By Tracy Ahrens
The boys are partners in crime, receiving snacks together, going outside together, catching flies in the house together, gathering around me for love together, and much to my surprise, lying in similar positions together.
I started carrying my camera with me in the house to document this behavior. Many times I’ve swiveled around in my office chair to see the boys lying in the same positions on their sides or backs. I do not know if they watch each other and mimic positioning or if they synchronize these siestas in advance.
I do know that each time it makes me laugh.
One evening I rose from my office chair and walked into my bedroom. On the bed, cozy on the blue paisley comforter, was Trucker, 60 pounds and Jack, 18 pounds. Both are black and white and both were lying in a position reminiscent of sheep springing over a fence. Against the blue they looked like they were leaping into a synchronized flight pattern, frozen in time.
Thankfully my camera was on the dresser nearby and I captured the scene. When I posted the photo to Facebook people responded with laughter and reflections of their own pets.
I think of cattle in a field all facing the same direction. Folklore says that the direction a cow faces while standing in a field dictates that good or bad weather is approaching: “A cow with its tail to the west, means weather is best; a cow with its tail to the east, makes weather the least.”
Could my pets be trying to tell me something? Possibly by the direction their legs face or heads point?
A friend joked that they might be creating a type of crop circle.
I came upon an online news source that discussed “favored positions of a sleeping dog” and this is what I learned:
While a curled-up sleeping dog can jump to its feet fast and rarely obtains sound sleep, a dog that sleeps on its side or back is “secure” and “confident” and “comfortable with their surroundings.”
I am happy to know my home allows my dog and my cats (all rescues) such deep sleep and surrender that they can lie upside down and on their sides—together.
Soon after I found Jack and Trucker in the synchronized form on my bed, I found them sleeping on an area rug behind my office desk chair while I worked. Again, their positions were similar, on their sides.
One afternoon, I entered my kitchen to find Forest and my cat Joan of Arc both resting in line to the bathroom doorway, facing my direction with the same body positioning. I asked them if they were trying to tell me something.
When I shared this picture on Facebook, another friend told me, “They are telling you that you have to go to the bathroom.”
Perhaps. It is the one place I usually am able to sit down and they all seek my attention there.
I’ve joked with Trucker before as he lies on his back in the middle of my bed, all four feet straight up in the air. I will flop on the bed beside him and curl my arms and legs over the top of me in a similar position. He turns his head to look at me – snorts – and continues resting. I’ve woken up in the morning to find him lying beside me, his head on my spare pillow like I am lying on mine.
Maybe my pets are learning from me how to relax like this? Most likely, we are learning from each other.
Tracy Ahrens is a veteran journalist, author, artist and mom to three rescued cats and one dog. Check out her website at TracyAhrens.weebly.com and add her book, Raising My Furry Children, to your collection, www.raisingmyfurrychildren.weebly.com
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