A Weekend of Cuddles

The first weekend in October was much too much like the weekends yet to come between now and May. The clouds rolled in Friday and never left. They weren't the great thunderheads of summer that bring excitement along with inclemency. The sky this weekend was the dirty, dull dishwater gray of winter, unending blandness from horizon to horizon. And it rained - it rained a lot - but not as a display of Nature's wrath; this rain was the dripping of a million leaky faucets. If the thermometer topped fifty, it did just barely and not for long.

The weekend wasn't without a bright spot, however, and that bright spot was Cuddles the Cat. During the summer, Cuddles was in her Vanna White mode. She was out of sight most of the time, and when she did make an appearance, it was only to slink suggestively across the room, lest her two-legged acquaintances forget that she is ravishing, indeed.

Perhaps the unrelenting overcast made Cuddles' favorite spots too drab for her finicky feline tastes. Or maybe, because the sun was no longer doing its job, she moved around in an effort to generate some warmth. I think it was a combination of the two.

Cuddles was eager to play fetch again - and again and again. As with all things, Cuddles decides when we will play fetch, and she seldom had much interest in it over the summer. This weekend, we played four times, maybe even five or six times.

Our games begin when I am at the table reading or doing a crossword puzzle, and Cuddles finds a rubber band or other small object she can easily carry in her mouth. She jumps on to the table with greatest of ease, and lets the object fall from her mouth. If I fail to notice, she uses her front paws to push it closer. If that doesn't work, she takes advantage of my habit of keeping the book or newspaper flat on the table as I read and stretches across it. She faces me when she does this the first time. Should I fail to respond, she tries again. But now she adjusts her angle so that as her forelegs go out and her chin drops between them, her nether regions rise before my eyes.

Never let be said I can't take a hint. I pick up whatever it is she wants to chase, place it at the edge of table, and with flick of my finger send it across the room. Cuddles leaps from the table and makes a mad dash to retrieve it. Sometimes she brings it back right away, other times she'll bat it around on the floor, giving the impression that she was a soccer player in a previous life, before she allows me to rejoin the game. This goes on as long as Cuddles wants it to go on. When she is done, we're done, and not a moment before.

With the cooler weather, the furnace went on and the space heater I use to help keep my legs warm came out. I'm not so naïve as to believe Cuddles is fond of me, but she does like the space heater. Once on Saturday and twice Sunday, Cuddles got on the table and acted as though she wanted to play fetch, but she hadn't brought along anything to fetch. Eventually, she got me to understand that I was to move back a foot or so from the table so she could plop on my lap. Once there, she hung her head over my forearm, looking like Snoopy peering down from the roof of his doghouse, and enjoyed the warm air from the space heater blowing against her face.

By Wednesday, it's supposed to be sunny and seventy, and Cuddles will go back to being Vanna.

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