Over the years it has become quite apparent to me that Clement Moore, author of “Twas The Night Before Christmas” obviously did not share his abode with pets. I mean, come on – not a creature was stirring? And if he really did have pets, did he have them on a sleep schedule? Did he round up his cats and dogs and any other critters at 7:35 pm and march them off to their beds? Or did he give them Benadryl to make them sleep all night?
I’m only asking this because, at our house, the pets rule the roost. I don’t remember what a full night’s sleep is. I think I had a brief 5-6 years of this somewhere between when our human children were in school and the current pets joined the family 16 and 13 years ago, respectively.
Gunny has had kidney problems for many years now and going to the bathroom is a necessity. But sometimes the little weasel just wants to go outside in the middle of the night and sniff and search for varmints. He loves to frolic in fresh fallen snow. I like to do that, too – but not at freakin’ 3:30 am! I tend to lose my cool and shout, “You are 13 years old, which is 91 in dog years and I am 55, which is 385 in dog years! We should not be frolicking in the snow at 3:30 am, so haul your butt back inside and go to sleep!”
Sometimes Gunny does not want to go outside in the middle of the night – he just wants a treat or two treats or… seventeen treats. He’s a beagle and he’s very vocal in expressing his feelings. He bays his displeasure if he thinks that we are now bowing down to his wishes.
While Gunny may be King of the Pollock household, Precious the almost 16-year-old cat is the Queen. And we all know that the Queen is really the power behind the throne. She’s aloof, she’s disdainful and she demands that everyone does her bidding. I admit it; we are all a little scared of this eleven pounds ball of fur. She mostly ignores us – she will sit by herself and gaze at me and, I swear, she is sneering. I beg her to come cuddle with me but she turns her head and ignores me – until it is 2:00 am and I am fast asleep. Well, I was fast asleep until I am awakened by the sound of meowing from down the hall. I roll on my side and ignore her. She creeps down the hallway, her meowing raises several decibels. I pull my covers over my head. My spouse tosses and turns and mutters under his breath. “Hold the line, dear! “ I tell him. “Tonight, let’s show these pets who is really in charge!”
Precious is now running up the hallway and it sounds as though a herd of deer is running amok in the house. She jumps up on our pet and her meowing is now at the protestor level. I find my hubby’s hand under the covers and grasp it for support. We feign sleep and try not to breathe. She bounces from my body to his. Bounce, bounce, bounce! We don’t move a muscle. She kicks up the scare tactics a notch and begins to “knead” our bodies. It’s not working – so she unleashes her claws. One of us winches in pain, one of us cries out. (Not saying who…) “Don’t give up the ship!” I implore. Precious is now sitting on our heads; she’s like a cat burglar (pun intending) – pouncing from his head to mine. Cat butt in your face at 2:23 am is not enjoyable. My husband utters some pretty profane oaths and throws back the covers and jumps out of bed.
Precious wants a fresh can of cat food, some new water, and a trip outside to see what’s new. Steve complies, albeit unwillingly, with her demands. He crawls back to bed and gets settled down. We hear her meows outside – Her Royal Highness is ready to come back in. I crawl out of bed – but I don’t pull the covers off of my spouse – and let the $&^*@!# back inside. She decides to join us in bed because she feels like cuddling – at freakin’ 2:46 am.
I finally nod off and am at the point of having visions of sugarplums dancing in my head when what to my wondering ears do I hear but the clattering of yipping. “Yip! Yip! Yip!” “Hey Mom, Hey Dad!” yips Gunny. “I need to pee and I need a treat and I just wanted to say I love you.”
It’s now 3:41 am and we finally drift off to sleep – until my spouse’s alarm begins to ring at 4 am. Oh yes, Clement Moore – “Merry Christmas to all – and to all a good night!”