21 October 2016

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.


Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

I know what you mean. I had my parents' cat for 6 months every year and they used to close him in the basement at night. I understand why, but I couldn't do that. He wanted to be at my head and he had the loadest purr you ever herd. Like a lion. And I could push him off the bed all night and he just kept sneaking back.

If youclosed a door on him, he would just keep picking at it with his poly-dactyl claws. He pulled one door apart enough to crawl through. It was a difficult relationship.

The current ones have, thankfully, learned to sleep with me in peace. Iza started by sleeping ON me under the covers draped over my my hips. I toss and turn too much and she dug her claws in to stay in place. I finally learned a trick to keep her happy. Kept a hand on her til she fell asleep, then I could slide a few inches away carefully.

Ayla sometimes comes under the covers and for some reason wants the tread on my stomack with claws slightly out. I learned to pull the covers between us while having a hand on her back. Kept the claws off me.

Marley is easy. He likes to get under the covers at dawn and settle down a few inches away, not touching me.

It is routine for me to wake up in the middle of the night pinned down with a cat against each shoulder and one under the covers close. Turning around is tricky. But Iactully better when they are around me then when they are not.

It may sound odd, but since I let them out in daytimes and bring them in before dark. And I count them to make sure they are all inside. If they aren't around me on the bed I worry I have left one outside.

Better to have them around me than not know where they are... LOL!

sally said...

does he like Sheldon on the big bang theory, the knock knock knock penny, knock knock knock penny routine seems vaguely familiar in your post! and one of my cats, Bill likes to knock on my door and at times it seems like he is knocking so hard he may knock the door down.

Lemon Stand said...

My husband just returned from super suit duties and his cat literally shunned his side of the bed after a week. She did that the whole time he was gone. He comes home and the first night she slept on him but since then she tries to sleep on or behind my knees and wakes me up.

Mighty Kitty said...

What about a snack of warmed turkey? I know when I used to give Bentley turkey for his dinner, he slept a majority of the evening without a problem. Itt might solve 2 problems for Max and for you. Warmed turkey like at Thanksgiving is his real live fresh meaty treat and it also will give him a needed way to sleep so he won't wake you. He also may have some sun downers syndrome. Or….. He might not be feeling well but doesn't have time to think about it till he is aline at night. Or kitty Higgins did the meowing at night and I was wicked tired. Turned out he had heart problems and at that time he had also come down with feline bordetella that the dogs had! I found out that cats can get that kennel cough just like dogs even when both species have been vaccinated. You might want to see the stabby guy and find out if there is a problem. I really hope this helps! You have been such a strong support for me when out Ocat was so sick!

Thumper said...

Max has always been a nocturnal pain in the's nothing new. I suspect he always will be.