It was 3:00 a.m. I'd been lying awake since one.
Ray and I had spent eight hours on the road coming home from an extended visit at my parents' home in South Carolina and obviously all the driving had my mind still racing down the highway. I decided a change of scenery might help me fall asleep.
Followed by my trusty cat, Juno, I crept downstairs to the couch. I made myself comfortable, pulled the hobo blanket over me and closed my eyes. Fifteen minutes later, I was still wide awake listening to Juno bat things around the kitchen floor. Obviously, she thought I had come downstairs to join her in a dead-of-night game of bottle-cap hockey.
Feeling, perhaps, that I lacked enthusiasm for her sport, Juno joined me on the couch, curling up on my belly. As soon as she was comfortably ensconced, we heard the thump-thump of dog feet jumping down off of the futon upstairs. A minute later, Ray appeared. He snuffled along the side of the couch, found Juno, who started to purr, gave her a quick couple of licks on the head, then continued on down the couch to my face. The blind dog's nose touched mine; he whined. Ray then went back to where Juno was lying and jumped his front feet up on the edge of the couch. It was obvious that he wanted to join her in her spot.
Juno, feeling a bit overwhelmed by the dog looming over her, jumped down and waited to see what would happen next. Ray crawled up on top of me. I laughed at the absurdity of it, then held my breath as he stepped on me, turned a few circles, then settled down, curled in his usual ball, his breadth spanning my belly and most of my chest.
Juno, seeing the dog settle down, jumped up on me and curled herself under my chin, reaching out one paw to touch her dog's back.
With my diaphragm being severely hindered by 75 pounds of Redtick Coonhound, I found I couldn't breathe. I jammed one arm under Ray's back and rested it across my ribcage. With most of his weight now on my arm, I could once again fill my lungs.
But now the dog wasn't comfortable. Ray shifted his weight, then a couple of minutes later did it again. A few minutes after that he squirmed again, then stood and turned a few more circles trying to find a spot that wasn't as lumpy as the one he currently inhabited. He settled down, this time spanning my thighs and pelvis. Juno, still comfortably tucked under my chin, didn't move during the resettlement procedure.
I lay there with a big dog on top of me and a cat tucked under my chin and wondered if it was humanly possible to fall asleep in such a position.
Fifteen minutes later, I woke up with the answer. It is possible but you can't feel your legs when you awaken. I wriggled my legs out from under the dog and rested them alongside of him. Once again, Juno never moved. I fell asleep again with my head on my furry chin-rest and with a big, boney dog crammed between my body and the back of the couch.
It felt good to be home.