4:30 a.m.

That’s what was on the clock the last time I looked at it last night/this morning. Four thirty in the freaking morning. I finally crawled back into bed at 3:30, watched TV until my eyes were burning and I thought I could sleep, turned off the TV at 4 o’clock, and started to drift.

Then the thought zipped through my head that we needed to go pay rent on the storage unit.

That was followed by the thought that I needed to remember that, or else we’d wind up having all our junk towed away, which might not be such a bad thing, but it’s our junk and I want to decide when we toss it.

So my brain was spinning, and it took half an hour to convince myself that I would not forget we needed to go pay for storage. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep shortly after 4:30, thinking that I would get up at 8 and feed the cat, then crawl back in bed until noon.

The cat, on the other hand, had other ideas. At 7:30 he plopped down on me, his nose close to mine, sniffing and grunting and generally being a nuisance. He shifted his weight repeatedly, knowing this tends to get me up. Right about the time I was going to cave in, the Spouse Thingy got up to feed him, and Max launched—with full force of his weight on my chest—off to go eat.

So … I can go back to sleep, right?

Max has this annoying habit; it doesn’t matter if he’s been fed, if I’m in bed he feels some pressing need to yowl until I acknowledge him (usually with “Shut up, Max!”) After that, he wanders into the bathroom, makes an incredible amount of noise kicking kitty litter around in his box, and then starts hollering his little head off.

I bought a spray bottle for this very reason, to shut him up.

Max has learned where to stand in the room so he can be as noisy as he wants and avoid the spray of the water.

This morning, I won. He gave up meowing at top volume after fifteen minutes or so, and I went back to sleep, where I had dreams of carrying a baby around in a plastic bag. Yes, a live human baby. The neighbors from Ohio were all there, and it seemed perfectly normal and acceptable that I was carting around some strange infant in a clear plastic trash bag. At some point during the dream I looked at my watch and announced to the neighbors, “It’s noon. I better wake up now.”

So wake up I did. I rolled over and looked at the clock, and it was 10 a.m. Upon seeing that, I was determined to go back to sleep…but Max noticed. He saw my eyes open, and that was it. I was getting up no matter what.

He meowed.
He head butted me.
He snuggled and cuddled and meowed some more.

Seeing the wisdom in getting up before I’d had enough sleep—after all, if I was still tired, then I’d be able to sleep tonight—I threw the blankets back and got up.

The damn cat had this smug “I so freaking won this one” look on his face. He settled down on the bed, and closed his eyes. Visions of jumping on the bed and yelling at him zoomed before me, but I didn’t have the energy. I let him sleep, and wandered off to change.

I’ve been sleepy all day, but knew better than to take a nap.
We ran errands to stay awake.
Sleep would be ours tonight!

So here it is 9:40 p.m., I’ve taken my benedryl…and I’m wide awake.
That cat did something to me, I know he did…

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