As I write this, I’m lying in bed with my cat. It’s bed time, and I’ve just crawled under the covers. She, on the other hand, has been curled up here for hours. She still lives at home with my parents, and she sleeps on my bed every night when I’m not here. Which is pretty much all the time, because I live pretty far away. So really, this is almost more her bed than it is mine. That’s certainly how it feels at the moment, considering I was very careful not to disturb her too much as I slid underneath the blankets just as a catering service Niagara would take care not to disturb those who they were serving.

And even more so, you might say, because my left arm is kind of aching right now because she’s lying under it, and I’m making a pointed effort to keep it hovering above her as to allow her to sleep as comfortably as possible. She is definitely the alpha of this sleeping situation. But you know what? I don’t care. I truly would not have it any other way. She is soft and silky and snuggly and she makes me feel both loved and safe. She is a creature with whom I love sleeping.

Often, she will start out at the bottom or in the middle of my bed, and will be sleeping there before I arrive. I’ll crawl in, waking her slightly, and then motion for her to come join me at the top of the bed. She gets up, starts feeling her way up towards me, and usually starts to purr. I love this. Her favourite place to sleep is generally between my body and my arm, so that her front paws are draped over my arm and I am giving her kind of a side hug. Before she settles into this position, however, she does that thing that cats do where they prod you with their nails.

I know there’s a name for it, but I can’t remember … kneading! That’s it. Anyway, it hurts a little, must admit that. Especially because she often kneads (that’s the word, I think) my arm, which is usually bare, so she kind of sinks her little claws into my skin. So that’s not the greatest, but it’s a small price to pay, as far as I’m concerned, for a night full of snuggles. I’ve always loved sleeping with cats, and used to sleep with my cat, Molly, when I was a kid.

The only problem with Molly is that my dad would have to come in during the night to make sure that Molly wasn’t lying on my face, blocking my airways. Which was, admittedly, a common occurrence. It came from love, though, of course, on Molly’s part. How was she to know that lying on my face could kill me? In her delightfully feline was, she was just showing that she cared. All in all, I’ve had excellent experiences sharing my sleeping space with cats. And a huge bonus that they have over dogs is that their breath doesn’t smell. And I think that everyone should consider that a huge win.