William the Cat on Christmas Day. He snuffled wrapping paper, snuffled a box, sunned himself, and went to bed. He has a schedule and sticks to it.
Full disclosure: On Christmas Eve, I stayed up so late wrapping gifts that I fell asleep in my chair on Christmas afternoon. There weren’t many gifts, but I have poor manual dexterity. I should not be left alone in a room with a roll of Scotch tape.
David napped some, too, but that’s normal. He rises daily at 3:30 a.m. to feed William. William sees to it. An insulin-dependent diabetic, he must have his meals on schedule. Small meals, because he’s overweight and also likes to eat often. He designed the schedule. If he doesn’t eat on time, he tries to chew the carpet in the corner outside of our bedroom. We put a mat there so he can’t get to the carpet, but he claws up the mat. Hearing him, David gets out of bed and follows instructions.
After wrapping presents, I stayed up to put out William’s gift: a quilt. I bought it two apartments ago for David. My “Monet’s waterlilies” bedspread, beautiful in its day, was on its last legs. Intuiting that David didn’t want waterlilies or anything else girly, I looked for a lightweight quilt and found one advertised on Facebook. I know, I know . . . But the quilt had cats on it, and he’s a cat person, worse than I am. It’s cute, in a garish, ugly sort of way. In a past life, I’d have called it horrible. But it was a novelty, sort of a joke. And David and I are old enough to do what we want.
Anyway, I ordered one, queen-sized. When it didn’t come timely, I emailed the vendor and received a reassuring reply. The quilt soon followed. Before Christmas. Modified rapture! I took it upstairs and put it on the bed. It was exactly what I ordered. It fit perfectly on top of my queen-sized mattress. Corner to corner to corner to corner.
By that time, the vendor’s website had closed for orders; I couldn’t even double-check the dimensions of the quilt I’d ordered. I didn’t bother to email. I consoled myself with the thought that the maker was probably foreign and didn’t know a queen-sized quilt should hang down beyond the foot and sides (and head) of the mattress.
Consolation, however, has its limits. I hid the quilt in the cedar chest.
Last week–an epiphany–I realized William wouldn’t notice the truncation. I got it out and placed it in front of the patio door. He didn’t object to the smell of cedar, just lay down and rolled over to expose his soft underbelly to the sunbeam. David gave him a hairy, feathery thingy and broke out a new peacock feather to replace the one he’s almost destroyed, and probably eaten.
I received some lovely gifts, too: among them, a set of novels--Ivanhoe, Emma, The Scarlet Letter, Treasure Island, and Little Women–that double as coasters; a small typewriter that doubles as a phone holder (to keep my phone from sliding down inside my recliner and resisting extraction); a hedgehog, the spit-and-image of Beatrix Potter’s Mrs. Tiggywinkle, that doubles as a mug; and a tin of sardines, the best I’ve ever eaten. They’re made of French chocolate. I’m trying to make them last. So far most of them have survived for forty-eight hours.
I won’t describe the gifts I gave David. Suffice it to say that most either plug in, are rechargeable, or run on batteries. They came with manuals, which David reads before trying to operate them. Another is for organizing batteries.
And that is the story of Christmas morning 2022. At noon we reprised our Thanksgiving fare–ice cream.
But we’re old enough to do what we want.