The whole thing started because my cat Cosmo wanted to wedge his 12-pound heating-pad of a body between us in bed while we slept. My husband John and I are not the spooning, limb-draping type of couple. We like our space — plus, John is a 180-pound heating pad and I toss covers on and off all night. If any limb-draping occurred, it was purely accidental.
When we finally convinced Cosmo that his crashing at the end of the bed didn’t mean we no longer loved him, he’d sleep peacefully for a time; however, this cat is an extraordinarily light sleeper. When the blankets moved from my flip-flopping, his eyes popped open and he pounced off the bed, resulting in pacing and whining until he finally rejoined us, resuming the game of Who Will Snap First From Sleep Deprivation?
"Why don’t you close the door of your bedroom?" my "helpful" friends suggested. I threw my head back and cackled sarcastically; lack of shut-eye was starting to make me callous. Based on experience, refusing him entrance into the bedroom meant nonstop pawing on the door and desperate mewing.
Either way, we weren’t sleeping. Thanks to John’s snoring (oh, I didn’t mention that?), the tossing and turning and cat antics, I was lucky to net four hours of sleep each night. We knew something had to happen. For everybody’s sanity, John, Cosmo, or I would have to leave the bedroom and snooze elsewhere. The decision was made, and John assures me the sofa is really quite comfortable.
Now with just two of us sharing the bed, it was little easier to co-sleep. The only obstacle was that Cosmo still wanted to burrow under the covers and press his hot body and drooly face against me.
We needed another solution. All cats like sleeping on and in things, right? Laundry piles, pillows, blankets, books, newspapers, boxes, and baskets are all favorites in our house. I thought if I could place one of these objects on the bed and redirect him toward it, our situation would be settled. I also figured it would be helpful to place the object near my head so he could feel close to me without us having to sleep belly-to-belly.
I chose a pillow, but it wasn’t just any pillow. It was a fancy lavender velour throw pillow. Sure, it was a little feminine, but if there’s one thing I know about Cosmo, he celebrates his inner goddess. Bingo! Fancy pillow FTW!
Now, Cosmo typically begins the night in the living room with John and then sometime during the evening makes his way into the bedroom by way of a cracked doorway. He joins me and settles in, our pillows practically touching and just a few inches between our noses. As long as I don’t leave the bed during the night, he’ll stay put on the magical pillow.
Now, let me tell you the story of my bladder, and how I usually visit the facilities two or three times a night. I blame this on having carried two humans in my uterus for the better part of a year (thankfully, not at the same time), and years of cats walking across my belly region.
To avoid disturbing Sleeping Beauty, I practically have to tiptoe to the toilet in the master bath and then — I kid you not — concentrate on peeing as slowly and silently as possible so I don’t wake him. If he hears even one tinkle, he’s off the pillow and winding around my legs.
Peeing this way is harder than it sounds. When my bladder is nearly bursting, it requires substantial strength and a marksman’s aim to allow only a tiny trickle to hit the perfect spot in the bowl. If I do manage to wake Cosmo with my stealthy tactics, we’re back to square one. For this reason, I practice my potty proficiency during the daylight hours. Seriously, I’m a toilet ninja.
I think we now have the secret formula for a moderate amount of peace in the night. Forget the aching bladder, back-achy sofa slumber, sleep-deprived morning meetings, and gallons of coffee. It’s all worth it to make sure our cat has a comfortable night’s sleep on a fancy pillow.
Top Photo: Cat attacking feet via Shutterstock.
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