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When cats help

Michelle Cole

O’Malley is one of the litter who came home with us about a year and a half ago. He is the most vocal, the most demanding of all our cats. He is what could be called a character. I wrote him his own theme song, one that is very simple but seems to please him none-the-less. He is also the one who still consistently ‘helps’ me make the bed. I once heard that cats spell help “H-I-N-D-E-R”.

Over the time we’ve shared this small adventure a ritual of sort has emerged. While I shake the sheets O’Malley makes sure at least one spot stays anchored, you know so it can’t get off center. Just to make sure things go correctly from both sides, he then stays in place while the top sheet covers him. He seems to feel something akin to great joy under those sheets. The furious purring is hard to miss by this point. If you raise the sheets to peek you will be met with eyes gleaming with glee.

Sometimes when the foot blanket goes on the lump in the bed moves to hide under its shadow. Then comes the feather bed and with it darkness. Yet, the rumble of utter content is still clearly vibrating through the layers. By the time the top sheet is laid out he has emerged to plop down completely satisfied with the completion of the task at hand.

This last week I was talking with O’Malley while making the bed, commenting about how much fun he seems to have helping with the bed. It was then that I thought about how Doug worries about O’Malley suffocating under the thick feather blanket. When the furry orange lump refuses to emerge when Daddy thinks he should, Daddy begins the teasing and encourages O’Malley to change his mind. It’s all done in the spirit of fun, but what I heard in my head that day made me laugh out loud at the idea.

“You should teach Dad how to make the bed right!”

Then, a few days later the chance came to make the bed and take photo’s of the process. O’Malley seemed to like the idea of being the center of attention. At one point he had the look of this soft ball of happy love, but in the pictures I tried to catch the look in turned out looking not a little smug. He is, as I mentioned, a character. I do believe in my heart that these furry children of mine are here in my life at this time because they want to be a part of the learning process as I find more confidence in my own abilities.

So, I share with you the amazing O’Malley, the bed-making cat. It was a while ago I had the idea of “Ask O’Malley”, he is quite outspoken and I had this thought about the opinions he must hold. I keep holding back, even though I think it could be quite fun and entertaining, I don’t feel the confidence in myself, my abilities. What I feel coming back from him is an almost flippant “Oh get to it already”.

Well, I’ll keep an open mind to the idea that there might be someone who would be interested in the opinion of a spunky orange tabby and in the meantime…Doug dear, would you mind helping me with the bed?


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