For most of my life (coming up on 63 years), I’ve fallen asleep to the sound of a cat’s purr.
There’s been all sorts. The barely-there purr, so faint you have to strain to listen. The gusty burr of an Evenrude outboard badly in need of tuning. The staccato fracture. The snore. The one that ends in a cheery little “chirrup” at the end of each exhalation.
All different, just like those cats who shared their lives with me and lullabye’d me to sleep each night. Most chose to sleep beside my pillow or, after I was married, between our pillows. Some preferred between my feet or knees. Curie liked to spoon, a warm presence whose loss I felt markedly when she died. Tuna wanted to be under the covers. Gypsy preferred to wrap her entire body around my head like a furry hat and, by increments, gently nudge me off the pillow. Ruby now does something similar, laying beside my head rather than around it, but determined to put her body right up against my mouth. Most nights, we settle on me turning over so she can cuddle against the back of my neck.
And always the purr. I can fall asleep to that much easier than I can to the relatively quiet noise of my husband’s CPAP. The purr being levied directly into my ear is definitely louder, but there’s a comfort to it that no machine noise can achieve.
(From top to bottom, left to right: Gil; Arlo;; Indy (top); Duncan; Serendipity, Charles, and Cornelius; Renfield (top); Nell Gwyn; Butch; Barnabas; Frisky (top); Punkin Puss; Callie; Tinkerbelle; Ripley; Yeti; Curie (top); Gypsy; Tuna; and Ruby. (Not shown: Josette, Aristede, and the lovely old man cat we had for only one night, who died courtesy of an inept veterinarian)