Routine is important. We thrive on routine. Most of us give it little thought, but routines keep us grounded, centered if you will. Fans of the television show The Big Bang Theory know that Sheldon is all about routine. He eats the same foods on the same days of the week, chooses the same menu items in restaurants, and has his spot on the sofa. It is not just his preferred spot – it is THE spot, HIS spot. Sheldon is thrown into a tizzy if someone interrupts his routine. That is especially so when someone sits in his spot.
Anastasia Quinn is our middle Yorkie. We call her Tasia. Tasia is Sheldon with a fur coat. Tasia has her spot on the sofa as does Sheldon. To be more specific, Tasia waits for me to sit down, put my feet up on the ottoman, and drape my legs with a blanket. Then, and only then, will she jump onto my legs and nestle down into the blanket on the hammock-like space between my lower legs. On the surface, her routine sounds simple enough – until it’s not.
I am a collector and connoisseur of fluffy, cuddly blankets. As far as I am concerned, one can never have too many fluffy, cuddly blankets. We have a variety, and most are patterned with dogs or dog bones. Regardless of the season, when I am sitting on the sofa, legs propped on the ottoman, I am covered with fluffy, cuddly blankets. When I sit down at the end of the day to sip my glass of wine and prop my legs on the ottoman, all three Yorkies, and sometimes the cat, trip over one another to stake their claim in the hammock-like space between my lower legs. Tasia’s world is perfect if she is able to position herself comfortably in her spot. As far as she is concerned, Chardonnay and Kaiah can find spots elsewhere. This arrangement works well until it doesn’t.
Sometimes, Chardonnay finishes her kibble and organic beef or chicken dinner before Tasia and Kaiah. By this time I have settled onto the sofa, draped a fluffy, cuddly blanket across my legs, and am sipping a glass of wine. Chardonnay ambles her way toward the sofa, climbs the doggie stairs, and claims the coveted spot. It is a willful and purposeful act on her part because her preference is to sit next to me on the sofa. Tasia, knowing that Chardonnay is likely in her spot is, of course, upsetting. Tasia trots over to the sofa, peruses the situation, and determines the situation is not acceptable. She bristles and demands my attention as she stomps the floor with her front paws. If I don’t respond, Tasia will repeat the action and add one tenor-note gruff. She reads like a book. Sheldon, a.k.a. Tasia, wants her spot. Dutifully, I pick up Chardonnay and set her next to me. Tasia will not jump onto the ottoman, however, until I offer a penitent invitation to reclaim her spot. For just a moment, her brown eyes lock onto mine to determine the sincerity of my repentance. If my repentance is accepted, Tasia will reclaim her spot in the hammock-like space between my lower legs.
Where are Sophie and Kaiah in all of this? Kaiah climbs the doggie stairs and tucks herself beneath my arm. Sophie, the cat, will sometimes venture onto my lap and knead the fluffy, cuddly blankets – if she has mustered her courage, that is. Kaiah, the littlest of the Yorkies, will let Sophie know in no uncertain terms she is not welcome on my lap. Kaiah believes it is her responsibility to patrol the sofa and my lap as if it were the border between two warring countries. Vanquishing Sophie, the interloper, from the sofa, Tasia, Chardonnay, and Kaiah settle in for the evening leaving my husband to wait on me hand and foot. Neither of us wants to risk moving Sheldon, a.k.a. Tasia, from her spot…..