How I Sleep With My Cat

Sita in her catnip patch.

I’m sharing a bit of fun today.  I tackled writing about the very challenging art of sleeping (mostly not) with my cat, Sita.

shoo her
off my
side of the bed
turn off
light and
then address
the dark…
“excuse me
please, you’re
standing on
the quilt”, while
giving it a tug
settle in,
pulling up
the covers..
sigh deeply,
enjoying the
cool comfort
of the sheets
and the cradling
support of my
smell fish breath
and feel a rough
tongue lick my nose
hear loud, adoration-
filled purring
while kitty feet
march around
my head and
over my pillow,
jostling my head
as eyes adjust
to darkened room,
see cat
peering intently
into my face
make the mistake
of letting the cat
think I’m trying to
engage with her
quickly close eyes
feel a soft paw
on my eyelids
trying to coax
them open
pat the space
behind my
bended knees
and invite cat
to lay down
and go to sleep
feel cat pounce,
thinking it’s a game
feel tension rising
and a hot flash
throw off covers,
scaring cat
perching on
the far side of the
bed, cat acts
annoyed and
tries to ignore me…
ears give her away
cool down,
pull covers back up
and finally drift off
suddenly awaken
to more marching,
loud purring and
fish breath
muttering under
my breath, get up
and grab wide-awake cat
put her out
close door

Hedgewitch (Joy Ann Jones) plays hostess at dVerse Poets’ pub tonight:

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  1. LOL, oh, how well you captured this! Not only could I picture it, I have lived it, so it was wonderfully “immersive” (I know that’s not a word but it should be!). 😀


    • Anyone who has ever had a cat…and tried to sleep with one…knows of what I speak! Hehe… Hey, my friend…I looked up that word on and it IS a word…I thought it may be so I checked…and it’s a great word…glad you used it! Thanks, Corina… xoxo


  2. The tension caused from want of attention, the random functions that disrupt senses, the final decision!! Well done image creation.


    • Every time I think I can let her stay in my bedroom at night…I live to regret it. No, I cannot sleep with that animal! 🙂 Thanks for a great comment, Paulo…glad to see you.


  3. You completely had me, stem to stern. A longtime shelter cat adopter, although right now we have no cats. But this brought back some memories. ‘Fish breath,’ ha ha ha. Your last lines remind me of how glad I’ve always been that cats don’t have opposable thumbs, so they can’t work the doorknobs!! Loved it. Amy


    • I’ve almost always had a cat in my life…but cannot sleep with them! VERY glad they can’t work doorknobs…oh, my goodness, I shudder at the thought… Thanks, Amy…I’m pleased that you’re a cat person too.


  4. She is beautiful!!! And smiling broadly as this brings back so many fond memories of all my cats who would do exactly as your excellent poem here says. Mine would litterally sit upon my head as the last resort to get me up. And She would lay against my back and push with all her might. Great poem 🙂
    Xxxx Sue


    • She really is a very pretty cat and I love her dearly. When Sita was young, she would sleep on my daughter’s head…very comical to see a cat draped over her head…both sound asleep. That’s really funny…pushing against your back…gosh they’re so funny. I wonder if they realize how entertaining they are… Thanks, Sue. I love your sharing about your kitty memories. 🙂 xoxo


  5. YEP — exactly … only add several to go with it. Since Magnolia passed a couple of weeks ago, and everyone is not adjusted yet – we have some new bed companions. One awakens with my every move and meows mixed with purrs loudly in my ear. Great capture 😀


    • So sorry to hear you lost a friend, Becca. I’ve given Sita many chances to sleep with me but I always end up regretting my decision. I can’t deal with all the interruptions…but one concession I do make is that she gets to take naps with me. For some reason she doesn’t do the aforementioned behavior during our nap times. Go figure! Thanks, Becca.


      • I have different companions for naps — and I agree their behavior is different for naps — perhaps because the sun is still out, and it is during “their” sleeping time. I have too many to block out a night — without paying a BIG price when I get up!! LOL 😀 Loveable but strange little beings.


