The Night No One Died

For the inauguration of this website, I thought I would commemorate the anniversary of the following event from last year.

One night last November…

While my wife and daughter are off enjoying Disney World with my mother-in-law, I am dutifully redoing the hall bathroom like any good spouse. I’m also sleep deprived, unsure of what day it is, and starting to pay attention to moon cycles.

Yes, part of the issue is the fact I’m not sleeping as well with my wife being gone, but the larger issue is that my daughter’s cat is trying to assassinate me in my sleep.

This cat…

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To put all of this into perspective, we typically have the cat sleep in the bathroom (I assume he’s sleeping – he’s likely plotting to overthrow humanity instead) so it won’t randomly attack us in the night thinking we want to play with it at three o’clock in the morning. For some reason, he’s fascinated with curly hair; which makes my wife’s head and face a particularly tempting target of nocturnal feline frivolity.

I love my wife.

I fear her when she’s sleep deprived.

I liken the experience to the danger of provoking a Viking Berserker. Hence, the cat sleeps in the bathroom. Nevertheless, the bathroom is out of commission this week with me redoing the entire thing and he’s sleeping with me (sort of – I’m not sure you can call it sleep – maybe wafting in and out of consciousness).

From my perspective, I imagine the cat is thinking, “How fortunate for me, a large, warm human being I can cuddle with to keep warm is lying still and peaceful in this fluffy habitat the humans make their nest in. I’m so happy. Look, I’m purring to show you how much I appreciate this gift of warmth and companionship.”

In reality, I’m dragged into dull consciousness by the unmistakable presence of this cat purring directly into to my ear drums (WWII bombing runs come to mind) while draping the rest of his body over my throat and alternately licking my nose and now formerly closed eyelids.

“Okay, fine.” I say to myself. “You’ll settle down eventually, or maybe let me sleep for increments of an hour or two prior to me turning over in my sleep is universally interpreted as the cat signal for IT’S TIME TO NOTICE ME NOW!!”

Although, all of this pales in comparison to my experience from last night.

I’m fast asleep when I’m abruptly and rudely awakened by the sound of something I can only describe as the noise of the Death Star tractor beam power generators revved about 20 times faster. The entire room is vibrating and humming with this deep, otherworldly noise that my brain is struggling to process.

I am so startled, I sit straight up in bed and loudly yell things like, “What the hell? We’re under attack! It’s the trees! Is everyone okay?”. Yes, I did think that trees were attacking the house. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure no one could hear me over the drone of that pernicious, throbbing noise.

By now, my adrenaline has kicked in and I know I must move to source of the noise so I promptly jump out of bed and trip over the cord to the fan near the bed.

It’s at this point, I realize what is going on.

The computer sub-woofer has a bad connection with the input jack and is attempting to scramble my brain by emulating the Death Star power generators. It’s also completely dark, and I’m not wearing my contacts or glasses so I am randomly unplugging any wire that feels like it’s near the sub-woofer.

I’m still in fight or flight mode, so my next thought is to check on everyone else in the house. Why? I don’t know. It’s not like the sub-woofer is a harbinger of death and destruction.

I’m not processing cogent and coherent thoughts at this moment.

Picture this; I’m stumbling from one room to the next in my boxers and the first thing I come upon is my grandfather ironing his clothes, so I practically yell, “ARE YOU OKAY?”

I forgot he didn’t have his hearing aids so my entreaty as to the state of his health goes unnoticed.

At this point, I wonder “What time is it?”. I discover it’s four o’clock in the bloom’n morning!

My thoughts are coming faster now. “Why are you ironing clothes? It’s so late – no, it’s so early! Is this real? Where am I?”

I’m now starting to realize how absurd all of this must seem so I sneak away hoping my grandfather doesn’t notice my presence all the while attempting to stifle what is fast becoming uncontrolled laughter.

After calming myself down to process what happened, the only conclusion I can come up with is the cat tripped the wire running to the sub-woofer since he’ll patrol the room in that vicinity. Needless to say, the cat was nowhere to be found and he only showed up later that morning.

This cat…

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Even so, I am left with one burning question.

When I get older and can’t sleep, will I iron my clothes in the wee hours of the night?

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