To Sleep, Perchance To Have Cats Fight Over You All Night
And no, that’s not a song title by a punk-rock band, it’s how I spent last night.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had such a lousy night’s sleep…..if you can call it that. I don’t know what got into those little heathens, but they must’ve woken me up half-a-dozen times with their growling and hissing. For some reason, all three also decided that it was a jolly time to use Will and me as launch pads AND landing strips for their airborne adventures, which continued on and off all night long.
At one point—somewhere between midnight and zero-dark-thirty—I found myself in the middle of a standoff between thirteen-year-old Rosie and the boy, Mickey, who’s about fifteen pounds’ worth of red-and-white cat. Rose was ensconced upon my chest, which she apparently felt the need to defend, while Mick was perched on my legs and swatting at her with claws bared. She was making that deep-throated rumbling sound she does only when she’s getting ready to smack somebody into the middle of next week, which made me extremely nervous because I knew that war was imminent, and I’d be the one to get ripped to shreds.
So I did what any grumpy, sleepy, pissed-off cat owner does when her fur-kids are having a disagreement, and with a great heave of the blankets tossed them both off the bed. I am normally tender-hearted to a fault when it comes to the pets, but I couldn’t help feeling a grim satisfaction as they both caught air and sailed into the darkness. I heard them land softly on the floor, where they carried on as if nothing had happened.
Exasperated, I told them to shut the F up and let me sleep, which woke up Will and made him yell “KNOCK IT OFF!!” the way he always used to whenever the (human) kids annoyed him. This did nothing to stop the growling and spitting, however, so I fumbled around in the dark for the spray bottle we keep at bedside for this purpose, and let ’em have a couple of squirts.
That gave me enough of a break from the festivities to slip back into dreamland, but alas, it was short-lived. By this time, the cat who’s usually the neutral one had gotten into the fray, and she leaped onto the back of Will’s neck with her full weight as the other two continued to circle around each other at the foot of the bed. Now we were BOTH wide awake and yelling at the cats, and my hopes for a decent second half of the night were dashed as I realized I was putting in way too much energy to be able to relax even if they wound up calling a truce, which they finally did sometime after three or four in the morning.
So with a grand total of maybe four or four-and-a-half hours’ sleep, I’ve been “off” all day—a little too quick to laugh a little too loudly, a little too easily distracted, and a lot fidgety. And I realize again just how critical rest and sleep really are for me, because apparently I can’t afford even a single night of poor-quality shut-eye. I know these signs all too well and I take them seriously now, even though they won’t last because tonight I’m going to sleep upstairs with the dog, who does nothing except snuggle between my knees and gnaw on her chew-bone. THAT’LL teach those cats to mess up my sleep. So there.