About twenty minutes ago I opened the back door to let the large red cat in the house. He had stretched himself across the grill, in the sun, and was ready to come in for some food and a snooze. I filled my cup with coffee and came back here into the living room, where the quiet is punctuated by the song of the cicadas outside. Nature’s own vuvuzaela, I suppose. Constant and nattering … a sustained rattling, itself punctuated by the deep sighes of cats and kid in sleep.
Here I sit, computer on lap, deep in my chair with my feet up. In her father’s recliner, next to me, sleeps my youngest, who got up about an hour ago to use the bathroom and rip another page off her home-made, birthday-countdown-calendar. Then snuggled into her dad’s chair, with a blanket tossed lightly over her. The youngest but fattest cat has now curled up on the footrest of the recliner, nose down and tail curled round her large, large body.
The large red cat had been stretched out just under the footrest. When he stretches out like that I think he must be three feet long–or maybe it’s just the hair that makes it so. But he has since moved … stood and did a slow stretch that seemed to span the living room, then sauntered over and curled up in the corner of the couch that usually cradles my middle child. We tease her: call her “Sheldon” (a pop culture reference to a television sitcom called the Big Bang Theory, where one character has “a seat” on the couch where others dare not sit). But now the big red cat has claimed “Sheldon’s” spot, while she, that middle child, still snoozes in her bed.
Lastly, the calico (who had earlier perched on one arm of the chair I sit in, then on the other, and then on my chest) snores softly on the floor in front of the fireplace. She is in a pose that reminds me of diving. Her back quarters are on the ground, as if she were sleeping on her side, but by the time you curve up to her head, she appears to be on her back, her nose tipped up and her front paws curled up on her chest. She, like me, has just noticed the sudden silence of the cicada’s vuvuzaela’s, and I see she has not moved but her green eyes have popped open wide, looking, but not moving. No threat detected. Eyes are closed again.
I am surrounded by sleeping beauties, brought to mindfulness by their rest, as the cicadas resume a low but rising song.