Winter is Coming: the Dog is cold, and the Cat is Indifferent

Two hours and forty-seven minutes.

Is this the cooking time for a pot roast?

Is this the length of the Nutcracker at the local theater?

Is that how long we spend lost on Facebook (or Instagram, or SnapChat, or Twitter…or…)?

Nope. None of these.

Two hours and forty-seven minutes was how long I slept last Wednesday–at least that’s what my Fitbit recorded. My husband? He slept less than that. Either way, not-quite-three-hours is four hours less sleep than what I need to be a kind, coherent, and productive member of society. Did I have something on my mind? Was I worried about the next day?

Not at all. The culprit for lack of REM sleep was simple.

Say hello to Cleve.


Say hello to Echo



Winter is coming: The dog is cold, and the cat is indifferent
What I often wake up to in the middle of the night

Understand that the dog usually sleeps outside. Recognize that the cat always sleeps inside. When it gets too cold, the dog sleeps in the house because he has no hair to protect him from the north wind when Kansas starts to boast sub-freezing temps in December.

Still not seeing the problem?

Planning world domination of his subordinates

Think dog – think cat – all under the same roof. Each holding a strong disregard and/or hatred for the other.

Cleve is an almost seven-year-old German shorthair pointer and his hobby these days is hunting our daughter’s cat, Echo. Knowing that Echo lives most of his life in Tanna’s room, Cleve will stand on-point at her closed door for hours if we let him. We have seen his body vibrate when Echo crosses his path.

It doesn’t help his attitude that Echo often pokes his paws under the door opening…likely hoping to catch a nostril or two with his claws.

Forgive the grammar and terse tone of this post, but I’m still coming off an all-night bender that involved bed hockey alternating with Cleve’s privates or his breath in my face–both, equally smelly. He has been a wiggling midnight mess because he can’t accept sharing the house with a C-A-T. And, we are in the middle of a three-night cold spell.



Before bed that first night, we thought we had the problem solved. thumbnail_c40b6b69-39d8-4363-b75e-b0f3bd9e2d8dTanna sequestered Echo in the basement laundry room with food, water, litter, and unfettered access to empty boxes and tunnels.

Because my laundry room is a cat’s playhouse fantasy room (he likes to fish snakes out of the sump pump) it never crossed our minds that he’d try to get out. thumbnail_img_2655Somehow, he maneuvered out of a hole that looked no larger than an orange and wriggled through to the other side. At 12:47 a.m. he slinked up the stairs, into the kitchen, and then bounded down the hall to our bedroom. Until that point, Cleve had been sleeping on my chest (note to future dog owners – pets do NOT add to marital romance).

On cue, Echo jingled his neck bell and baited Cleve like a hot dog on hook in a catfish pond. Cleve launched off Scott’s stomach and tried to snag a late-night kitten nugget.

Remember the Christmas Vacation squirrel? Yeah. Us, too.

After multiple swear words, and stubbed toes in the dark, Scott nabbed the highly stimulated canine by the collar, and marched him out the back door for a time-out and a firm scolding. Confident that Echo had retreated to the basement, we dragged the disgruntled pooch back to our bed and shut the door.

In hindsight, we should have located the kitty cat.

It wasn’t until we heard the low-level, guttural growl in our closet that we realized we’d lock the cat and the dog in the same room.



It’s a fine line (or screen window) between love and hate…

Echo spent the rest of the night in the basement, and Cleve spent it whining at the closed door.


This is a short post because a) sleep deprivation is not good for word count and b) we are still navigating this cold spell one night at a time. Have we reached the winter solstice yet? My eyes are too groggy to look at the calendar.

If you have any ideas, we are open to suggestions. If not, feel free to adopt one or both. We still have our sweet Macy Grey who has decided this is all too much to handle and prefers to sleep through the chaos.

Doesn’t sound like a bad idea 🙂


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57 thoughts on “Winter is Coming: the Dog is cold, and the Cat is Indifferent

  1. Oh my! I hope you don’t read this until hours from now because you’re SLEEPING. Sounds like pooch and kitty need some pet therapy. Hee hee. Good luck and I hope it warms up enough for things to go back to normal so you can become friends with REM again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Charissa!
      All is well this morning. The kitty stayed sequestered and Cleve stayed asleep until almost 6:00. We are making progress (?)
      Pet therapy sounds like a fabulous idea…better than the alternatives we were contemplating 😉
      How are you feeling these days? Been sending you happy and healing vibes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m feeling so much better, thanks. I just returned from Vegas where I spent a week helping my dad take care of my mom. It was good, but emotionally exhausting. Before that, I sent my daughter off on her mission. She’ll head off to Armenia and the country of Georgia in February after she does some language training. I miss her. But everything’s good. Now I hope your pet kiddos behave tonight and let you sleep.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. One week till solstice…good to know, Guap 🙂
      We had a better night last night – thus far, they are safe from being coffee grounds.
      I hope you’re doing great, my friend! I love seeing you here. Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Cats are fascinating, and they have our number 🙂
      What does your poor docile dog do? My littlest dog tolerates the cat and maybe even likes him a little bit.
      Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. Pet lovers unite!


