Rudy sighed to herself from her perch on the little table in the kitchen. Peep never learned. Well, she did learn to count, but she didn’t learn the practical things. Stuff like cats can’t do the humans’ chores. That’s why they kept humans around, to do the tasks that required either thumbs or the ability to stand on two legs and use hands. Every once in a while, particularly around holidays, Peep would decide that they all needed to help the Daddy get stuff ready so that when Mommy came home everything looked nice and she could just relax. If only it weren’t raining, Rudy would take herself outside, but she really didn’t like getting her luxurious fur wet.
Peep stood, tail lashing in the middle of the living room. What could be done? She’d already done her regular self-appointed chore of corner dusting. She was a little cat, and it was easier for her to get into corners and under furniture than it was for the Daddy or Mommy. She’d squirm into those little spaces and roll around for a moment or two until she’d collected all the cobwebs and dustmice that had eluded brooms and vacuums. Then she’d take herself outside and run and jump until most of it had fallen off and the groomed the rest away. Considering all the furniture in the house and the relatively inaccessible corners, this took a number of trips. With today’s rain it was a bit more difficult. She’d zoom out the cat door and scoot under the porch where she’d do her gyrations in close quarters. Once Loaf Cat figured out what she was doing he offered to help and pulled off the worst of the cobwebs. She didn’t like licking cobwebs. She figured it was like eating cotton candy, except that this stuff neither melted in your mouth nor tasted good. Yuck.
She’d been thinking of making an arrangement of dried leaves, but the weather had ruined that idea. The snowstorm had turned the trees quickly (and mostly brown). Today’s rain had made whatever leaves were left rather soggy. The bouquet she’d brought Mommy for Mother’s Day had been a rousing success and she wanted to repeat it, but it looked like a no-go.
Well, if nothing else, maybe she could just help Daddy with a few things so he’d have more time to do the big things that required fingers. She ran into the bedroom – she knew she could make the bed if she had a little help from Rudy. She jumped onto the bed and surveyed the wreckage. The Daddy could be a very active sleeper, and the covers showed it. The pillows were all out of place and the blankets looked like they’d been tied into a complicated knot.
She started with the pillows. Easy. She dragged one to what she thought was the right spot, but then decided it needed to be over just a little bit more, but it didn’t want to push. Humph. After some calculation, she determined that if she lay on the edge of the bed and dragged the pillow towards her she could get it in the right spot. She positioned herself, dug her claws into the pillow, pulled – and fell off the bed. To add insult to her injured body, the pillow fell on top of her. At least it was soft.
“Rudy, can I have some assistance here?” Peep explained her problem, and the two tried to get the pillow back up onto the bed. First Rudy lay on the bed while Peep tried to stand it up on end so Rudy could pull it up. The pillow was too soft and smooshy and it wouldn’t stand up. It just flumphed into a slightly different lump when placed on end. Then Peep decided that perhaps if she stood on the side rail of the bed frame she could pull it up. Instead, the pillow pulled her down. It was a very nice soft landing, but didn’t help the pillow problem. Rudy gave up and went back to her spot in the kitchen.
Well, Peep thought, there are two pillows. I’ll put the other one in the middle and that’ll do. She arranged it to her satisfaction and started on the covers. The sheets would just have to stay the way they were, as there was no way she could fix them, and the blankets would cover them anyway. She surveyed the tangled blankets and saw that they were actually twisted so much that the top side was on the bottom and vice versa, except for at the very head of the bed where the top side was on top again. Very confusing.
Starting at the head of the bed she easily untwisted the first fold, but then came up against a dilemma. The next twist was several times longer than she was and immeasurably thicker. There would be no way even two cats could pull it right. Then she decided to try another tactic. She wormed under the covers to see if she could unsnarl them from underneath. It was kind of like the idea that sometimes you can push something heavier than you can pull. Simple physics, right?
She wiggled and wriggled at the foot of the bed by the main tangle and succeeded in loosening it up a little bit. She came out to check her progress. From the top it actually looked worse now. She went back under again and decided to try something different. She’d try repeatedly moving up to the head of the bed and count on friction to untangle the covers. Physics again. She just hoped she wouldn’t have to resort to trying a lever to fix the covers.
After about three friction runs the tangle was at least moving up to the head of the bed. She decided to add some speed to the equation, and her fourth run was done at the top speed you can get on a bed under covers when you’re getting a bit winded. It wasn’t all that fast, but it was fast enough that when she burst out, she hit the one pillow remaining on the bed and it slid onto the floor.
Okay, so this wasn’t going too well, but the blankets were improving. At least she could finish that. It took the last of Peep’s energy to get the tangle untangled. She decided to try and smooth them out a bit from underneath and crawled under one last time when she was seized by a nap attack.
An hour or so later the Daddy came home. He was cold and damp and went to the bedroom to change his clothes. The pillows were on either side of the bed, and the covers, although untangled, looked very wrinkled and, well, lumpy. As though perhaps there was a cat sleeping underneath. The Daddy leaned over the bed and heard a very soft snore. He patted the lump, changed into some warm, dry clothes and decided the lump had the right idea. Time for a nap.
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/eclecticlibrarian/34748801