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That’s it! I have had it with those two furry black-and-whites hogging the bed every night. Hey, wasn’t one of the positive outcomes of divorcing the Murmuring Ex-Husband that I would have that big bed all to myself? Yes, indeed it was. But that reality has evaporated, it’s gone. The bed has become an Occupied Zone! And don’t even suggest that I just close the door because There-Isn’t-A-Door! Ah, the negatives of open concept living!

Every single night Rose and Nick are there, in my bed — Nick stretching his 5 feet (I do exaggerate but that what it feels like) smack dab in the middle of the bed. Rose takes the next avenue and Velcroes herself to my legs. This leaves me with a tiny sliver of my queen size bed that’s barely enough for me to turn around from one side to the other. They’re very sneaky about this take-over though. They stay downstairs until the light is off upstairs and wait long enough so they’re sure I’m asleep and then, step by step, they stealthily creep up the stairs, across the floor and without bouncing an inch of that bed, they slither into position.

I’m totally unaware of their maneuverings until I have to get up in the middle of the night — which, being a woman of a particular age, I have to do at least once. But it is not an easy thing to do. For one thing, their combined weight of double-digit pounds, keeps the blankets firmly in place so I have to fight to pull enough loose to slip out. This produces grunts of disapproval from Rose who does not want her heater temporarily disconnected. To compensate, Nick moves his body even closer to Rose to keep her warm until I get back. This means, that by the time I do get back, even more of the bed has been compromised by CATS.

I ask you: How is a girl supposed to get any quality sleep, especially now when she’s freaking out about book sales, marketing, her tingling liver and an approaching 68th birthday? These furry beasts have no compassion! They don’t. They only think about themselves — Egotistic, Selfish, Cats! I can hear their godmother, Judith, tsk-tsking at my harshness and then coming to their defence. She has been their very own Perry Mason ever since I introduced them to her.  She was convinced then that I would not be loving enough either in the caring department or the food — the size of these cats certainly proves I have not failed on that account.”Compassion?”, she’d argue, “They are Compassion in the flesh! Is there any more compassionate animal in the world than a cat?” She can be very passionate about cats. Then with expressive hand gestures, she’d conclude her argument, “Do cats not purr when we pet them? Do they not condescend to share a home with us? Are they not fodder for blogs?”

All good points but not appreciated at 4 a.m. I am a very compassionate and loving cat owner. Did I not, as soon as it started to get a little chilly, climb my compassionate self up to the loft and unpack all of their little afghans so they’d have warm, familiar, cozy places to snuggle on cool fall nights?

Nick and one of the schmattas when it, and he, were in much better shape.

Nick and one of the schmattas when it, and he, were in much better shape.

Yes, I did. And am I not willing every winter to relinquish my “stylish” living room decor over to mismatched, faded, claw-destroyed schmattas covering the back of the couch and every other surface where the cats like to sleep? Indeed I am. But they have obviously come to the decision that these are meant just for temporary naps and not for a full night’s sleep. Or maybe they just get lonely when they wake up for their little midnight snack and I’m not there. Ah, that’s sort of a heart warming thought.

But something has to be done if I’m going to get any sleep this winter. Maybe I could just have a conversation with them about space issues. I did this when my little sister, Peg, and I shared a bed. Since I was older, I drew an imaginary line down the middle of the bed and threatened her if she dared cross it with one swinging leg or arm. I also made her sleep next to the open closet which I was sure housed scary demons. It didn’t work with Peg and I know it won’t work with the cats. No, I’ll just have to be a little less gentle when I decide to shift positions — it doesn’t make any difference to the cats since they will just resume the places where they want to be and that will be that. So, perhaps a better solution is to move downstairs and sleep on the schmattas for the rest of the winter.

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Attention All Book-Clubbers: I’m very excited to announce that I’m offering a special package to bring Mediterranean Journey to Book Clubs! This package will include: A discount on books for book club members (of course), a Special Menu culled from the food mentioned in the book that the host could serve at the book club, and an In-Person appearance by the author for a reading, listening and a Question & Answer session. If your book club is looking for something specific just let me know, this program is open to change!

Amazon.com Buyers: If any of you purchased your copy of Mediterranean Journey from Amazon.com, you might consider writing a short review of what you thought about the book!

Buy This Book: In case you haven’t found the link for ordering Mediterranean Journey: A Young Woman’s Travels Through 1970s Europe, here it is. The book is available worldwide through Amazon.com, or, if you want a signed copy, you can order it from me at ann@anneyerman.com. Copies are $14.99 + S&H each, or special offer 2 copies for $25 ($US/$CDN)! PayPal, check, money order and cash are all accepted. Great Holiday Gifts!

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