It’s a cat’s life! It’s a wonderful life!

Our next-door neighbour Jim sadly died at the start of the year. Jim was a great guy, always up for a chat and a joke. He loved gardening, and you could often see him weeding, pruning and primping his immaculate little plot. But with a love of gardening came a loathing of cats, because of the unspeakable things he claimed they did to his flowerbeds. Milky Bar was always persona non grata at Jim’s.

Milky Bar: the sleeping beauty

Since Jim passed, his property has remained unoccupied, and Milky Bar has taken full advantage. A few days ago we spotted him curled up on the roof of Jim’s shed, lapping up the weak November sunshine. While Jim was alive such behaviour would have been unthinkable. Our lovely neighbour would have been up and at him, cursing colourfully and swiftly driving the unwelcome intruder away. Now, however, different rules apply, and Milky Bar has claimed squatters’ rights.

Viewed from one of our upstairs windows, Milky Bar laps up the November sunshine on Jim’s shed roof

Of course, Milky Bar has claimed squatters’ rights in our own garden for several years, although “snoozers’ rights” might be a more accurate description. Every corner of our little garden has been explored, and most of them have been slept in.

Collapsed on the patio

Now, I’m not saying that Milky Bar is lazy. He will sometimes chase an insect and may even stalk the occasional pigeon, but his ambition seems to be to spend as much of his life as possible dozing peacefully, wherever the fancy takes him. Recently we’ve noticed he’s putting on a bit of weight, and is looking quite stout around the middle. I can only assume this is a consequence of his personal fitness regime, which involves countless hours of horizontal, eyes-closed “exercise”.

Nesting on the “pagoda rockery,” shaded by bushes and a Japanese-style stone lantern.

Milky Bar is very good at dozing, and plainly likes to dedicate his days to a hobby at which he excels. If dozing were a sport in the feline Olympics, Milky Bar would be up on the podium, gold medal dangling proudly round his neck. But he’d be fast asleep, naturally.

Tightly curled up on the arbour, protected from rain, wind and sunstroke!

Milky Bar isn’t unique amongst cats in his love of sleep, although he is a particularly fine practitioner of the art. Here’s what American writer, critic, and naturalist Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970) wrote on the matter:

Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many different ailments, but I have never heard of one who suffered from insomnia.

Sweet dreams are made of this

If you suspect I’m exaggerating and may be maligning our four-footed friend, I would draw you attention to the photographic evidence accompanying this post. Mrs P always keeps her camera handy, just in case some rare bird or butterfly alights in our garden to say hi. This never happens, of course, but her photographic skills are engaged almost daily as she documents Milky Bar’s activities. Or maybe that should be his “lack of activities”?

A wooden bridge crosses the narrowest part of our pond, and is a great place to sleep. Note the net, which I had to attach to the bridge to prevent Milky Bar fishing from it!

What amuses me most of all is Milky Bar’s sense of entitlement. He clearly believes it is his right to sleep wherever he likes, whenever he likes and for just as long as he likes. But I suppose this should come as no great surprise, for as the late Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) – one of the wittiest writers ever to grace the English language – delighted in pointing out…

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.

Asleep on top of the wall that separates our garden from that of our other neighbour

But to be clear, I have absolutely no problem with Milky Bar’s sense of entitlement. He’s welcome to spend time in our garden whenever he wishes. The last 18 months have been very difficult, courtesy of Covid-19 and the measures needed to help mitigate its effects. But a visit from Milky Bar has always raised our spirits, even on the darkest of days.

I have an old dustbin (trash-can) behind the shed. It’s great for storing odds and ends, and also makes a perfect cat bed.

It matters not one bit to me that, for most of the time he spends in our presence, the little fellow is fast asleep. It’s plainly very exhausting being Milky Bar, and the best way of recuperating is to snooze the day away. And who can blame our brave little soldier for taking care of himself in this manner? After all, it’s a cat’s life. It’s a wonderful life.

And finally…is nothing sacred? Here’s Milky Bar, nearly 2 metres off the ground, dozing on the bird table. Unsurprisingly, we saw no birds that day!

