Greg awoke from a dream that somebody was sitting on his chest; the room was dark except for an indigo-ish bit of ambient light that came in around the curtains, suggesting that it was approaching but not quite dawn. He looked around the room blearily, with the uncomfortable sensation that somebody was still sitting on his chest. The worry that he might be having some kind of a coronary flashed through his mind briefly, only to be replaced by extreme puzzlement at what he saw:
Under the blanket, where the relative flatness of his chest should be, was a mound approximately the size of a shoebox, and it was apparently this that was producing the pressure on his chest.
Greg blinked and boggled at this for a moment, his brain still trying to claw its way up out of the dark and into conscious thought. Slowly, a bit worried what he might find there, he lifted the blanket and peered under it … only to be confronted with a cat.
“Um … hello?” he said. It was a perfectly ordinary cat as far as Greg could tell, with white fur and gold-colored eyes, that looked back at him as if embarrassed. “I was hoping you wouldn’t spot me under here,” seemed to be the cat’s general attitude, and it meowed as if to say as much.
Greg looked at the cat. The cat looked at Greg. “Where did you come from?” Greg said.
“Meow,” replied the cat, which wasn’t very informative, but at least showed a friendly spirit.
Greg weighed his options. Brigid had been out until well after midnight the night before, and presumably the cat had come home with her … but waking her up in the pre-dawn hours for an explanation would require an act of Congress, if not several tons of high explosives. It was also, if Greg hadn’t first wrapped himself in several layers of kevlar and foam rubber, hazardous to his health. On top of which, Greg couldn’t figure out any way to get up without spilling the cat in question, and as it seemed a cat of goodwill, he was disinclined to do so.
Finally, Greg shrugged. “Right, well, good-night then,” he said to the cat, and released the blanket, which collapsed back down into a mound shape. There was a muffled meow, then silence, and within less than a minute they’d both gone back to sleep.
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