  2. Oh girl! Mine are called Kahlua and Misty! Add a Dickens (dog) and Tom (cat), all wanting into the bedroom at night, all wanting to sleep on the bed, all getting thrown out all the time, and I hear you every step of the sleepy way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am cracking up at the scene that must be your bedroom!! That is too funny. My inlaws stayed with the kids (and pets) while we were gone a couple weeks ago. By the time they added their dogs, our household tallied up a total of 4 dogs and one cat. There’s no sleeping in a zoo like that 🙂
      Thanks for being here, Claudia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry that I had my morning chuckle t your expense Michelle, but I did.
    I loved the writing, very vivid in it’s simplicity..if that makes sense.
    I felt like I was there, and am so grateful I wasn’t!

    here’s to better nights!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chuckle away, Mish! We are laughing here, too…what’s the alternative, right? Plus, I don’t feel so bad when I sneak a power nap in around noon 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words, too. After an agent looked at my first book (the one I’ve been working on for 2 years), she kindly said that I was “trying too hard” in the humor pieces. Back to the drawing board!
      Like the word ‘genuine’ we discussed last week, I’m hoping it plays over into the lighter writing, too. For me, the jury is still out.


      1. “trying to hard”! oy!
        perhaps another agent?
        Your writing always seems so effortless to me (and I mean that in a GOOD way!, you know….)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. We just got two kittens! Our two dogs hilariously try to get close to them without making any eye contact (if I don’t look at them they can’t see me). The kittens hiss and swipe and the dogs slunk away like their hearts have been broken. These girls own their power! I feel very lucky that my dogs are open to being kitty whipped. 😉 I have no advice but I hope you get some sleep tonight!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL!! I read your comment out loud to Scott. I think your should design a t-shirt with the words “kitty whipped” in fancy lettering .
      Dogs are so animated – I love the “if I don’t make eye contact, you can’t see me” pose. Macy will rush the cat, and then slink back because Echo won’t run. Who needs TV when you have pet entertainment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello!! Um, yes it is. I wondered who be the first to notice that pesky rascal. So that you don’t think we live in a swamp, I’ll say that a snake in the basement is not a common thing. We have a deep sump pump, and a cat curious enough to go inside and fish them out. I guess we all need our hobbies 🙂
      Thanks for hopping in and reading – I need to come visit you as I’ve seen you comment over at Mish’ site 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ohhh DANNNNGGGG, my dear MM, that sounds like a stinkin’ nightmare! I hope you’re a lot less tired now and a lot more caught up on sleep. Can’t you put a bit of Christmas brandy in their evening meal and get them to chill the heck out?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I swear I’m not laughing Michelle…but…I had a friend a while back describing this same equation. I think she went and slept outside in the car 😀
    Fantastic post, I think I’ve stopped laughing now…but what do you do, you love them both to bits, but can’t get them to go past the animosity…maybe some counseling…well, for you guys at least 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness! She slept in her car?!?!?
      One day last week, I did opt for the spare bedroom (I took Cleve with me so Scott could sleep)…but that worked for twenty minutes. That night we shut him in the garage and shut the door so we couldn’t hear his death-bed whining.
      Are you heading into spring, Mark?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Full blast mid Summer Michelle, and not a Christmas snow drop within 5 thousand miles. Santa uses Dunlop radials for his sleigh over here 😀
        And we had a lovely invigorating 95 degrees yesterday, and I’m on the cooler coastal area. My friend inland had a nice 104. But my heart does go out to them, it can stay that way for months 😀
        And being in Australia, and its perfect one day , crazy the next times…we are now having a light shower with 75 degree’s and a lovely breeze from the water. Mind you, these times make you appreciate the lovely weather all the more 😀
        And if I don’t bump into you again soon….Merry Christmas my friend, for you and family, may Santa bring you lots of love, whether on sleds or radials 😀 ❤


    1. I made it to night number 3 before getting too wicked. Things seemed to have calmed down a little, so perhaps there’s a light (or spring) at the end of the tunnel.
      Love you, too Joanne! Wishing you and yours (and sweet Penny) a very merry and blessed Christmas! xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I was hoping someone would call me out on the snake. We have a deep sump pump, and that’s what Echo does to entertain himself. I don’t think the snakes can get out unless the cat fishes them out. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, they’re all cute at least. (The sleeping one the cutest.) One of our cats wakes me up a couple times a night. No reason, but he steps on me on his way to bother my husband then I guess there is a reason at 4am and it’s deep, painful hunger. I’m sorry I don’t have any solutions but I am noting this for the next time my daughter begs us for a dog. As for the Fitbit, I take it off before bed because knowing how little sleep I get makes me feel worse somehow. Good luck and may a warm spell come your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Well, they’re all cute at least.”…sounds something I say to my husband sometimes.
      I am laughing out loud at your comment, “the deep, painful hunger.” Another favorite cat habit is what we call ‘making biscuits.”
      You know the drill – 3 a.m.and they have to knead their paws on your chest…or eyeballs.
      Good call on the Fitbit 🙂


  8. I am thoroughly laughing at your pain and misery. Our animals get along, but often romp and play during the wee hours. But never that long. I think the only suggestion I have is to remove the fitbit and quite tracking your sleep. Then you can only guess at what and how much you are missing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad your pets get along. I think our problem was introducing Echo into the family long after Cleve had already decided to dislike cats. Macy and Cleve are buds, and it’s so sweet to watch when they snuggle together.
      Good call on the Fitbit 😉


  9. I AM dying! Sooooo sorry for your animal drama but I can relate. I was laughing so hard because I can see the whole scenario. Our Yorkie sleeps with us and he has a tendency to want out between 1 and 2am every night by walking on my hubby’s legs to be let out. If I hear him move around, I try to get up so hubby doesn’t have to. But I don’t always hear him. However, if only one of us is in the bed, he stays still all night?? I don’t know… We put the other dog (Springer) in a kennel… his choice. I kind of wish I had kennel trained the Yorkie. I am paying for that now :-/


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