Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Cold War Over a Warm Bed

Cats have favourite spots in which to sit, as much as humans. I knew a person once who needed to sit in the same seat in a restaurant every time he visited it, and if he could not, he would sulk in a corner, literally. Cats can be much the same, though they have an excuse for such behaviour: they’re cats, after all.

In my house, the preferred spot is the cat-bed next the entrance to the back corridor. I consider it Tungsten’s spot. She is entitled to it, by authority (as top-cat), by seniority (she is older than all the others) and by tradition (she is usually in it.) It has a perfectly-sized heating pad under its cushion, and Tungsten’s tiny, boney frame is perfect for curling up within this warming shelter.

Her only rivals for it are Josie and Renn. As soon as she sees the orange one leave for some purpose, to ask for food or to visit the litter-boxes, my Chubs rumbles over the cat-bed and settles herself down. Renn’s usurpation is less frequent, but he can sometimes be found flopped over the whole of the bed, and then some.

There are other cat-beds. One, identical to the favourite, is just three feet away. It too is heated. Indeed, it is used quite a bit. Josie and Renn resort to it, as do Cammie and Kola. Tucker, oddly, likes Bear-Bear’s old bed, a little farther away. But Tungsten has an aversion to this second bed. I think it may have something to do with the fact that her spot is elevated on a cardboard box. It formerly sat atop a taller box, but this required more effort for my old orange one to attain. Even so, the lower box keeps the bed off the hardwood floor and, though the heat in both would obviate any draught felt from the floor, I think the box gives a spring to the bed’s bottom that would otherwise not exist.

I have been trying to find a similar box, six inches high and wide enough to keep the bed from falling off, but so far have had no success. So the bed by the back corridor remains the favourite. When Tungsten comes from having a nibble at her food-bowl only to find the Great White amply filling the cavity she had been enjoying, the orange one’s dismay is apparent. Perhaps Renn is sprawled across the length and breadth of the bed, like a cat photographed in mid-fall from a great height. Tungsten stands and stares at the interloper, as if unable to credit her eyes. Then she will turn sadly about and sit by the heating vent in the bathroom.

The heat doesn’t flow all the time. So there is the pathetic spectacle of an old cat hoping to stay warm on a cold floor. Will she go to the second, equally warm bed? No. What about the BB’s old bed? Heaven forbid. The human bed, between the pillows? Sometimes, but only when the human is absent, and Tungsten can’t make the piteous impression on him that she does sitting forlornly by the heating vent.

So I oust Josie or Renn from their comfort in the favoured position. More often than not, my Chubs, without a grumble, will waddle over to the second bed and curl as best as her bulk allows. She is happy there, but not, I suspect, as happy as she had been. Renn gives up with a groaning whine. Yes, he knows he’s a third Tungsten’s age, strong and fit, with long, thick fur that keeps him warm, but really, is that the point?

Nonetheless, age has its privileges. As top-cat, Tungsten must have her old, skinny body warmed as she wants it. She forms herself into a ball and closes her eyes, knowing that she may now sleep where she deserves to sleep. Until the next time she leaves her bed.


  1. Awww, bed wars are no fun. We feel for you, Tungsten and send warm purrs....

    Thank you so much for your kind words last week over our loss of Maxx. They are very much appreciated and are working magic toward healing our hearts. Thank you!

  2. poor Tungsten....though mom now has the giggles from the story telling. :) admittedly, she would do this for Maestro in his later years....age had privilege and that meant sleeping where he wanted (preferably without kitten interlopers but sometimes that couldn't be helped)

  3. She knows she has earned her privileges with age. I get the same disbelieving stare from Flynn if I dare to sit in my recliner. He will not sit on my lap if I am there but will sit with Ivor in the other recliner. If I move, my seat is gone in seconds and Flynn enjoys his favourite spot again. Yet if I sit in the other recliner, Flynn will come and sleep on my lap. He has also decided the computer chair is his, and most days I end up sitting at the computer on a dining chair.

    1. Ha! I'll do the same thing. I'll move the chair away from my computer and bring in another, just so I don't disturb Tungsten or Cammie.

  4. The cat beds in the basement get used, but rarely the one in my bedroom. Of course I have yet to heat any.

    But I'm with Tungsten, there should be some benefits to be older ...the others will get their chance...but hopefully not for a long time.

    Would a large shoe box, such as one would get from boots work as a base? I'm wondering if you checked with a local shoe store if they might not have a extra box or two they could provide.

    1. I'll look at local shoe shops. There are enough of them in this town! Thanks for the idea.

  5. My furs have not been much for cat beds until I got some with very low sides. Of course the 3 cat shelves over the heat are the favored of all besides the warm lap. Glad your grande dame is getting what she enjoys