      • I think you have it exactly right, Becca…they’re more in their sleep mode during the day. For awhile, my daughter slept with both her cats in bed with her at night…even though they couldn’t stand each other (that’s why I ended up adopting Sita when she moved out of town). Sometimes one of them would apparently breach the other’s space in the night and have a knock-down-drag-out fight right on top of my daughter while she was sleeping! Can you imagine?! Yet she would never close her door and keep them out. Not for me! Yes, lovable but a little crazy! :~)


  6. I owned a nose bumper. Yes they can love you out a goodnight sleep.


  7. Cute! Scrappy is much more aware of the notion of “personal space”–his and mine!


  8. AAwwww … this brought back memories of when my Maya and Mango used to sleep on my legs. They slept all night and never bothered me. I guess they were on my time clock. Poor Marchmellow he is too old to jump on the bed. He likes to sleep outside now. It’s something he never did before. We are attributing it too the air conditioning. It’s probably too cold for him. He is still loveable but with a very short time span of patiene even for petting. You have to love cats they are unique in so many ways. A real nice write on their behavior, Gayle.
    namaste ….


    • It will be a sad day when Sita no longer can jump on the bed…she likes to nap during the day on the bed…or under it if there’s a thunderstorm. Yes, maybe Marchmellow is feeling chilly…bless his heart. Sita loves to sit on my lap every night as I read before I go to bed…a nice little ritual for both of us.

      Namaste… xoxo


      • Cats are very soothing and those rituals are the ones we miss so very much when they are gone. Perhaps, one day, I will get another cat but for now Marshmellow requires a lot of care.


        • I agree, they are soothing…well, as soon as they’re past the crazed baby stage… Yes, Marshmellow should probably be an only cat during his last days and have peace and quiet…I wish him well…and you too.


  9. Emily

     /  August 28, 2012

    Oh this is too funny. No cats for me (tremendously allergic), but before he started sleeping with my daughter, my dog would sneak up and gradually take over the entire bed til I was huddled into the last three inches along the side. Thanks for the grins!


    • So it’s not just cats that can hog the bed…that’s very funny..I can picture you hanging on the edge. I had a boss once who slept with two very large dogs and a cat…I can’t even imagine doing that… So glad you was fun to make you grin.


  10. haha…i can relate on some level….i am lucky though in that my cat thinks that she is my childrens mother and so she sleeps mostly with them…watching over them…but when she runs across the pillow it is not the best wake up…and some mornings i tell her…smiles…


    • So she has a maternal streak in her…that’s very sweet… Early this morning…outside the bedroom door…Sita started meowing trying to get us out of bed. She usually waits pretty patiently for us to get up…not today. As soon as we got up and fed her…back to bed she went…not us though…


  11. LOL I was really giggling at this. I’ve had cats just like that…now I have a little dog who grunts and grrrss…if I turn over and disturb him…haha…
    Still smiling 🙂


  12. I loved this poem. I feel I know your cat!! I think you have capture the ways of ‘Cat’ beautifully. And understand why you eventually put it out of your room so you could sleep. I will tell you a long story. I once slept for the night on the couch of someone who had a cat. First the cat annoyed me by sweeping its tail in my face from atop the couch. Then, when I lay on my side, the cat stuck its head in my face. Then when I lay on my back, it perched on an arm of the couch and stared at me for a while before doing the tail thing again. I was absolutely unable to sleep. But then again I sleep with three dogs. I will spare you stories for today, but trust me I have them. LOL.


    • Your story had me giggling because I could picture the whole thing and knew exactly what you were going through. I think the night is their time to party…and they want us to party with them. Would love to hear some stories about your dogs…three in the bed with you…I would be so HOT! 🙂


  13. I know this interlude – so fun, then not so fun. It gets worse as they age and can’t lightly leap onto the bed but jump, fall back, tear the sheets and whine to be lifted. Your heart tears as well a little every time. Enjoy your kitty…they want to be a part of our lives so much!


    • I don’t look forward to her getting aged and unable to leap and play…it’s a sad thought. I’m enjoying her so much…we really are close buddies. But even the closest of friends need boundaries.. 🙂


  14. oh Gayle this is completely lovely, i almost began to purr like a cat while reading :-)thank you for sharing~~


  15. Lovely poem! I’ve never slept with a cat, but I can imagine the difficulties.


    • Thanks, SilverGardenia…I’m sure not all cats are this difficult to sleep with…she does sleep a lot during the day…I think the night is her time to play!


