Life at the Mink household would not be near as interesting if Nippy, Hunny, Piddles, Whiskers, and Pancake were not around. Our critters give us hours of entertainment that no amount of money could buy.
Sure there are moments when they can work your last nerve such as Whiskers and Pancake dashing across your path in the dark of night when you are mostly asleep and trying to get to the bathroom; Hunny's incessant need to give kisses; Nippy's need to bully everyone into submission; and Piddles' squeaky yet ear-splitting bark and need to chew on everyone. But there are some lovely and funny times with our furry kids that I wouldn't trade for a million bucks.
And then there are times like last night. The event itself would have been irritating if it hadn't given me the giggles first. It wasn't long after going to bed that I determined it was going to be one of those nights where no one gets any sleep because Piddles is having one of her restless nights. She has them from time to time where it seems she just can't get comfortable no matter what she tries.
Last night began that way. She would lie down in one spot for a few minutes, get up, go to another corner of the bed, and lie down there. This went on for what felt like hours before I got up and let her out of the bedroom. She and Nippy both went to get drinks, then we went back to bed and tried to sleep all over again. No such luck. Piddles got restless again.
Just about the time I started to get annoyed and decide that we were sleeping in the living room, I heard a noise. It was a weird scraping/bumping noise, like someone was sliding their fingers under the door and then pulling on it. I couldn't find anything that would make that noise and decided it was all in my head. It's just like me to hear things go bump in the night.
When Piddles noticed I was up, she got up wagging her tail and giving kisses. I'm not sure she has mastered this whole time thing because she decided that dark thirty was the perfect time for a game of tug with her old, dirty sock. I did what needed to be done to settle her back down, which usually requires a lot of petting and soft whispering.
I finally managed to fall back asleep when something touched my foot. Something very soft. It didn't feel like Nippy, whose hair is coarse and wiry, and who was currently battling me for the right to sleep on my own pillow. It didn't feel like Piddles, who was currently wagging her tail in my face at something at the foot of the bed. It didn't feel like Hunny, whose hair is soft, but slick, not fluffy. In fact, it felt like one of the cats. Not Whiskers, his hair is kinda coarse and rough. But it did feel like Pancake. Hmmm, I thought as I reached down and felt around my feet for the mystery object.
Page 2 of 2 - It was Pancake!
As soon as I picked her up, she immediately started purring and nuzzling my palm. As a rule, the cats don't sleep in the same room we do because they tend to want to play all night long instead of sleep, so finding Pancake in the room was startling. I picked her up, gave some hugs and love and put her out of the room. As I climbed back into bed, I saw that it was 10 minutes to 4 a.m. I spent the majority of the night wrestling with Piddles trying to get her to sleep. She apparently knew Pancake was in the room the whole time and was trying to play with her throughout the night.
Once Pancake was sent out of the room, Piddles immediately settled down and went to sleep, giving me about two hours of blissful sleep before I had to get up and at em for the day.
And though I am tired now, I couldn't help laughing about the whole situation. Who expects to have a rogue cat to cause midnight mischief?
(Lorie Mink of Pangburn is the Editor for The Sun-Times. Her column appears here each Friday. Email her at email@example.com)