Confessions of an Insomniac Cat Lover

I can’t remember the last time I really had a good night’s sleep. It seems that the older I get, the more that sleep eludes me. To make matters even worse, there are those times – as a result of my sleep deprivation – that my usual even-tempered demeanor can, without warning, turn me into a screaming meanie!

Tabby cat on stairs

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While I generally blame my insomnia on advancing age, whenever I see our two senior Oriental Shorthair kitties, Dr. Hush Puppy curling up together, apparently without a care in the world, drift off to dreamland before you can say “Jack Robinson”, I start doubting my assumption that for me, difficulty falling asleep is just age-related. In fact, research scientists claim that older folks need just as much sleep as the young’uns.

While it’s difficult for me to admit, I have recently developed jealous feelings toward our cats. I just cannot “grok”1 the reason why it is so easy for the cats to be embraced by Morpheus, (the mythological Greek god of dreams), while I am left for hours tossing and turning; just praying to him to also visit me so I may catch a couple of winks.

Even though I have no doubt that our cats adore me, I sometimes wonder why they appear to be so incredibly empathetic and understanding; accepting my nocturnal restlessness. And if I happen to wake them up, most of the time they just open their eyes for a second, yawn, and just quickly change positions, instantly falling back to sleep. They generally make no big deal over my disturbing their tranquil slumber, while I am energetically foundering on the bedclothes like a beached whale.

Please don’t get me wrong; even for a moment. Our kitties’ reactions to my misery are not always sweetness and light. Although most of the time the cats are sympathetic, they aren’t always little angels. There are those occasions when, in frustration I start moaning and groaning that they’ve simply had enough of my late night gymnastics, wake up and give me the evil eye. Their cursing glance is quickly followed by a mass migration out of the bedroom to seek quieter and more stable accommodations in other locations around the house. Naturally this makes sleep even more unavailable to me since I immediately feel guilty for disturbing them.

Yes, I freely admit that I am jealous of our cats’ ability to sleep. My envy even turns me into a green-eyed monster, full of resentment toward almost every cat in the world, who, no matter what their location or the condition in which they find themselves is able to easily fall asleep in a heartbeat.

But, since I love all cats so deeply, my vexation is fleeting. I just have to marvel at and admire these magnificent felines and the gifts with which they are endowed. But I have a sneaking suspicion that if I remain completely open. I may learn to relax and perhaps one of these days, their wondrous sleep ability will rub off on me.

What do you think? Tell us in a comment.


  1. to understand thoroughly and intuitively
  2. Photo credit: Facebook

72 thoughts on “Confessions of an Insomniac Cat Lover”

  1. Reno – don’t know if you’re into light or heavy reading, or both, but if you can stand a potato-chips novel (feather-light fluff) and you’ve never read him, give Steve Alten a try. He wrote a series of imaginative novels about a Creature of the Deep: a prehistoric megalothon, a monster shark that lives in the Marianna Trench and rises to the surface to wreak chaos. But don’t read any of his books if you want to fall asleep, as you won’t be able to put them down!

  2. I shouldn’t laugh, Jo – but it actually took an equine vet and his lab techs to diagnose your condition? For years M.D.s dismissed asthma as ‘psychosomatic’ until they began to notice the link between gasping & wheezing and air pollutants. Your story reminds me of one of my own.

    My Liz Taylor lookalike school chum went to work as a dental assistant. Within two years, she managed to learn the technique by watching, and one weekend she sneaked me into the clinic, sat me down in the chair, shot my jaw full of Novocain, and drilled & filled a molar to perfection. What can I say? She was 20, I was 17 – i.e., we’re talking the Bronze Age – and that filling is still rock-solid intact. Yes, she’d have probably ended up in the pen and I in reform school if we had been caught, but it just goes to show…

    I forget the names of your little men (think it’s Sir Humphrey Pinkerton and Hush Puppy), and also forget if they’re indoor or partly outdoor cats, but it’s easy to see how you’d have reason to worry about ticks. These parasites are disgustingly bad, so wrap up your extremities when you venture into the countryside during the summer. Thank goodness that you finally found a competent physician.

  3. I absolutley LOVE how you write, Jo! I love your sense of humor! I, too, have difficulty getting to sleep. I have been like that ever since I was a little girl. I remember as early as 5 years old my mother would send me to be and I just could NOT get to sleep. SO, even at that young age, I resorted to reading until I was tired enough to fall asleep. Sadly, reading is a very enjoyable activity for me and I often find myselft engrossed in chapter after chapter before turning out the lights for slumber. But even when I don’t read and lie in bed counting proverbial sheep, or my blessings, or whatever; I find that it usually takes me at least an hour to fall asleep. All the while, I am taunted by my chainsaw wielding husband and my peacefully sleeping kitties. UGH! We just can’t win, can we? 🙂

  4. The biggest problems with sleep here are a my husband’ssleep apnea machine that makes noise and Sabu trying to sleep in my face. I can drown out the machine noise for the most part but Sabu is a whole other problem. I have a bad hip and cannot lay on that side so I sleep either on my back or facing into the bed. The second I get into a comfortable position Sabu is right there in my face. Chasing him off the bed doesn’t work for the most part and the insane need to be in my face makes this cat nutso. We are slowly retraining him to lay on the foot of the bed. SOme nights are good and some are not. Love the article.


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