I sleep in the buff. It helps with the hot flashes; all I have to do is throw the covers off when my body becomes drenched in sweat and let the cool breeze of the fan hit me until I start shivering. I go through this ritual at least five times a night which is why I am so sleep deprived that I have the attention span of a flea, and I’m lucky if my brain fires on one cylinder. On this particular night, I was awoken by the drenching sweats three times so, I finally gave up and went out to watch television at 2 AM. Luckily, I had put on my bathrobe because Katie and her boyfriend returned home from a midnight run to Taco Bell shortly after I positioned myself on the couch.
They went into the other room to eat their tacos (weirdos). Who eats tacos at 2 AM! Anyway, I watched Swamp People for about a half hour and then decided to give sleep one more opportunity to overtake me. On my way back to bed, I let the cat in. As I got all comfy under the covers, my cat curled up at my feet. In short order, my eyes began to close, and I was entering that state of half sleep/half awake. My cat must have gotten bored with my bed, so he decided to meander around the bedroom. In our bedroom, we have an antique desk imported from China. Atop the desk sits an ancient Chinese figurine.
I think God likes to play jokes on me. He never allows me to have more than two hours sleep a night. There is always something that wakes me just as I’m drifting off into dreamland; the rooster crowing at three in the morning, the horses galloping and neighing as if they are about to be eaten by a cougar, Bill’s snoring...the list is endless. This night, it was the cat.
Like I said, I was half awake when I heard the cat jump on something on my side of the bed. I knew it had to be the Chinese desk. The width of the desktop is only about eight inches. The cat and the figurine could not both fit on the desktop. My brain instantly went into high alert as I imagined the priceless figurine crashing to the ground. I immediately bolted out of bed. That was my first mistake. On the wood floor next to my bed was my robe that I had just stripped off. As my feet hit the robe, I skated across the room into my antique armoire. Luckily, I slammed into the drawer side and not the mirror side. It felt as though the knobs of the armoire embedded themselves in my left arm, but I didn’t have time to wallow in the pain - I had to save the figurine!
In the darkness, I made my way over to the desk. I saw the shadow of my cat making his stealth move toward the figurine. I quickly grabbed him off the desktop. He didn’t appreciate my sudden interference. His claws came out like daggers, and I felt instant pain over my left boob as he wriggled his way out of my arms. I turned to retrieve him, forgetting about the pictures that I had stacked next to the desk. My knee knocked over the stack of picture frames and, of course, I stepped on one of them causing my naked body to go flying across the room in the other direction. As I crashed into my dresser, I began cursing up a storm. I became determined to kill the damn cat.
All reason had escaped me at this point. The cat had to die. He was now in the game room on top of the pool table. I ran after him and snatched him off the table before his lethal claws could scratch the felt. His lethal claws did not scratch the felt; they scratched my left side - just under my left boob. “You stupid cat!” I screamed as I attempted to throw him out the door in the game room. Unfortunately, the dogs came in to see what all the ruckus was about. The cat, seeing the dogs, went berserk and scratched me on my neck as he escaped yet again. The dogs ran out the open door. I ran out the door to get the dogs. I stood on the porch butt naked calling for them, but they were long gone. As I turned to open the door, I realized that the bottom lock was engaged, and I could not reenter the house. I went to the living room door that, thankfully Katie had left unlocked after her jaunt to Taco Bell. I entered the house screaming at the damn cat. “I’m going to get you, you *####* cat!” He was sitting on the table right next to the door taunting me with his innocent, “I’m so cute and cuddly” look. I lunged at the table grabbing his tail as he attempted to escape. I unceremoniously tossed him out the door in one fail swoop. He only managed to scratch me on my hand this time. I turned from the door holding my throbbing hand. Then, I heard it. It was a little voice coming from the couch. “Mom,” the voice said sleepily, “Ben’s still here.” “What!” I shouted. “Where!” It was only then that I looked at the overstuffed chair next to the couch. Ben was barely visible because he was swallowed up by the cushions sound asleep (or pretending to be sound asleep).
There I stood in all my glorious nakedness staring at my daughter’s boyfriend. It felt like time stood still as I realized the absurdity of the situation. I just crashed into furniture and ran around the house naked as a jaybird cursing like a drunken sailor. I locked myself out on the porch, lost the dogs and practically killed the cat. During this whole time, the only person in the entire house to wake up was Katie.
The only thing I could think of to say was, “Why is Ben still here?” “Mom!” Katie scolded, “You’re naked!” Talk about stating the obvious! Not only was I naked, but I also looked like something the cat dragged in (excuse the pun). Or, maybe more apropos, I looked like I was on the losing end of a brutal catfight! The scratches on my body were too numerous to count, my bed-head hair was sticking out in all directions, and my nose was bleeding.
“Tell Ben to go home.” I said as I made my way back to the bedroom. I went into the bathroom and sponged off my wounds, inspected my bruised knee and shoved toilet paper up one nostril to curb the bleeding. Finally, I climbed back into bed. “What was all the ruckus about?” Bill asked groggily as I snuggled up next to him. “Oh, it was nothing.” I lied. It wasn’t long before he began snoring. Soon my eyes began to get heavy, and I started drifting off to sleep. I had the strangest dream about two dogs chasing my neighbor’s cat. In my dream, the cat was winning the fight, and the dogs were yowling like crazy. Wait a minute! I sat up in bed with a start. “The dogs!” I shouted as I bounded out of bed.
Needless to say, I had another sleepless night. I found the dogs chasing the neighbor’s cat and got them back in the house. Soon, I was back on the couch with Katie’s stinky feet on my lap. Ben was still sound asleep in the oversized chair. I turned on the television to the history channel. The swamp people had long since gone to sleep. The next show coming up was; “Out of the Wild - African Cats!”