Happiness is an unmade bed

dude in red egyptian cotton 2

On my days off, our pussycat, Dude, crawls into bed as soon as Kris gets up…4:30 a.m. on work days. Dude likes to sleep on Kris’ pillow (like many single pets, he thinks he’s human) beside me. When I get up a little later I don’t have the heart to disturb the warm ball of golden fluff lying so still and contented in our bed, and so let him be. The virtues of a neatly made bed are overrated, and I would much rather enjoy the sight of a small lion with its head on a pillow, dreaming a small lion’s untroubled dreams.

As February gives way to March, and time rills on irrevocably, I have been taking more photographs, doing more sketches, and spending more pampering time with Dude, in general. I am making the most of what time is left before we have to say goodbye to this sweet-tempered and gentle cat…the best cat we’ve ever had.

Kris and I have got a big 5-year trip looming…by sailboat to South Africa, and then to South America…that we’ve been planning and preparing for, for years. We’re nearly ready and when we go in 9 months’ time, we won’t be able to take Dude with us (the good news is that a lovely older lady has already asked to take him, so he’ll go straight to a loving home) For one thing, the boat’s not cat-safe…we would probably lose him during an ocean passage; secondly, if he does survive all of South Africa, the Amazon, the Caribbean, and return with us, Australia’s draconian quarantine laws wouldn’t allow him back into the country.

The trip, of course, will mean leaving so much more than Dude behind. But I am focusing and steeling myself for this little one, I think, as practice for the bigger partings to come. If such a tearing apart can be practiced.

2014 is shaping up to look like The Year of Letting Go. It’s a hard lesson, and doesn’t ever seem to get easier with each loss or loosening.

25 thoughts on “Happiness is an unmade bed

  1. I recently had to leave my cat behind and your story brought tears to my eyes. It has been 8 months and I still miss her every day. She, too, was a “climb into bed and sleep with me” kind of loving kitty, but sometimes circumstances change and with that hard decisions must be made. I’m sure you and Kris will have a true adventure exploring the Amazon and the far reaches of the world. There will be time in the future to plant roots.


    1. Yes, I’m embarassed to admit that I cried for a year for my first cat, left behind in the Philippines when we came to Oz. As close as I’ll ever get to having kids, so I guess I’ve invested the relationship with the energy and love that normally goes to one’s children. 🙂


    1. I have left Dude on the boat for a night, knowing he’d be fine and maybe a bit peckish, but they go for days without eating in the wild, and on the boat he gets no exercise, so I figured it wouldn’t kill him. But he punished me for it…he ate the dead kingfisher I had found weeks before. It’s a wonder he didn’t eat anything else that used to be alive. Like leather shoes. 🙂


  2. I have the same problem with our cat, she seems to prefer sleeping on the sheets than the comforter so once she’s in it I feel too bad to make her get up. She also hates when the bed is made because it is harder for her to burrow her way underneath the comforter which she loves to do.


    1. LOL it’s not really a problem, I love it. I don’t care about making the bed, I figure it’s not one of the things I’ll look back on when I’m dying and think “If only I’d made my bed more often…” though I probably will think “If only I’d kept more cats…” 😉


  3. We give up so much to have precious things sometimes, your travels will be so amazing, Yet there lies an amazing cat and You know you cant have both. I live on a fabulous farm, we care for our animals and the land but have never had the freedom to travel like you…We would have to sell the farm, leave our adult children, our lives, our heritage. Your freedom, to not be tied to debt and history sounds great but to have no Land no place sounds terrifying to me…..hmmm choices


    1. Yes, Shazz, I think about that, the “safety net” in my old age, the land my mother always told me determined my value as a human being (my mother was so hung up on this that she wrote to me that If I owned land, then I also owned all the air and sky and outer space that shot straight up from the boundaries of my property, and the earth underneath the surface all the way down to the molten core. Poor mum, who’s a box of ash now, and a lot of good such sovereignty did for her…she never traveled again, after a trip to the U.S. in 1980-something, and talked about the time she went solo through Europe in the 70’s, for the rest of her life.) So yes, choices, and also, I suppose, temperament. I am actually quite the homebody, but I love him more than my fabric stash, and I know that even though I am nervous about change and the unknown, I will love the travel once I’m doing it. And unless my father sells it before he dies, I actually share a little piece of land with two brothers, though I doubt I would ever want to live there again…that’s probably where my mongrel bloodlines mess things up, there is no heritage I feel comfortable in, may as well vagabond!


  4. Adventure of a lifetime! Can’t wait to read about your exciting journey….you will take us through all these exotic places! Waiting! Partings are a natural part of life.


    1. Ermagerd, I will? LOL Sure it won’t just be a big whinge about the food and the all-too-infrequent showers where I can wash my poor, sun-fried hair? 😉 Hey, of course I want to, but on the sea there will be big silences and I confess I am looking forward to those, too!


    1. 🙂 Sweetheart, you’d make sucha good momma for him! But he’s old and won’t live for terribly long, so he’d just break your heart, in the end, I think. Thanks for the love, I can feel i t from here!


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