When the Polar Vortex hits, our menagerie migrates to our marital bed. Two adults, two cats and a big, black dog having a sleepover, bundled in the 320-watt, dual-control electric blanket. I ask my wife, “Hot enough for you, Honey?”
“Speak up, Dear, you’re all muffled.”
“Hahee hah hmy heh,” says my wife. She’s saying, “Harvey’s on my head,” Harvey being our elderly, uninsulated cat.
Mulligan, our fifteen-pounder, climbs atop me and starts doing that front paw push thing cats do when they’re feeling connected. I lift him off my bladder and place him on my wife. “Mulligan will give you a back rub, Dear.”
“Phayn hoo, muhhuggun.”
“Has he found that really sore spot, Honey?”
“A lihhull lohuh, pleahh.” I move Mulligan down a few inches.
On the outer rim of the bed, side by side with my wife, Randy the dog gives himself a Saturday night lick bath. Slurp, smack, snort, sigh. His head plops down. He’s out.
The animals flock to my wife’s side of the bed because it’s toasty over there. My side has no warmth. I press the power button. A light’s supposed to come on, but I can’t see it if it does. I press the Hot button a few times. In a while, I’ll either still be cold or be poached. Then I’ll press the buttons some more until I get it right.
The Polar Vortex settles on my side of our marital bed. My wife sleeps. Harvey snores lightly. Mulligan splays out. Randy chases the rabbit of his dreams. I lie awake and wait for the blanket to do whatever it’s going to do. I hope to fall asleep soon. Sleep does not come easily tonight. I’d count sheep but the bed’s full as it is.