21 comments

  1. Laurie Graves · 15 Days Ago

    Milky Bar sure knows how to live the good life! And such a handsome cat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · 14 Days Ago

      Yes, he’s perfected the art of feline pleasure, and puts it into practice at every opportunity. He has a great life, I think!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The June Journal · 15 Days Ago

    Milky Bar is very cute! The pictures are great! Our two sister cats recently has developed into a love-hate relationship. They held each other, after a while, they attacked and Oreo was scratched in her face. Milky Bar has a peaceful good life for sureπŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · 14 Days Ago

      I hope Oreo has recovered, and that she and Calie are friends again. Milky Bar sends them both his best wishes, and recommends a long, peaceful snooze!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ThoughtsBecomeWords · 14 Days Ago

    Holey moley, and I thought our JoJo found some pretty unusual places to sleep. I think Milky Bar takes the gold medal for Extreme Sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · 14 Days Ago

      I’m enchanted by the concept of “Extreme Sleeping”, which should definitely be an Olympic sport. Milky Bar and JoJo could compete side-by-side in the “doubles” competition!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ThoughtsBecomeWords · 13 Days Ago

        πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • ThoughtsBecomeWords · 9 Days Ago
      • Platypus Man · 9 Days Ago

        Thank you for the link, Gretchen. Although I’d come across Eleanor Farjeon before, I was unaware of this poem until receiving feedback on my post. Her witty and observant verse implies that Extreme Sleeping is an indoor sport, but the wonderful Milky Bar shows it can be played equally well outdoors. A bit like tennis, I suppose, suited to either environment. πŸ™‚

        Reading more about Eleanor on Wikipedia I see she won the Carnegie Medal, and is therefore in extraordinarily illustrious company (Arthur Ransome, CS Lewis, Robert Westall, Penelope Lively, Terry Pratchett, David Rees, Philip Pullman et al). Impressive!

        Liked by 1 person

      • ThoughtsBecomeWords · 2 Days Ago

        Ah yes, Milky Bar is a multi-talented sleeper πŸ™‚ Thank you for the Eleanor Farjeon information, an accomplished woman and keen cat observer!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. tanjabrittonwriter · 14 Days Ago

    Insomnia is known to lead to disease and a shorter life, so it seems that Milky Bar has found a way to prevent both! May he continue to find sunny spots to relax in, and relax his observers in turn (that would be you 😸).

    Like

    • Platypus Man · 14 Days Ago

      Ours is a very special, symbiotic relationship. We offer Milky Bar a comfortable, peaceful environment in which he can sleep undisturbed whenever he needs a rest (which is nearly always!), while in return his presence brings us huge happiness and a welcome escape from the tribulations of the modern world. Long may it continue!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. T Ibara Photo · 14 Days Ago

    Very sorry to hear your neighbor passed away. I am glad to see that Milky Bar continues to make himself at home – he really is a character πŸ™‚ Our continued best wishes to you and Mrs. P.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · 14 Days Ago

      Thank you, Takami. Yes, he is a real character…I’ve never before met a cat like him, and he’s very good to have around. Best wishes to you and your family.

      Like

  6. shazza · 12 Days Ago

    This reminds me of a poem called Cats Sleep Anywhere. Milky Bar is testing out every single snooze space in his gardens.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Platypus Man · 12 Days Ago

      I’d never come across the poem but have just tracked it down. Wonderful, captures Milky Bar perfectly. Thank you directing me to it πŸ™‚.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Ann Mackay · 11 Days Ago

    I’m impressed at the number of good sleeping-spots Milky Bar has managed to find. It’s lovely to see him looking so relaxed and contented – but I think my two snoozers might give him a run for his money in a sleeping competition! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · 10 Days Ago

      Yes, he’s an expert snoozer. And full of confidence too…I’ve had a word with him and he’d be very happy to meet up with your two companions for a sleep-off on a (flower)bed of their choice! πŸ™‚πŸ˜ΊπŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Mackay · 7 Days Ago

        Strathy would choose his catnip plant – but he won’t share, LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Cats and Extreme Sleeping – Thoughts Become Words

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