Why this feline friend provides comfort around bedtime to his owner.
Every night as I lay down to go to sleep, my tuxedo cat Dean and I play out a little ritual.
It is expected that I lay perfectly still (yes, purr-fectly) on my back, with my arms out to each side.
That's Dean's cue to jump up on the bed, pace the length of my prostrated form, and choose a place to nestle.
After much pacing, sometimes she settles in the crook of my right arm, draping her hefty form over the right side of my chest. Sometimes she chooses the left side, but takes a more distant seat, curling up along the curve of my hip with her tail tickling my nose.
But before she actually settles down, she has to knead the comforter (where there are many little kitty nail marks) to make it a comfortable place to nest. She takes this part of the ritual very seriously, and won't settle until it has been kneaded to purr-fection.
This whole process takes about 10 minutes off my sleep time, and requires me to remain absolutely still. If I move an inch, it throws Dean off and she has to begin the ritual of choosing a space again. When I'm exceptionally tired, it becomes hard for me to participate.
But once she is settled down completely, she allows me to put my arm around her, hugging her like a teddy bear. She purrs softly and contently, providing me a deep source of comfort as I drift off to sleep.
My dreams are always more pleasant with Dean at my side.
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Here are a few photos of my comforting kitty, Dean: