Possession is Nine Tenths of a Nap

Every now and again Krissy gets it into her head to get a doggie bed for Kodi, because she loves Kodi and wants only the best for her, and that includes a doggie bed. Kodi, however, typically eschews these doggie beds, perhaps because her lack of opposable thumbs means that she is unable to transport the bed to her favorite napping spot, which is at Krissy’s feet, wherever she may be in the house.

This leaves the doggie bed vulnerable to cross-species colonization, and indeed that is what’s happened with the latest doggie bed, which has been claimed by Zeus, neither for England nor for Greece, but for his own fuzzy self, so that he may lay dozing in a series of extravagantly naptastic poses. The other cats have their own favorite napping spots (Ghlaghghee: The loveseat in my office, where in fact she is now; Lopsided Cat: the rocking chair in the spare bedroom), but neither of the other two project the same sort of smug satisfaction that Zeus does on his doggie bed. It’s a whole See? See what I’m doing here? With the dog bed? Which I have claimed? As a CAT? See? sort of thing. I guess you have to be here to truly appreciate it.

34 Comments on “Possession is Nine Tenths of a Nap”

  1. My cat and I have similar territorial negotiations pretty much daily. They usually go like this.

    Me to cat: “Why? Why must my pillow always be your sleeping surface of choice? That’s where my head goes. Explain!”

    Cat: “Mrrrmrph.”

    We get nowhere.

  2. Levi Montgomery – I am an author living and working in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. See my website at www.levimontgomery.com for more.

    A scene which has played itself out many times in my house:

    My dog, Lucy, comes and taps on my knee. I say “Do you have to go potty?” If that’s the case, she goes to the door, mission accomplished.

    If, instead, she goes to the kitchen doorway and sits down, glaring into the kitchen with her face saying as clearly as words “I told you I was going to tell on you!” then, yeah, the cat’s asleep on the table again.

  3. O Great Scalzi, what an excellent picture of TempCat Zeus displaying the proper amount of disdain for Anteater-Thing.

    The Executive Committee notes your prompt response to our prior communication – however, we think it might be better to verify your claim that the Beauteous Ghlaghghee is currently napping on the loveseat by providing a suitable picture.

    Not that we don’t trust you or anything… well, we don’t, actually.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

  4. This is probably one reason why I can have neither cat nor dog, despite loving both. For all animals have an instinctive knowledge that my lungs will implode if they come rub their butts in my face, and I’m sure it would be a matter of days before my pillow turned into Napping Central.

  5. My dog Molly has her own space and pillow on my bed. She has to be right by my head on the left hand side. When it cold (like now) she even gets under the covers!!! Her favorite place is on my lap in the den like now. We are watching the Ravens/Patriots game while waiting for the Cardnials/Packers game to see who will play the Saints next Saturday.
    Who Dat!

  6. This is exactly what my cat does to my bed every night. Felines can be so damn possessive.

  7. Chris La Tray – Missoula, MT – Chris La Tray is a writer and photographer from Missoula, MT. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

    Similar powerplays take place in my house. In my office is a chair that is essentially the domain of our oldest (15), a Jack Russell named Orly, aka The King, aka The Little Thunderer, et al. Anyway, now and then one of our cats, Puny, claims it for herself.

    And once, the unprecedented occurred:


    Other times, Puny thinks about pushing her luck. Must be the 9 lives thing.


  8. the solution is pretty clear. You have to recarpet your house in doggie bed material.
    Think about it.

  9. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    Ha! George Foreman (our resident feline) has also taken over the dog bed for some periods.

  10. Since my cat seems to think her bed is on top of my laptop keyboard whenever it is open, and particularly where I am trying to type…I think Scalzi has wonderfully considerate animals.

  11. We have a dog that must sleep within a three foot radius of my husband (aka our alpha male). As a result, we have at least three dog beds at any given time – bedroom, living room, computer room – so that she can follow him around in comfort as he moves through our universe. I love our pack.

  12. We have a dog that must sleep within a three foot radius of my husband (aka our alpha male). As a result, we have at least three dog beds at any given time – bedroom, living room, computer room – so that she can follow him around in comfort as he moves through our universe. I love our pack.

    We have the same phenomenon with Our Fargo. And, as it turns out, one of his beds is exactly like the one in the picture above. The cats, however, choose to sleep up on things and out of reach.

  13. My family’s dog trained my father to give up his seat on the couch by giving the signal to go out– a fairly involved series of signals, really. Dad got off the couch to get his shoes, dog got into the couch and sighed in contentment.

  14. I’ve thought about getting a doggy bed for our Maine Coon, ’cause he only fits in the cat bed when he’s shaved. He’s usually pretty happy taking up the entire king sized bed, though, when one of the smaller cats lets him.

  15. Dog bed? I don’t think my dogs would know what to do with one if I brought one home. I can speculate though. They’d sniff at it, possibly chew on it, then come lay all over me until I get frustrated and either get up or kick them out.

  16. Thomas@1: Mine does that. Oddly enough, it’s a habit he’s picked up just in the last six months or so (he’s about 8); and I wish I knew where he got the idea and how I can break him of it. I roll over onto the other pillow in the middle of the night and… GAH! It’s ALIVE!

    Other than that, he’s free to nap where he likes. Apparently the TV remote control is *extremely* comfortable.

  17. Sara @ 14: So it’s not just mine who does that? He is the most aloof kitty in the world unless I am (a) trying to type or (b) getting out of the shower and will be plastered with cat hair for hours if I pick him up to quiet his demands that I do so.

    Regarding our doggie beds, the dogs and cats share them remarkably well. It’s not uncommon to see both dogs and at least one cat all piled onto the same dog bed. The rest of the cats are in bed with my husband and I, of course, and several may be under the covers with us at any given time.

  18. christy@24: If your cat demands to be picked up for pets when you are fresh from the shower, simply take him in the shower. This way, he will get the attention he needs, and loose hair and dander will be washed down the drain. Everyone wins!

  19. I have a photo of my 8 lb brown tabby curled up in the middle of a very large dog bed. Not in the photo, the 80 lb dog to whom the dog bed belonged. She was standing nearby, whining.

  20. (can we post pics here? I could’ve sworn I saw people post videos in past comment threads. Let’s find out!)

    @25. Jo3sh:

    (if that didn’t work, the pic I was trying to post is here.)

  21. @BeVibe:

    One of my favourite memories of two childhood pets is the day our very large labrador-something? dog brought his tennis ball over, expecting someone to throw it for him, and a cruel family member put it down right next to our tiny, obliviously sleeping cat. I’ve never seen a dog look so sad.

  22. This is probably a result of making a bad cat naming decision, but our cat has managed to colonize two chairs in the dining room, both of which were originally set up for me to be able to do different kinds of crafts projects.

    His name? Zathras.

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