Renn enjoys keeping me company at night while I sleep. He is always the first to come to bed with me at the end of the day. My little orange friend, Tungsten, used to have first choice of position on the bed, and usually would lie in my hand, very near my face. Now, Renn, by virtue of being first there, rather than being the top-cat, gets to choose. Like Tungsten, he likes to lie down on the side that I am facing. When I roll over, he changes sides of the bed.
When I first turn out the light, Renn lies down near my head, and sometimes stretches out one of his powerful forelegs to make sure I am paying attention to his presence. He is not the tiny terror, however, and having my big boy so close to me face can be too close. So I usually push him back down the bed a ways. He accepts this, and so we drift off to sleep.
I wake during the night. Normally, it’s a couple of times, when, hitherto lying on one side, my body tells me it’s time to roll over. Renn notices when I am no longer slumbering. Then it starts. First, there is a low, slow, rumbling purr. It builds, and a heavy form starts making its way up the bed. He is a shadow in the darkness, a silhouette; I hear and feel his movements. He will lie down very close to my face, and again the paw comes out to touch me. I’m awake, so I must have time to give him some attention.
I have taken to pretending that I don’t wake, that I am actually still unconscious. But the rough motor continues. I know that those golden eyes are staring at me. He felt me stir, he saw me turn. I’m awake. Time for petting. I can ignore a cat fairly well at this point in my feline-ridden life, but a purring cat with a metaphorical grin staring at me simply causes me to smile myself, or to laugh. That really destroys the illusion of sleep.
Renn receives his affection. I rub that big head. He may turn over, so I rub his furry chest. But only for a minute. After all, it’s the middle of the night. I tell my big boy that he’s had enough and gently push him away. He’s satisfied for now.
Until I wake again a few hours later, and see that shape creeping up toward me once more, the purring having begun…