Thursday, 12 June 2008

Bay watch

Some of you might be wondering where Bingley has gone to. Certainly that’s something which I wondered a couple of weeks ago when I went downstairs one evening and found that he’d disappeared!

Most evenings Jane and I are usually upstairs working at our computers. Bing hasn’t got a computer yet, so he stays downstairs and sleeps. Sometimes I feel like joining him but most times I just pop down to put the kettle on and check that he’s ok.

On the evening in question however, I went downstairs and couldn’t see Bingley anywhere. Normally he sleeps close to the bottom of the staircase and is ready for action when one of us goes down. If he isn’t there he’ll be on the kitchen sofa, sleepily stretching himself awake as we pad down. Yes, yes, I know – dogs on furniture! But the kitchen sofa is the only concession we make and yes, again, I know that it’s going to be difficult for him to distinguish between one piece of furniture which he’s allowed to sleep on and another which he isn’t…but, we’re doing it anyway!

Bingley, I’m sorry to say, isn’t an overly lovey-dovey dog. He simply doesn’t come over and ask for a cuddle; and if we try to give him a hug (which we want to do all the time) he squirms around with a ‘gerroff me’ shrug, and walks away.

Sleeping on my slippers is the closest he’s ever come to showing that kind of affection. Imagine my surprise then when one morning whilst I’m sitting on the kitchen sofa quietly sipping my coffee and listening to the news, he decides to climb up and join me. Not only that, he then presses close against my side, curls up in a ball with his chin on my knee and goes to sleep.

Maybe I was just being used as a pillow, but I was a happy pillow. And yes, he was on the furniture but if that’s what it takes then so be it! Since that time he’s started to regularly join both of us and he often provides us with a very comforting start to our day.

But on the evening when he seemed to have vanished I checked the kitchen sofa and he wasn’t there. He wasn’t under the kitchen table either which is his second favourite Bing spot. Not only that, it was also very quiet. Unnaturally quiet, with no snoring or sounds of stretching awake.

I padded through to the dog house. It was empty. I looked around the kitchen again: no, I hadn’t missed him. Back to the lounge: no Bing. I checked that the back door was closed, and it was; but I still went into the back yard anyway just in case we’d shut him out. We hadn’t, though.

Back in the house I began to imagine dog abduction scenarios: the world famous Mighty Bing stealthily taken whilst we were clicking away at our keyboards upstairs.

Check again. Dog house: empty. Kitchen: vacant. Lounge: Bingless.

Then, walking over to the fireplace (the chimney was about the only place which I hadn’t checked) I noticed the tip of a brown tail sticking out from the far side of the sofa and invisible from anywhere else in the room. When I peeked over the arm of the sofa there’s the Bing squeezed into the curve between the end of the settee and the bay window, stretched out on his side fast asleep.

Many of the local cats sleep on window sills or lie there watching the world go past. Bing’s seen them and obviously thought it was a grand idea, but being too big for the sill he’d chosen the next best thing.

As I stood there looking at him, my heart still racing, his eyes opened and he noisily stretched himself awake with a very feline ‘oh, you’re back are you?' look on his face.

Since then the bay window has become his favourite place to sleep: his own little den, hidden from view. Unless of course one of us is sitting in the kitchen, in which case there’s a much cosier pillow to take advantage of.


Anonymous said...

It's great to catch up with the Bing and I love the sound of his new found hidey-hole!!
It does sound exceedingly cat-like but beware he doesn't take the feline tendancies too far - otherwise that lump 'under' the duvet will not be a stray pillow but a Bingley!
And sometimes it means more to have those unexpected cuddles when acting as a human pillow!

Rob said...

You're quite right, Alex, those unexpected cuddles are especially precious.

Bingley still isn't brave enough to attempt our steep staircase at home, so the duvet is safe for the time being. But knowing Bing I'm sure that he's desperate to discover where we keep disappearing to; and I'm equally certain that we'll wake up one morning and find him snuggled under the quilt!