  16. hahahaha oh I deal with this every night, thankfully mine settle down at least long enough for me to get asleep. Could picture it, too funny.


    • Believe me, I’ve tried…she settles down for a while and then wants to march around and purr at my face. It is sweet…but I’m trying to sleep!


  17. Can’t imagine sleeping with cats as I never had one….but I can picture this one clearly in my head 🙂


  18. You brought me there–as many have already said.
    I have a very affectionate put-paw-on-nose-and-then-stretch-out-claws cat–even socks on couldn’t stop her! After an eyelid injury, I finally decided that to retain her affection and not shut her out I would have to ask the vet to declaw her. It was my one and only declawing and I felt guilty for months–though she forgot and resumed her pleasures before two days had passed.


    • I guess some cats are more “tactile” than others…sorry about your eyelid injury…that’s too close for comfort! Sita rarely uses her claws on us. We are able to clip her claws ourselves and keep them short so she doesn’t get ‘stuck’ when she jumps on the sofa or beds, etc. I’m sure if your cat is indoor only, she can manage just fine without her claws.


  19. Lol …great capture. Enjoyed it 🙂


  20. hedgewitch

     /  August 28, 2012

    This made me laugh out loud, Bodhirose. We are but their slaves and toys, I tell you! And I am so with you on that ripping off the covers thing–really glad that’s finally gone away. The fish breath is a classic touch. ;_)


    • Oh, how true…slaves and toys. Mostly the heat waves have dissipated…but still have an occasional night ‘episode’… Sita’s favorite flavor is tuna… ;~)


  21. Haha! Well captured!


  22. Classic description to which I can relate…we can’t understand them but we won’t live without


  23. Hahahaha! I’ve never had the “pleasure”, but I’ve heard enough such tales from my feline loving friends to appreciate. Much enjoyed.


  24. I could see every move! Nice write! I’m still grinning!


  25. I laughed out loud on this one! My cats aren’t allowed in the sleeping space because I have allergies. I love them but know it would be disaster to have them do a sleep over…not just because of allergies but because of all of the above. LOL:)


  26. Wonderful reflection on cat napping, Gayle. I have a big ginger guy who loves to lay across my back and shoulders. He also loves to bounce all over my head. On those rare nights when he abandons me … I actually miss it! I have shared this on Facebook because I know many of my cat-loving friends will enjoy and relate to it.


    • Oh, my goodness…I love cat stories! There seem to be many animal lovers who don’t seem to mind the shenanigans of their pets throughout the night. No, I could not take bouncing on my head…but it gives me the biggest giggle to imagine that sight in my mind! Thanks, Diane and happy you wanted to share this.


  27. Have a little cat calendar on my desk at work, Gayle, and thought you might appreciaten this:
    “The trouble with sharing one’s bed with cats is that they’d rather sleep on you than beside you.’


  28. The best poets have cat poems! Now I shall have to dig deeper into this blog of yours. I was checking in with Christine at journey through poetry and had to see your cat poem.


  29. Haha..hey, maybe you’re right! Well, look around and make yourself at home…so happy to have you visit. I’m in the process of moving today so may not be around for a few days or so…but I’ll be checking out your site soon. Thanks so much.


  30. Sandy Jordan

     /  February 16, 2015

    Gail, you had me laughing with shared memories of my cats. I had one that would gently touch my eyelid to wake me up! Another one liked to head butt my face mask for my Cpap machine. One time the color of the mask had changed and I knew he was near my face so I peeked out of my lowered lids and he was looking at the new mask with his head cocked sideways like he was trying to decide if it was save! LOL


    • Hi Sandy…what a nice surprise to have you visit. Thanks for coming by and commenting. Well, since you’ve owned a cat you know exactly of what I speak! That patting the eyelid business must be a popular tactic. 🙂 They are so funny! For the life of me, I couldn’t sleep with her at night but I could have a nap with her. Maybe because the naps were in the daytime she could settle down better. Nighttime was for prowling and exploring…even if only to march around my head! Lol!!



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