Life in the loft



Illustration by Jenny Lamont

In which DD worries about this new sleeping arrangement for her AND the fur kids!

We recently decided to add to our little cottage and built a cosy little loft. Last night was our first night of sleeping in said loft. It didn’t go as smoothly as planned – but, then, when you have a houseful of fur kids, it never really does…

Wakey-wakey!

The usual 05h00 wake-up routine has now become even more irritating. The girls’ nails clickety-clacked impatiently on the wooden floors as they moved from my side of the bed to check if I was awake, and then around to check on The Dad… and back again. Of course, they had to push their cold, damp noses close enough to ours to ensure we were still breathing. This was repeated 20 times (it felt like a hundred).

And then, of course, The Twins joined in. Not trusting the dogs’ assessment of our signs of life, blue-eyed Arty cat performed CPR on The Dad’s chest, while brother Lewie sat next to the bed (which now is at kitty eye level as the base couldn’t get up the stairs!), staring at me in a vain hope to move me with the Jedi mind trick; when that didn’t work, he decided to slip a warm paw under the duvet and hook me out. Arrgggh!

Rise and shine

Finally, when I could take the torture no more, I elbowed James in the ribs to ask him the question to which I already knew the answer: “Have you fed them yet?”

“No,” he mumbled.

“Hmmmppfff, well I think you should – it’s the only way we can get some sleep!” 

With a less-than-amused groan, he did a much better job of heaving his half-asleep body off the bed. Isn’t it weird that the lower the bed, the more difficult it is to get off? I practically have to roll my body off in a “Boetie ons gaan border toe”-style manoeuvre and leopard-crawl across the floor until I reach something sturdy with which to pull myself up.

All this, much to the amusement of the rest of the family. I swear, even loyal Sheba was hiding a little smile behind her paw!

New bedroom blues

The Twins seemed to be happy to try out a new bedroom last night and were delighted to find extra basket options upstairs. Turns out, we actually have an extra basket – I say this means we can adopt one more; James, alas, disagrees.

At first, the doggy girls eyed the new sleeping arrangements from the ground floor with distinct mistrust. Neither of them was about to slog up the stairs to join us. I was close to tears worrying that I was now upsetting their lives, which I didn’t want to do, not to mention that there’s no way I can go to sleep without my fur kids close.

I was forced to schlepp back downstairs (it takes a while, especially taking the leopard crawl into consideration) and bribe them with a Beeno biscuit.

Sammy fell for it, but then she did have an extra bribe: one of James’s socks (Sammy’s idea of heaven). Sheba slunk up, gobbled her biscuit, and, without so much as a “thanks”, hotfooted it back down. She refused point blank to leave “her boy” and slept in Aaron’s room all night. It was early morning when she felt the need to lead the masses into revolt; I think tonight we’ll put one of the baskets downstairs in Aaron’s room and then she can have the choice – I reckon she’s a bit big to share a single bed with, although Aaron would be delighted.

Sweet dreams

Of course, like a scene from the Pied Piper of Hamelin, everyone followed The Dad down the SSSS (sh*t-scary steep stairs) as he begrudgingly headed off to dish up the kibbles. I pulled the duvet a little further up under my chin, enjoying the peace and quiet – if only for a few delightful moments more.

Needless to say, this morning, while the fur kids all snore peacefully around me and I blearily slump over my laptop willing myself to work, I feel a little crispy around the edges and find myself already beginning to fantasise about bedtime.

Maybe tonight will be easier. Armed with a few discarded pairs of socks, a handful of dog biscuits, a sprinkling of catnip, and schlurp of Rescue Remedy (that’s for me), we can all happily settle down promptly upstairs and sleep through until morning. Well, here’s hoping!