“He’s under the bed!” I hissed the other night as my entire family of four huddled under the covers together in the middle of the king-sized bed in our home’s master bedroom.
It was around midnight and my son had lost a section of his beloved but snuggled-to-pieces blanket called “The String” and felt the need to wake both of his parents to help him find it so that he could go back to sleep in comfort.
My daughter had already been sleeping in our bed because the attic access in the ceiling of her own room gives her the heebie jeebies, we’ve recently learned (or she’s recently decided) and we haven’t been able to come up with a solution that satisfies her yet.
Of course we weren’t talking about an intruder or axe murderer or anything, We were talking about our family feline lurking under the bed waiting for just the right time to strike.
Technically he’s still a kitten at a few weeks shy of 10 months old, but at already a hefty 12.6 pounds and with claws out in stalking mode in the middle of the night, it was not our kitten Timber, but the Hyde to Timber’s Jekyll; it was our cat Mr. Bite.
As the children giggled and clutched each other in the middle of the bed, my husband and I used the flashlights on our phones to search for The String. Every time a foot or arm moved, the cat would launch itself and attack the limb.
We looked under the pillows: “ouch!”
We looked under the top sheet: “owie!”
We looked under the duvet: “For. The. Love…!”
An unexpected cry in the dark shocked us all.
“He made me bleed my own blood!” exclaimed my husband, as he shone his light at his knuckle. Or chin. I don’t remember, it was all a whirlwind.
“Better than bleeding somebody else’s blood,” I said dryly as I continued to look for The String. I don’t even know what I meant by that, but it seemed like the right thing to say at the time. Hey, I was tired. We kept looking.
Eventually, with 16 arms and legs on board the bed, we located The String. Given the time and our children’s reluctance to go back to their own beds, we all snuggled up and laughed as we listened for the cat, who was chasing his tail in the corner of the room.
Just as we were calming down and my husband was getting back into bed, Timber jumped up onto the bed with the sheer curtains draped over himself like a bride in a veil.
My husband recoiled, the children screamed, and laughter ensued.
Somehow shocked at our reaction, the cat retreated back under the bed.
“OK guys. Be careful,” I cautioned. “He could come out from any direction.”
The kids were about to reply when we heard a muffled but quite audible:
The laughter continued.
Did anyone realize the sun was down and we all had places to be in the morning? After trying to coax out another meow, the children gave up. Well, they were told to go the heck to sleep or else.
As if he knew, and likely building up quite the hunger terrorizing his family in the middle of the night, the cat wandered out the door and headed downstairs.
In an instant, the kids put their heads down and went to sleep like we hadn’t just spent 25 minutes on a scavenger hunt for a four-inch piece of blanket while being terrorized by our family pet. This left both my husband and I wide awake on the outer edges of our bed, in the middle of the night, with two ever-growing children sprawled out between us, wondering if there’s a bigger option than a king sized bed.
Hours later, the sun wasn’t even up yet when 6 a.m. rolled around and I awoke with a sore neck to find myself half-upside down, clinging to the last inch of my own bed that my kids hadn’t yet occupied and a tiny little girl’s head on my pillow above me.
“Hey! Don’t bite me!” came a little voice from the middle of the bed.
That darn cat had woken up my boy. Here we go again.