My insomnia is no secret; it's not unusual to find me posting on Facebook at three in the morning, usually something whining about not sleeping, because I'm original like that. I make an effort to get to bed at a normal people time, so that I can get up at a normal people time, but there's a huge obstacle in my way.
Its name is Max.
Max has no problem ignoring my existence throughout most of the day. He wants me for breakfast, a 10 a.m. snack, dinner, TV-watching lap time around 8 p.m., snack, and then I no longer exist for him again.
Unless I'm asleep.
When I'm asleep, Max becomes social. When I'm asleep, Max has 3,298 things he desperately needs to discuss. Now, I sit in bed and read for a bit before shutting everything down for the night, and he could come in and sit on the bed with me and talk his damned fool head off if he wanted to, but this is not when he feels pressed to be anywhere near me.
When he was only waking me once a night, I could deal with it. When he was waking me twice, I put up with it. But we reached the point where he was waking me more than once an hour, often 2-3 times, apparently for no reason other than he could. It wasn't even that he needed anything; he just wanted me to be awake.
I felt like crap most of the time, cranky and nauseated, because I was getting no uninterrupted sleep. So I did what I hated doing: I started closing the bedroom door at night, locking him out.
He didn't seem to notice at first. I listened, waiting for him to howl indignantly, but he was quiet. The only time I heard him in the hallway, meowing, was at breakfast time, and I could deal with that.
I finally started getting some sleep, rarely interrupted. The number of times I found myself on Facebook in the middle of the night dwindled to a rare few. I no longer felt like I wanted to punch every other person I passed during the day.
All through July, then August, I was able to sleep like a normal person.
In September, I heard him call out a few times, but nothing that worried me--he didn't actually need anything--or bothered me. If he was meowing by the door when I was sleeping, I didn't hear it.
Then he learned a new trick.
Max figured out how to knock on the door.
I have no idea how it occurred to him to even try--I mean, his ability to flip on light switches, I get, he sees us do it all the time, and when we do, light appears--but if he has an urgent need to wake me up, he knocks. And then hollers. And knocks again.
Knock, knock, knock. Meow. Knock knock, knock. Land shark. Knock, knock, knock.
The door is staying closed, because even so, I'm sleeping a little more than I was before, but he's back to waking me up.
And a lot of nights, I am truly grateful that Buddah is about as bright as a brick, otherwise...I'd probably be dead by now.