He sits at the end of my bed barely visible in the darkness. He’s as still as a concrete statue, except for the coal black tail he occasionally flicks from side-to-side. He watches through wide, yellow eyes, with huge fathomless pupils. He’s waiting for me to stir from my deep slumber. I can sense he is there and that he is hungry.
As I painfully pull out from the realm of a peaceful sleep, I am aware of his lead-weight on my legs. His bony haunches feel like a boulder on my left foot. I manage to pull it away, roll over and cling to the warmth of my blanket cocoon. But there’s no fooling him. He doesn’t miss a thing. He knows I am there. He knows I am waking up.
Slowly he stands, arching his back in a shivering stretch that lifts him to the tip of his claws. They are retracted… for now.
Slowly and purposefully he pads his way up my leg and crushes my hip under his full weight as he crouches. He doesn’t take his eyes off me. He doesn’t blink.
I lie completely still. I sense he is plotting to wake me or kill me: I’m not yet sure. His needle-like claws are extended now and digging repeatedly through the blanket as he kneads my hip. I can hear his faint purrs, like a soft motor.
The purrs grow loader. Suddenly I feel lighter as he moves off my hip and creeps up behind my back. He’s now purring in my ear, it’s loud like the roar of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and his whiskers tickle the side of my exposed and vulnerable neck. I roll slowly to face my little monster.
As he nudges my cheek with his head his whiskers tickle me. Then like sandpaper, his tongue scrapes across my nose. I freeze. Is he saying I love you? Perhaps he’s tasting me. As he nuzzles and licks for half a minute I’m lulled into a sense of security. Maybe he just wants to be close. He narrows his eyes slowly and I return his gesture of trust.