I’ve acquired some new gear in preparation for my trek across Wales, among which is a bivy sack. Rather than taking a tent I’ll carry just a lightweight tarp along with the bivy (and sleeping bag and mat, of course) in the event I’m unable to make it to a village or simply cannot find an available bed. I thought I should test the combination in my yard, to make sure I was comfortable, warm and dry enough, before using it in the bush and so set the tarp up one morning with plans to sleep underneath it that night when I returned from work. It was a good day to test the gear – just a tad windy with scattered showers, so I was able to confirm that the tarp could withstand the wind and shed rain quite readily. By the time I got home that night the rain had stopped and I had only a light breeze with which to contend. I blew up my mattress, grabbed both my and the dog’s sleeping gear (he has a portable bed for camping trips) and headed for the yard. Biscuit came as well, enticed I’m sure by the novelty of doing something outside, in the dark, late at night – couldn’t miss that now, could she? The dog plopped down on his bed, I snuggled into my layers of various synthetics and, finding the temperature and comfort levels imminently acceptable, promptly drifted off to sleep. I was awakened moments later by the cat, walking in circles around the tarp and yowling plaintively. She’s used to sleeping with me at night – in a bed. I invited her into my sleeping bag and surprising enough she crawled in, only to dart out a minute or so later. Mummy bags aren’t really big enough for a human and a cat. I went back to sleep and was again awakened by pathetic meows and cold, wet paws on my face, though the billowing of the tarp sent her scurrying off almost immediately. Again I drifted off to sleep and again I was awakened, this time by Biscuit trying to find a purchase on the slick, loose bivy material. She finally found a space to curl up, behind my knees and surprisingly close to the dog. She must have been pretty desperate to sleep so close to him and as soon as he changed position she shot off into the yard. I kept thinking that surely she’d go inside after a while but no, a fourth time she woke me with her dreadful, pathetic cries. I realized I wasn’t going to get any sleep no matter how comfortable I was with Biscuit around, so after pushing and shoving the dog out from under the tarp – he really likes “camping” – I grabbed my stuff and went back inside, Biscuit trailing happily behind me. Clearly she isn’t nearly so enamored of camping as is Vitus.