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
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?
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.
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. Somehow, 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.
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 🙂