OH, what a night. Unable to fall asleep in the bed where I belong, I go down a floor to the spare bed, and read for a while. It is pouring with rain and the cat is outside somewhere, an unsettling thought.
The trouble with this room is that she jumps onto the conservatory roof and demands right of entry in the small hours.
The light goes off around midnight and sleep is granted. Then I have a weird dream. The details don’t hold fast, but there is a yowling cat in that dream. I wake to find a yowling cat on the roof outside.
She’s a quiet cat, except when this happens. When she is stuck on the roof she raises a racket to rouse the neighbourhood.
Normally you open the window, she jumps through, trots downstairs to see if it is breakfast time yet, her furry behind bouncing. Rain makes this difficult. She loses her confidence when it’s wet. Switching on the light, I open both windows and encourage her to make the jump, even leaning out to haul her in, but she is wet and uncooperative, and I am not good at grabbing hold of animals. Instead she sits on the roof, looks up at me and continues loudly to complain.
I go downstairs in my pyjamas and open the doors to the conservatory and the kitchen, putting the light on in each room. The digital radio in the conservatory reveals at it is 1.58am. The cat moves around on the roof. I stick my head out of the two doors and try swearing at her in a quiet voice.
This has no effect at all, so I trudge back up the creaky stairs. We have an Airbnb guest in the front room and I worry that all this activity might wake him. He has a flying lesson in the morning and probably needs his sleep.
The cat is still on the roof, yowling and looking disconsolate in a “what you going to do about this stupid human?’ manner. I offer a look that translates as: “How you going to get through that window stupid cat?” A stalemate has been reached.
I make the stairs creak again and worry about the flying doctor (not literally, but a GP who flies). Downstairs I shut the two doors, turn off the lights, and return to the spare room. Looking out of the window, I see the cat has disappeared.
Creaking again, both those stairs and me, I check to see if she is by the conservatory door, her favoured route of entry, but there is no sign of her. It is still pouring down.
Returning to the bed where I belong, I read some more as the rain hits the skylight window but sleep is now elusive, a door that won’t shut. If I return to the spare bed the same wet cat routine will be repeated, so I chance the creaks again and make a hot drink that is said to aid sleep, then try sleeping on the sofa.
The night does not end well, but it does end in the belonging bed. Now it is morning and, having slept from around 5am to 7.30am, I go downstairs for that first cup of tea.
“She was very soggy when she came in,” my wife says. I shake my head and make a noise somewhere close to speech while flicking the switch on the kettle.
The cat is curled up asleep on the old sofa in the conservatory, just where I like to sit for that inaugural refreshment. Perhaps I should wake her in revenge.
Having a cat is a bother sometimes. But then so too is sharing the house with a nomad of the night.