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Cat Naps

John W. Pinkerton


When I awoke from one of my daily naps,  on the floor before me three cats lay asleep in little C shapes.

For the first seventy years of my existence on earth, I don't believe I slept for one second while the sun was up.  Never!

Some time in my seventies, I noticed I was dozing off for a few moments.  Today a nap extends for a two hour period.  Holy moly.

Cats seem to accept their naps as a normal part of life.  It's as though they're saying, “Of course I'm taking several naps today…and why are you still awake?”

It turns out that cats sleep from twelve to sixteen hours a day.  You might as well consider cats' nap time their normal state and their awake time the…well, abnormal state.

The average time for a cat nap for cats is seventy-eight minutes.

Cats don't seem to require a particular setting for their siestas.  Almost anywhere will do from the edge of a table to the middle of a doorway.  Well, at least I haven't started blocking traffic in and out of doors.

Cats go to sleep easily and awake easily.  The rattle of treats will awaken numerous cats at once---even dozing cats miles away. However, the other day I witnessed a rare event.  One of our cats was so soundly asleep, he silently slid off the dining table and hit the floor---on all fours of course---with a thump.  As you may know, cats deplore being embarrassed, so the fellow stood there frozen for over a minute trying to figure out what had just happened and how he could pretend to have performed this feat intentionally.  You're not fooling me, cat.

Like cats, I too respond to treats, but I resist pushing others aside to access them first.

The one thing that cats are miles ahead of me is cleanliness. Our cats, when awake, are constantly cleaning themselves with their tongues in every area available...humm.  In my youth I could match them in their fastidious attention to personal hygiene.  No longer.  I only do what is absolutely necessary.

Cats, unlike dogs, only eat what they need to eat at each setting.  Dogs, if given an unending supply of food, will eat until they flounder themselves.  Cats will eat until they are satisfied that they have stored enough energy  to make it to their next feast.  There is an exception to this rule: if there is competition from other cats to food available, the dominant cat will eat until it is absolutely miserable to deny other cats the nourishment.  I, on the other hand, don't eat much, and I certainly don't try to deny others their portions: there, I've found a way to feel superior to cats.  Hurray for moi.

This jewel of information was a short-lived solace as one of our cats from a sitting start leaped seven feet straight into the air undoubtedly in pursuit of an insect.  When I saw the cat landing with a thud, I thought surely it had injured itself, but no.  It rapidly repeated this feat of athleticism.

For humans, naps can help their memory and improve their alertness, lift their moods and assist them in performing better.  I guess I'm soon to be a genius Olympian.

I suspect that for cats, it's just time for dreaming of all the ways that they are superior to you, me, and all other mere mortals.