Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dead Kitten

Yeah, I know, weird topic but follow me on this one people.

In Japan, since space is at a premium and since it is the traditional way to sleep, most everyone sleeps on a thin futon mattress on the floor that can be folded up in the morning and stored in a special cabinet to provide extra daytime space. As such they do not use the traditional bed linens that we know here in the west. The futon is usually covered with a removable, launderable, zippered case and of course it would be silly to try to put a flat sheet on every night so the (usually down) comforter also has a removeable and launderable cover. There are no sheets and none are necessary. Just the covered futon mattress and the covered down comforter. Even for people who have a bed this is the way they make it up (so easy in the morning!)

I really got used to sleeping like this. OK, the floor part I embraced as part of my experience but I never really got used to it. It was good to get back to my US mattress and box springs raised well off the floor. But I held on to the idea of only the covered duvet and a fitted sheet and until the summer this is how I slept. Once the heat of summer came it was more comfortable to have a flat sheet and light blanket as the down was simply too hot.

Follow me here.

Phoebe kitten came in May, and every night she has slept pressed against me. If I toss and turn she tosses and turns so the physical contact is not broken. When I wake briefly during the night I pet her and she purrs and we gently drift back to sleep together in our little shared night world.

Yesterday I decided the nights are cool enough now that it is once again time to lose the flat top sheet and light blanket and so I put the cover on the down comforter and when I went to bed it was sheer heaven.

During the night last night I woke up and as usual reached down to pet my sweet and rapidly growing kitten. What I felt was a non-breathing, non-purring, non-responsive body. In a panic I sat up and began shaking her and calling her name loudly. I lifted her up and she was just dead and so limp she flopped around in my hands. In the split second before I began feline CPR she shook her head and looked at me like I was crazy! She was so totally into the down comforter - so warm and happy - that she literally was sleeping like the dead.

So I do highly recommend that you get rid of your feet-flattening, body-confining top sheet and invest in a simple down comforter and duvet cover (available on the cheap at If it can temporarily kill a trouble-making kitten for a few hours I guarantee you will get a good night's rest.

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