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Would you give up reading for your cat?

I know some of you think I’m turning into a cat blogger, so I promise you this will be the last cat post this month. I swear. The cat is just a small part of my perfectly normal life, which is full of work and art and blogging and scrabble and knitting and chores and walking and running and friends and Internet and errands and sleep.

I used to have a little bit of regular reading time built into my life, and that was at bedtime. Not anymore. The reading came to an abrupt end with Duncan’s arrival four weeks ago.

Self-portrait: Bedtime grooming routineDuncan has taken over bedtime. He loves bedtime with all his great big furry purry heart. He starts lobbying for bedtime around 9:30 every evening, and he does not stop until I go to bed. This is okay, because I seem to have been infected by Duncan’s love of bedtime. With his help, I have totally conquered insomnia.

Remember I told you that he sleeps with his head on my pillow and one paw in my hand and the other paw on my cheek? Not anymore. Now he sleeps in the curl of my arm, with his head on my chest. Last night he slept in the curl of my arm with his cheek on my cheek. I haven’t the heart to read in bed anymore. Besides, Duncan is adamant that I do my reading on my own time.

Meanwhile, there is an inviting little stack of books on my bedside table that I had been slowly making a dent in, but no longer am. There’s an intriguing Australian book called Praise, sent to me by nursemyra of the Gimcrack Hospital. There’s my friend Donna’s sister’s first novel, Paper Trail, which I’m looking forward to burrowing into. There’s a book of bite-sized short stories called The Girl Who Married a Lion, which Robin sent me. And there’s Sweater 101, a gift from its author, Cheryl Brunette, which is brimming with useful sweater-knitting information.

I’m trying to re-arrange my life so I can read again. For starters, I just popped Praise into my knapsack yesterday, for reading in lineups and waiting rooms and on the bus. I’m on Chapter 7 already and I’m enjoying it. But I have to say it feels a little weird reading those raunchy heroin sex scenes in public, especially when some of my fellow travelers on the #14 seem to be leaning in and reading along. Am I just imagining that?

I wonder if they wonder why I’m reading porn on the bus, and what they would think if they knew it was because my cat doesn’t allow me to read it at home.

I also wonder if it’s okay to turn the page yet, or if they need another minute to catch up. (I always give them the extra minute, don’t you?)

18 comments to Would you give up reading for your cat?

  • You can’t sneak that one by me. It’s the last day of the month! I love the Duncan posts though.
    I tend to read around my cats – let them get comfy and curl around them with my book in one hand and petting with the other.

  • Sally

    Reading is a hard one with cats-as is knitting. My Fletcher is 22.5lbs. When he wants attention, he sits on my book, knitting, whatever. Obviously, he gets what he wants. I love a kitty curled up with me in bed. My husband is always jealous that the cats like me more…

  • There are three cats in our house, two females and a male. The big boy cat is a champion snuggler, and he loves to cheek-on-cheek cuddle. I know what you’re experiencing. Enjoy! Enjoy!

  • *snicker* DH is away tonight, so kitty and I get to love each other up without abandon tonight… hubby gets pissy when I’d rather cuddle with kitty than him. :)

  • Re

    You can read anywhere – but you can’t snuggle with the kitty everywhere. That Duncan is a charmer!

  • Oma

    My latest bed partner is a ten month old Doberman named Havoc. It seems that every time I have a male puppy staying here I acquire a bed mate. Kenya decided when she was a couple of months old that she was too big to sleep ON my bed. Now she sleeps NEAR the bead and we cuddle on the couch watching movies BEFORE bedtime. Dogs take up an inordinate amount of bedspace and are not nearly as easy to shove over as cats. They lack fluidity. But, surprisingly, I too sleep better with a canine bed partner. Enjoy your snoozing and snuggling.

  • that photo of the two of you is just gorgeous.

    (I don’t remember Praise being all that pornographic :-)

  • Debi

    What a cute picture…makes you just want to nuzzle with him.
    We used to have cats until we found out my daughter was allergic to them…and they (2 of them, Pouncer and Cosby) used to sleep with her!
    Enjoy Duncan.

  • XUP

    I’m so jealous. My cat isn’t the least bit snuggly. All he ever does in my room is hunt things and when he wants to sleep he goes off to the living room. Sometimes I try to sneak up on him and ever-so gently perch myself near him when he’s sleeping and relaxed, but he immediately jumps up and runs away. The only time he’s the slightest bit schmoozy is when I first come home in the evening — then he lets me scratch his chin for 30 seconds.

  • Kat

    Like Lissa, I also caught on that your blog was on the last day of the month. I so enjoy Duncan and find that I can relax with kind of post. Besides there are plenty of other readings on the Internet for politics, latest news, etc. I love cat/dog stories personalized. It makes my day.

  • Ooh, you two are so gorgeous!

    I totally didn’t catch onto the last day of the month loophole. I always feel weird reading sex scenes in public, but I can’t read in motion so I’ve never experienced someone reading over my shoulder… hilarious!

  • sheila

    Enjoy the lovey-dovey time. This is like the early days of a romance. A warm and fuzzy, intoxicating place to be. Sooner or later life goes back to normal. With six cats in my house you’d think that I never get a chance to eat or read or sleep or knit or anything but I do… sorta.

  • My! he is cuddly isn’t he? Who knew cats could cure insomnia. Mostly mine disrupts a good night’s sleep.

    re: 2nd last paragraph – lol

  • More Duncan, more Duncan, more Duncan. All the time!

  • I couldn’t quite give up my bedtime reading for my cat. Rocky was (and still is to some extent) very insistant I not read at bedtime and instead pay attention to him. We’ve got a nice system now where I get into bed, he joins me, plops himself smack dab in the middle of my chest, I wait for him to settle, then I start to read around him. It’s worked out well, though occasionally he decides he needs more attention then eats the book.
    Tux on the other hand, is a little more pushy when it comes to knitting time. He sees me on the couch.. waddles his way into my lap and sits up leaning back into my chest so I have no choice but to put down the needles to love him. It’s hard to say no to 16 lbs of fuzzy walrus.. I mean cat.. when he looks at you like that. Good luck with your reading though!

  • I kept my promise! (Good eye, you two.)

    I think it’s funny that we’ve got one husband here who is jealous that his wife would rather snuggle with the cat, and another husband who is jealous that the cat would rather snuggle with his wife.

    I actually don’t even want to read in bed anymore; I just want to snuggle with my cat. I wonder if Sheila’s right and things will go back to normal after the honeymoon period. Duncan and I will start taking each other for granted. I’ll go back to reading in bed and Duncan will move a TV into the bedroom and start eating cheetos and watching sports in bed.

  • Would I give up reading for my cat?

  • LOL! Duncan sounds and looks like a wonderful kitty. I have to set boundaries with my cats. Like every cat I’ve known, they feel obligated to occupy the space between their human and the object of their human’s attention, be it page, screen, bowl, or destination. Teaching them “down” was a priority and it even works most of the time unless tuna is involved. As for reading time, I find that I can cuddle a cat and a book in the recliner, especially if my cat hand can slowly skritch on autopilot. VBG