January 18, 2016
three cats sleeping together

Photo by Audrey Pavia

Three of my cats like to cram themselves into just one bed.

I’ve been a cat person my whole life. I think there was a three-month period when I was 27 when I didn’t have a cat. I had lost my kitty to leukemia and was too grief-stricken to get another one right away. That didn’t last too long because I soon found myself stopping to pet every cat I saw on the street in the residential neighborhood where I lived in Brooklyn. I was having serious cat withdrawals.

Nowadays, I share my urban farmhouse with four cats, who are strictly indoor residents for their own safety. The traffic on my street would make short work of any feline who survived the marauding coyotes who patrol the neighborhood every night.

My cats are pretty spoiled. They have a homemade cat tree that allows them to survey the backyard from a number of perches. They get premium cat food, high-quality litter and fresh, organic catnip. And, of course, they have a plethora of beds in which they can sleep.

The leather couch in the living room has a blanket on it to make it more comfortable for them to cuddle. The laundry room has a cat bed on the counter in case one of them wants to sleep near the warmth of the clothes dryer. I keep a cat bed on the chair in my office because one of them usually wants to curl up in front of my computer.

Despite all these many option, three of my four cats insist on sleeping together in one bed, on a chair in the living room.

The first cat who usually lays claim to the bed is Stanley. As soon as Erma sees that he is comfortable, she jumps up and lays right on top of him. In a short time, Cheddar, Stanley’s litter brother, wedges himself between Erma and the rim of the bed. Here, the four of them lay smashed against each other while the fourth cat, Bodhi, can choose to sleep anywhere else in the 2,400-square-foot house.

I’m not quite sure why three-quarters of my cats insist on all trying to cram into the same small bed designed for only one feline. Is it for warmth? They only seem to do this in the wintertime. Is it because they see one cat in the bed and figure it must be best spot since that guy picked it first? Or is it because, as cats, they are just plain weird? Honestly, I suspect it’s the latter.

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