hoping for some sound sleep

With my sons in college and my daughter off to Mexico on spring break mission trip, I looked forward to a few days of peace, quiet and predictability.
I forgot about my daughter’s cats.
I usually toss them outside about 9 p.m. Around 10:30 p.m. my daughter calls them in to curl up next to hr while she pets them and falls asleep. At 4 a.m. one or the other cat comes to my bed and meows to be let out the window beside me.
I thought, with my daughter gone for a week, the cats could stay outside all night long and I would sleep through the night.
The first night, at 12:30 a.m. the cats clawed and scratched outside my bedroom window begging to be let in. I ignored them and hoped they would go away. I wanted to stay in my warm bed. They jumped against the window dragging sharp claws down the glass as they slid to the ground. I gave in and opened the window.
Both crowded through the opening and dashed toward our bedroom door, heading toward their food dish down the hall. Reluctantly, I crawled out of bed, opened the door, left it (and the window open) and fell back into bed.
They came back and stomped all over me. I looked at them blearily. They dashed to the bathroom where their food is kept.
“Nope,” I declared. “No 2 a.m. feedings in this house. Go to sleep.”
Cats and babies make a lot of ruckus about that rule. I fed the cats. That satisfied them every night until the black calico cat began missing my daughter. At 2 a.m. my cat walked down the blanket, stuck its head in my face wanting me to ease its homesickness.
I shoved it aside. The cat came back and nudged me again. I stumbled out of bed, scooped up more food out of the 25-pound sack, dropped it in the cat dish and flopped back to bed.
The cat followed me, walked purposefully across the bed to me and planted its feet firmly on my sternum.
“Yes, cat?” I said to the shadowing figure hanging ominously over me.
It did not want food. It rubbed its head against my cheek begging to be petted.
“I don’t want to pet you right now.”
Long stiff whiskers tickled my nose.
“G’wan cat. I want to sleep.”
That cat literally got in my face. I lifted her away, rubbed her knobby head a couple times and rolled over to sleep.
The cat shove its nose against my hand, walked around my head and found another place to tickle me with those whiskers. I rubbed its head a couple more times, petted its back and tossed the beggar to the floor.
That unrelenting feline returned, walked over me, burrowed into my arms and stuck its long whiskers in my eye. I gave up on cat-interrupted sleep. I threw back the covers, picked that cat up, ,dropped it outside my bedroom door and closed the door. I found it the next morning curled up in the middle of my daughter’s empty bed.
This week, my sons came home from college and my daughter was back from her mission trip to Mexico. Six hand to pet the cat: Two that know how to cuddle up close and pet one calico nose just right. Now maybe I can really get some peace and quiet and a decent night’s sleep.

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