There comes a time in every man's life when he feels inspired to undertake some construction work. This being the concept, design and erection of a useful structure with nothing but raw materials and his mighty bare paws.
Long-time readers of this blog may recall my earlier efforts in this sphere - my experiments with hibernation and my subsequent construction of a purpose-built chamber; The Hi-Pod 2006. Alas, this structure was swiftly dismantled by my partner's mother - demonstrating an appalling lack of vision.
My latest successful project is one of which I am extremely proud - it is called Jasper's Den O' Pillows.
Now then. My partner and I share a nice big double-bed. She has the window side and I have the wall side. There are a number of pillows on our bed (my partner likes lots of pillows, in case she wants to sit up and read a book), two of which are nominally mine, to do with as I please (That barked, she does remove them from time to time, only to replace them newly reeking of floral scents and cleanliness. This angers me. I prefer my bed-linen to go entirely unwashed. We have agreed to disagree on this point). I generally move "my" pillows around the bed to suit whatever sleeping position I have chosen to assume - usually resting my head on one pillow and clasping the other between my paws. However, in the recent spell of snow and icy-cold weather - coupled with our inability to afford (or, indeed, desire) to have our heating up to a high temperature - inspired me into architectural action.
Over the course of the next few nights, whilst my partner slept, I began to surreptitiously remove and stockpile the other pillows - always taking care not to remove the ones directly supporting my partner's head. I knew that she began to suspect a plot was apaw, but was content to leave me to my own devices, given that I left two pillows for her. With my plunder, I carefully began to build, in the corner nearest my partner's head, a cabin of wondrous comfort. Once complete and structurally sound, I stepped inside. I am happy to report that Jasper's Den O' Pillows did not disappoint in any way. There was enough room for me to curl up completely in exquisite warmth and softness and yet be able to poke my head out. I even saw my partner smiling at my ingeniousness, and she sleepily patted my protruding head.
I wanted my partner to record photographic evidence of my work and she did comply by fetching our digital camera. Alas, there was not sufficient battery power to operate the flash. Before fresh batteries could be obtained from the local shops on our next procurement visit, alas, Jasper's Den O' Pillows was but a memory. I will explain.
The structure stood soundly for at least three days, and proved testament to my architectural brilliance. Most unfortunately, a few nights later, my partner felt unable to sleep. I believe the principal cause was the prospect of yet another Christmas without a human partner (I am sufficient for all her needs, save one. A major one.). She had explained to her Other Significant One the nature of my importance and he has accepted this. He is therefore forgiven and rejoins the blessèd fold of my partner's affections. But he is currently working and travelling in the dangerous (Al-Qaeda-riddled) bits of Africa. Only I remain, to comfort our lady (I must grudgingly acknowledge anyone who makes her smile so - his initials are not BC (remember him?), but VI). I digress. The crux of my point is that she could not submit to the god of somnia. Eventually, after much frustration, she decided to illuminate a couple of candles (saves electric light and provides heat) and read a favourite book.
"Jasper..." she began, " Can I take a few of those pillows...?"
I pretended to be asleep but, unfortunately, my partner saw me looking at her (to see if she'd believed I was asleep) through a barely opened eyelid. She sighed, and began to reach for a supplementary pillow. Immediate action was required. I got up, and moved towards my partner's outstretching arm, the hand of which was almost on the keystone of Jasper's Den O' Pillows. Without further thought, I released a toxic cloud from my bottom in the direction of my partner's face. It was a concoction of which I was very proud... a heady blend of sprout and broccoli, with lingering topnotes of boiled egg. It had the desired effect; my partner turned away, choking, spluttering and cursing.
With a self-satisfied smile, I turned and entered my construction - but had to leave it almost immediately. A most revolting smell pervaded the whole, nauseating and stifling. Retching and coughing, I scuttled to the far end of the bed, gratefully sucking in the clean air.
Whatever had happened to my beautiful chamber? I knew I could never return to it - for it held now only memories of the foul, mysterious aroma. The following morning, Jasper's Den O' Pillows was razed to the mattress and all traces of it eradicated. Goodness only knows what the smell in the cavern had been - it shall forever remain a mystery...
Happy new year to you. I hope 2010 brings you all that you hope for. As for me - I cannot wait to find out what adventures my partner and I will face in the next twelve months.
Thank you for taking a moment to read my blog.