Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hairballs and Sleep Deprivation

In the blog before this, I just mentioned waking up rather early this morning. I also mentioned that lately I have been experiencing restless hours from about 3:00 to 5:00 AM. This is a new wrinkle in my sleep, or should I say sleep-less odyssey. My traditional pattern, at times when I have been going through sleep problems, is to find it difficult to drop off to sleep. Once there, I have usually been fine. Not lately though.

This morning there was a new and added wrinkle just before 5:00. I was already sleeping lightly, so I quickly picked up the sound of our cat, Rocky, in pre-barf mode. One hears an ominous sort of choking and retching, and one just knows that a gooey and icky hairball is about to hit the carpet. In our somnolent states, we have never made it to the beast in time to prevent this carpet-splat. No, we always a little late for the event ... but just in time to clean up the subsequent mess. There have been a few upchucks in the past few weeks. He goes through spells. He'll have a quiet few weeks, and then he'll have a week or two of more frequent hairball-elimination.

This morning, however, I was awake enough to jump into action quickly. When I first came to, I discovered that he was still on our bed, so the initial action was to kick him off — firmly but not too violently. Secondly: I grabbed a nearby plastic bag and placed on the carpet below his wretched and retching little head. The good cat stayed right there over the bag and continued to retch. But never vomited! Can you believe it? The one time that I manage to act in time to save the carpet, his need passes and the heaves are just that — dry.

And then I was up for the duration. Oh, I tried to get back to sleep, but further blessed repose was to elude me. After an hour of lying there and becoming increasingly wakeful, I arose, ate some cereal and put on the coffee, Normally, I can get back to sleep, even after cleaning cat puke but not this time. Perhaps it was the book that I was reading last night: Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth. As I was reading, I could feel myself getting absorbed and wired, so I played a calming game of Sudoku and then read a bit of This is Your Brain on Music. I was on a very dry section of the book last night, and it sufficiently de-stimulated me to get to sleep. But after the cat episode, my mind went back to twelfth century England, Kingsbridge, Prior Philip, Jack Jackson and the rest. I guess that means that it's a good book, but I would have preferred not to relive it at 5:00 o'clock in the morning!


Ginnie said...

I almost NEVER get a full night's sleep. 3AM is the witching hour for me and then I either have to read for a bit to quiet my mind or else I try listing first names by a letter of the alphabet...a mindless but sometimes helpful way to get back to sleep.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

If you were here you could accompany me to the shed to check on the pigs in that time frame. The arrived last night!

You also could listen to the BBC International and Poland International on the CBC. Always good company!

Donna said...

There's a medication for cats that are constantly upchucking fur balls..Brushing them more than usual will help to so they don't ingest the hair. Get, The Secret Meditation II CD, get your earphones on, get in bed and prepare to be relaxed. I like The Secret Meditation I CD, but if you're Very religious, It might freak you out a little..They're wonderful.

Laurie said...

I've had sleep issues in the past as well, but seem to be resting better in my new apartment for some reason. I hope you start sleeping better and find something to help you kitty too.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I laughed out loud the entire post. We have two cats and one is just a barfer because she eats too fast, drinks water and the whole mess swells up and blammo, it's on the carpet. My part Himilayan male wheezes pitifully while trying to barf up a 'rat' as we call it and do they ever EVER puke on the wood or tile floors? NOOOOOO.
I tried to run and put a newspaper under Miss Barfer the last time she went to christen my rug but she went and puked on the bed instead.
Funny LOL