Suddenly I'm awake.
I lay with my eyes closed, waiting for the sound to come again. What was it I heard? Must have been an unusual noise to bring me out of a dream in the middle of the night.
Fan noise. Air conditioning unit humming.
If I ignore the feeling and don't open my eyes, I may be able to go back to sleep, maybe to the same dream I was having, although at this point I can't recall what it was about.
I turn my head to the other side and rearrange my arms. There. Nice and comfy.
No noises. Nothing.
But there is a feeling of ... something.
I crack my one eye closest to the pillow open just enough to focus. (I learned this trick when my daughter went away to Chico State and left her two cats habituating with us. Eyes open and they pounced, ready to start their day; never leaving opportunity to return to sleep.)
Now my sleep-foggy brain understands. Scuddles.
Scuddles, my best friend's cat, is sitting very prim and proper with his face about two inches from my face. "MAUW!"
"I'm sorry, Scuddles, if you want to complain about the visiting dog, you're going to have to wake up your dad."
"Really? Are you serious?" I turn in bed to check the time on my phone. 4:11 a.m. "Do you know what time it is?" Of course he doesn't. Cats are not slaves to time like we are. Oh, yeah, maybe we like to think they do adapt themselves to our schedule but all bets are off if the routine gets interrupted by something...like a visiting dog in the house.
I close my eyes, thinking from my perspective the issue is over. How long have I known cats? How many have I lived with? They all had different personalities but one thing is always the same... nothing is that easy with a cat.
I closed my eyes, and begin to reason with the cat. "Go away." "Carmen [the dog] is in her kennel, sleeping, like you should be. It's not like this is your first experience with her in the house. She's been here before. Go away! I can't help you."
Then begins the hiking of the body. Starting at my head on the pillow, down my back down one leg, up the other, up the back to sit right behind my head. "MAUW!"
I whisper, "I am NOT getting up, go away!"
In what world did I really believe that was going to be the end of the encounter?
The next thing I hear is a thud of a cat jumping down from the bed. And the next thing I hear is the indescribably distinct sound of a cat throwing up on the carpet.
Obviously "Go away" wasn't Scuddles' required response.
Sigh...I'm up now.