Sleep anti-routine

Whoever manages good sleep hygiene probably lives alone in the city. Let me recount last night and see if there’s a clue about why I am usually tired in the daytime.

8:00 pm Beryl jumps off my lap and runs out of the living room. I look outside. There’s a raccoon peering towards the cat food. It seems he can’t decide whether he’s going to be invited in or chased away. He is chased, literally, by a shouting woman with a bright flashlight and dark mood.

9:00 pm Maura and Beryl are alert and antsy. They alternate between guarding the front door and looking to me for comfort. Fritter’s nowhere to be found. I go out with the flashlight to check the road and some of his usual haunts. Not sure how a confrontation would go between a tripod cat and a raccoon.

9:30 pm I get ready for bed, keeping an anxious ear out for Fritter to return.

9:45 pm Chester comes in for a snack. Chester is Fritter’s archenemy. I interacted with him gently earlier in the day, but he’s not welcome inside. I hop out of bed and he skedaddles.

10:00 pm Fritter jingle-hops his way home. I decide to close the cat door and lock everyone in for the night. Irritated cats are better than a raccoon in the house.

10:30 SLEEP!

2:00 am Maura meows to be let out. I get out of bed and open the door. He sniffs the air then bolts away into the darkness. Fritter and Beryl examine the open door and decide it’s snack time.

2:20 am Fritter is ready to go out now, thank you. I open the door. He steps outside, but changes his mind. It smells funny out there – like enemies and wild things. We settle back into bed together.

3:15 am I wake from a dream where I see Maura curled up sleeping at the side of the road. Not a good dream for an anxious mind. Though I know it is not true, I battle the impulse to go outside and confirm. It takes a little while to fall back asleep.

4:00 am Howly Jr., the neighbor’s cat and Maura’s doppelgänger, opens the front door, but the door track sticks and he can’t get in. I stumble into the hall, make eye contact through the crack, and tell him to go home. I close the door.

4:45 am I wake from a dream about circuses because Beryl wants to get under the covers with me.

5:00 am Fritter is ready for breakfast. I try to ignore him. I hide under the covers with Beryl. He will not be ignored.

5:15 am I get up and make sure the cats have food on their plates and I open the door so they can leave or Maura can get back in.

5:30 am Maura comes back and curls up on my legs. Beryl comes back under the covers.

5:35 am I need coffee. Sorry cats, but it’s my turn to disrupt sleep.

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Mediatinker, Kristen McQuillin, is an American-born resident of Japan since 1998. This blog chronicles her life, projects, thoughts, and small adventures.