One thing Smudge and I both agree on, is that he does his business outside. When away for a night, coming home to a load of his droppings—not to mention the smell—and litter strewn two metres away from the tray, is not ideal.
A mobile vet suggested I reduce the amount of litter—which I did—however, I am still cleaning-up after Smudge. The big mog can’t resist sending granules flying with his ninja moves.
Sometimes I won’t get up after being tortured, or I may sleep in, and having tradesmen around also deters Smudge from going outside. Later, I’ll find a surprise in the shower or dining room.
The offending end.
I left home early and returned at lunchtime, when a worker arrived to discuss a job. From the dining room corner Smudge made strange chirping sounds and started to circle, then scratch the floor. Realising what was about to happen, I rushed over pushing a dining chair out of the way and grabbed Smudge around the belly. His body flopped in my hands leaving all paws dangling. As I sprinted toward the backdoor and turfed him outside, droppings plopped onto the floor leaving a trail.
Earlier, Smudge didn’t go outside, but chose to snooze instead. He always scoffs the expensive, dry food I give him, and enjoys a little bit of wet food too. His droppings were solid, easy to pick-up with a paper towel and flush down the toilet.
A connoisseur of comfort, Smudge has many sleeping spots around the house. His favourite places are an armchair and the couch, the bottom shelf in the hall cupboard, on top of an overnight bag and of course, my bed – mostly when I’m absent.
Due to my study efforts and feeling ignored, he is sleeping back on the bed at night with me. I’d prefer that he didn’t because having a bony chin stuck into my leg is really uncomfortable. I’m a restless sleeper and with Smudge on the bed, I feel guilty turning on my side, rolling onto my back and constantly turning while he stays curled up in the same position for ages.
Recently, I can’t tolerate the weight of the doona on my sore foot, especially when a hefty moggie is leaning on my ankle.
Smudge’s sheet roll.
Early each morning after torturing me to get his breakfast, Smudge will then go outside and patrol his territory. In no time, he will return to bed. When I’m up again he follows me, but sometimes the slacker will snooze for another hour.
Often I wake-up and find myself on one side of the mattress, while the furball is in the centre of the bed, curled up, his eyes and nose hidden underneath a fluffy tail. Yesterday, I found myself balanced on the edge of the bed – literally on a quarter of the mattress – so I shoved him over. Soon Smudge began pawing at my cheeks and flicking his tail across my face.
Numerous drafts of my story lie on the floor. Smudge is sitting on the last one, which I attempt to retrieve as I need to check something. He’s unimpressed and doesn’t move, as I have been keeping him awake with my noise and the light. Eventually, he relents and curls up in the tub chair.
It’s after 2.30 am, so I complete my bathroom routine and fall into bed. However, sleep is absent as I can’t get comfortable and thoughts continue to roll around in my head.
At 6.00 am the mantle clock chimes and I gasp and raise my head, disturbed by a weight on my body. Smudge has plopped himself horizontally across my chest. It’s hard to breathe when a 4.5 kg furball has pinned you down. I manage to turn slightly hoping that he’ll slide off, but he clings on with extended claws. ‘Owhh!’ I’m now fully awake and push him off.
In an attempt to ignore my tormenter, I wrap the doona around my body and bury my face into the pillow, but Smudge hasn’t given up and whacks me in the head. I turn around and his face is 30 cm away from mine, his pupils dilated. After a few seconds of eyeballing each other, he looks away and jumps off the bed. Finally, I’m left in peace… but later I’m woken by a loud, rumbling sound. There are workmen outside operating an excavating machine and Smudge is back on the bed again.
Smudge looks like a venerable, oriental gentleman, but don’t be fooled. Now 13 in human years, he continues to be exacerbating and his exuberant playfulness never wanes. The elderly fluffball sleeps a lot more now and has mellowed just a little.
Chubby Smudge with some toys.
As I get older, I don’t worry so much about how others see me, but Smudge still loves to impress the kitties by keeping up his fastidious grooming routine, and shimmying his tail.
These days, he subtly wakes me up in the morning with a gentle paw to the face. However, if I don’t get up, he’ll thrust his backside in my face, or block my nostrils with the end of his tail. It’s effective, but not nice.
That dreaded tail.
I enjoy my comforts—a supportive bed and great food are bliss. Smudge has always made sure he is comfy, resting his head on cushions or pillows, even using my belly as a headrest when he is curled up or sprawled across my lap. Although he is fed nutritious cat food, Smudge manages to score a small piece of meat from my own dinner when I’m sitting on the couch watching T.V. After waiting a minute, he’ll saunter by and flick his tail near my food. If ignored, Smudge will jump up next to me and drool over my plate. Of course, I relent and he wins. An excellent human manipulator, Smudge won’t change, and I continue to be wrapped around his paw.