbing around on the kitchen counters. I know I’m not supposed to be up on them, but I jump up anyway in my search.
My legs hurt a lot now as I’m starting to get old. My eyes are definitely going, but I’ve still got my nose. Ah, he’s left the crisps out again. He thinks the clip over the bag will keep me out. Ignoring the clip, I swipe the bag open with my claws. Crisps spill out on the counter and floor. I devour them greedily before leaping off and continuing my patrol.
I sniff around the doors and windows, making sure we don’t have any invaders. No mice to chase here; she keeps the place so very clean. I push open the flap on the door and sniff outside. It’s just gone dark and I should patrol the outside, but I’m so tired. I’ve been with her so long now that I can’t remember what it was like without her. The smell of the big Tom that had been prowling around lately is faint now. I really don’t need to go out and patrol. I lift my head one last time and sniff, but nothing interesting comes in on the wind. Grumbling to myself, I pull back in from the flap.
Nature calls and I visit the box. The sand they put in the box is strange; it has an odour like flowers. Sand shouldn’t smell, but she likes it better than the plain sand. When I’ve completed my business I bury it in the strange-smelling sand. I move to my water dish and drink heavily-the crisps were very salty. The water’s not too fresh, so I vent my frustration by sending the dish spinning across the kitchen. It hits a cupboard and bounces off, spilling the water across the floor.
I should patrol the rest of the house, but I’m so tired; so old and tired. I stop and wash, starting with my head and cleaning down my body with my paw all the way to my tail. I pause once, thinking that I hear something, but it’s just the wind.
Knowing they’ll be gone a long time, I decide to go sleep on their bed. He doesn’t like it when I sleep on their bed and he usually chases me off. Sometimes he closes the door to keep me out, but I can turn the doorknobs. He doesn’t realise just how clever my paws are.
As I leap up on the bed, I notice the moon in the window. I curl up under the blanket, enjoying the warmth reflecting back at me. Only my nose sticks out, and I fall asleep immediately.
The sound of the door opening awakens me. I can hear her laughing, and his brash response. I turn my head to the window. The moon has barely moved from the last time I saw it. They’re home way earlier than I thought.
I hear scuffling and shouting from the kitchen and become alert right away. I knew I’d have to protect her from him at some point. I emerge from the blanket and leap off quietly. I trot quietly into the kitchen, moving like a creeping fog on my padded paws.
When I come around the corner, I can see what they’re doing. He’s not hurting her at all, so I creep away. They say us Tom’s are loud. Pfft, they don’t have anything on her.
I return to my nest under the blankets and go back to sleep. It’s only a few minutes before they fall laughing onto the bed, almost crushing me. I try to return to sleep, but their noise keeps me awake. I sigh and leap off. Where can I get some peace?
The tub should be quiet this time of night, so I go there. Pushing the curtain aside with my nose I slide in. I hope to find a spider, and sniff at the drain, but just like the rest of the house it’s spotlessly clean. He doesn’t allow me to play with spiders anyway; he goes all white and scared when I bring one to him. I curl up and sleep. This time I must have slept longer, but they interrupt my rest again.
“Move, Crookshanks,” she says as she leans over and tries to push me out of the tub. I yawn and insolently stretch out a paw. They can just go somewhere else.
“Okay, if that’s how it’s going to be,” he says and turns on the shower. The cold water sprays onto me and I leap out of the tub and streak away between their legs. I hear them both giggling as they climb into the tub. I don’t care, I just want some rest.
Where can I sleep? The echoes from the bathroom and the running water are so loud. I creep into the living room and crawl under the sofa. Under the sofa is always safe and quiet. The dust tickles my nose and I sneeze, but then I settle down.
Movement from above awakens me again. The dust falls on my head and I can hear them both on the sofa. I give up and put my paws over my ears and just tough it out. Eventually, they get tired and fall asleep. Wearily, I come out from under the couch. They’re sleeping on it, nestled up against each other. I envy them their rest.
A thought comes to me. I go into the kitchen where my water and food bowls rest empty. I howl my frustration. No response. I flick the food bowl across the room to join my water bowl from the night before. Still no response from them. I pick up the bowl in my mouth and trot into the living room.
After I leap up on the couch, I drop the bowl on his head.
He leaps up immediately. “Bloody hell,” he says. I stick my face in his and meow at him. He leaps back from my fangs.
“All right, all right, I’m getting your food and water.”
I follow him into the kitchen and wait until he fills my bowls. When he places them down, I sniff at the food once and then walk away from it, my tail in the air. As I walk by the water dish, I overturn it and swat it again. I stalk back out to the living room and leap onto the sofa, curling up next to her. She puts her arm around me and the last thing I see before I finally get some sleep is his red, angry face heading off toward the bedroom.
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