Her green eyes shone like moonstones despite what seemed like utter darkness.
A sliver of light from a street lamp slunk past the curtains and found its way into her cold, steely glare. It was just enough to set her orbital sockets aglow.
Which, quite frankly, scared the bejeebers out of me.
I still call her The Little Cat, but she's grown as ferocious as a tiger and meaner than your average of numbers.
Of course, I was not asleep. But I was close, just teetering against the blissful gray of nothingness and the unhappy, imaginary figment of falling upright. Heart all aflutter but still not wide awake.
I sense the cat the same way I sense an impending hot flash. Waking before the heat spreads across my flesh until a river of sweat extinguishes the blaze. Covers off. Covers on.
She is there. Watching.
A twitch of a tail. A bird-like chirp -- cultivated, no doubt, in the rich spiderweb that is our ecosystem cats have the maximum efficiency to fool their prey into thinking they are more friend than foe.
Even if she only kills the fat, sable brushes that I use to dust my cheeks with powders and tints.
She knocks the makeup brush around the bedroom floor for a while until I drag myself out of bed or until my husband throws a pillow in her general direction.
Eventually, she will find her way to me; lifting herself gracefully from the floor to the bed. A single, almost silent bound.
She turns around twice before settling near my shoulder. She is careful to press only her back feet against my scapula. Her tail flicking the air before she curls it around herself like a shawl.
It is a loving gift the proximity; her catlike whisper, a mechanical purr, that shows me to be the person she identifies as her own. It is also a threat: "If you make any sudden movements, I will cut you.”
She can tell that I never liked cats.
I think cats have always known this about me.
Even as a child, cats have found their way to my lower extremities. Weaving around my legs, jumping into my lap, even curling up around my neck like a diabolical scarf while I stay still as a statue. Waiting for them to leave.
At slumber parties, I'd be the one to wake up in the dead of night thinking I'd somehow become paralyzed in my sleep, and worst of all, that I'd have to tell an adult of my predicament once the sun rose and my newly useless legs wouldn't carry me to breakfast.
Of course, in the morning I would find the cause of my paraplegia: A fifteen-pound cat named ?ainbow,or "Mittens," or "Mr. Fluffynoodle."
I know, it's hard to believe, but I'm not as neurotic in my advanced years. Although I now have cats, so I think it's a trade-off.
Until we got a cat, I thought the continual parade of dishevelment was the result of the husband, or the children, or the derpy old dogs. None of whom wipe their feet, or put dishes in the sink, or did anything much to the laundry besides pile it into life-like models of Kilimanjaro and then tear it down like a leaf pile in autumn.
None of them compare to the cat, who is a typhoon of destruction. She tears at the furniture, claws at the walls, knocks over water bowls, lets herself into to kitchen cabinets and helps herself to the snack foods.
"Training techniques" have only made her irritated and vengeful.
“This is why we don't have nice things,I say with a laugh and a wince.
But I know how it works. I sleep with one eye open. She has me trained.