Sunday, January 9, 2011

Joy is a stick with feathers

Joy is a black plastic wand with bright green feathers on one end. Currently, this particular cat toy is somewhere in my bed.

On this snowy Sunday, I had nothing I really needed to do other than go to church and to watch Masterpiece Theater. It was a perfect day to catch up on household chores, including changing my sheets and doing laundry.

My cat Guinness loves nothing more than helping me change the sheets on my bed. There are layers and layers of delight. First, the old must be removed. That requires pulling off the quilt, the comforter, the top sheet and the bottom sheet. Each layer becomes a hiding place, a surface from which a cat toy can tantalize before he pounces. When he is at the top of his game, he pounces and somersaults. [He is the most somersaulting cat I have ever met.] Then, when the bedclothes are gathered into pillowcases, Guinness waits at the top of the stairs for me to toss them to the lower landing. [I have no idea why he likes this process. I would have thought it to be slightly threatening.] We descend, proceeding to the laundry room for the boring part. But his excitement mounts as I remove clean linens from the closet and climb up the stairs to the second floor, led by a speeding cat.

Sheet changing is so much more fun than just bed making. It's the feline equivalent of a double feature ... or a double whammy. First, he is covered by the bottom sheet (sometimes I have to lift up an escape route if he stays until it is all tucked in). Then, by the top sheet, then the comforter. Here we pause for him to chase the cat toy (or toys). Finally, the quilt soars over the enterprise, and the cat. Replacing the pillows with their fresh cases signals the end of the game.

The bed looks fairly respectable -- with only one layer slightly askew. It's only as I smooth the surface that I notice that one toy, the black plastic want with bright green feathers on one end, is missing.

Ah well, it is somewhere in the bedclothes. I'm sure we'll find it later, after Masterpiece Theater, when we 'retire' for the night.

Cats can teach you a lot about joy.

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