Truisms of life at 3 a.m.

clock-googleLast night was one of those nights.

Like many people over 50, I have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. I wake up around 3 a.m. or so and can’t fall back asleep. Sometimes I am cranky because I can’t sleep but sometimes I do my best thinking then.

Unfortunately, my senior cat Jake also has the same issues. The only difference is that he doesn’t like to suffer alone so it’s always important to wake me up if by chance I am still sleeping. Sometimes I can bribe him with a few kibble but usually that will only buy me a half hour before the wailful whining starts again.

We started him on a “guaranteed” natural sleeping aid for cats last week. Of course it doesn’t work. Most things don’t work for Jake. First off he hates the taste so he doesn’t take it easily. Then he will not eat any food that it’s crushed in. He’s been around the block a time or two so he is wise to all my tricks.

We now have a liquid form to squirt in his mouth. It’s easy to do since he only has two teeth. The days of hand injuries are past. Still doesn’t work. Oh yes, none of these natural remedies are cheap. But this post isn’t about Jake’s meds.

It’s about the things you think about at 3 a.m. They are bits of wisdom that you are completely oblivious to during normal waking hours. It’s surprising what jells at 3 a.m.

Coupons – Have you ever noticed that your coupons are never where you are? I try all kinds of tricks like keeping them in my purse or car. I will still pay for an item without using them. A few years ago I had dinner with two of my good friends. We all had a coupon to use and we all forgot about it. Every. Last. One. Of. Us. Thank God it wasn’t just me.

Hairballs – Why do cats have hairballs in the middle of the night? You can hear the gagging but you aren’t quite sure where it’s happening. Of course you need to use the bathroom – hairball barfing triggers pee urges in people. You tiptoe around trying to figure out where it’s most likely to be. By the way, it’s most likely to be on the carpet in the direct path to the bathroom. Cats don’t like to barf on solid easy-to-clean floors.

Mood, time and need — There is some kind of sinister connection between mood and time. When you are in the mood, you don’t have the time. When you have the time, you’re not in the mood. What’s that all about? It holds true for lots of things! Shopping for instance! Although there is always mood and time for shoe shopping but without working, there is no need for more shoes. Oh yes, that is the third part to the equation.

Time changes – It takes me about a week to adjust between daylight savings time and standard time. I blame some of my insomnia on it but Jake takes it to new heights. It’s been several weeks now and I can’t seem to get him on the new schedule which causes the nighttime howling to start earlier. He doesn’t get the concept of one more hour! Do cats have circadian rhythms? If so, how can you change them?

Last night was indeed fruitful. In addition to these bits of wisdom, I was able to get back to sleep by 5 a.m. I really should learn how to sleep in.

27 thoughts on “Truisms of life at 3 a.m.

  1. Linus hops into bed with us between 4 and 5 in the morning. He wants to cuddle and play and there is no dissuading him. Oregano has fallen into the trap of thinking that if they just play for a minute or two, he’ll be able to go back to sleep. I keep telling him not to make eye contact with Linus and try to ignore him until he leaves.


  2. You can’t sleep? I’m like a f__cking owl…All I need is a branch to perch on. I love Jake and how he doesn’t seem to care that he keeps you awake. It’s like, hey Ma, I’m old, get over it. My late great Missy was like that. I accused her of having a drug habit since she never slept. And Mittens, forget it, she slept all the time until I tried to. Then it was party time. She’d do relays across the bed like the cow that jumped over the moon which was rather fitting since she was so fat. I could never have a male guest…was purely impossible. I became known as the woman with the crazy cats. I finally gave up. I too muse at 3 a,m. I think of things like, there’s a half a turkey sandwich in the fridge…I should get up and eat it since it’s probably about to go…then it’s going to leave that old deli smell I hate so much. Yeah…a girl can get in trouble between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5….Hey Jake…about those two teeth…how bout a little Jello…:)


  3. I’ve had those nights, Kate. Recently, after less than 4 hours sleep, I went to work … all systems were not firing as they should but I got thru the day without being cranky. Hope Jake – and you – are able to get a good night’s sleep soon.


  4. Why is it that cats don’t like to deposit hairballs on solid surfaces? I used to have a rug in front of my washing machine. Blackie the cat had an entire garage to toss up a few hairballs in but always did in on that rug. A rug can only take so much washing before it is ready for the trash. I finally gave up on having a rug in the garage. I couldn’t sacrifice another poor, innocent rug!


  5. Bleary today as it was 2:30 and “why am I waking up?”…oh, the cat standing on my head.I have hopes that once Granny cat returns home, RC will go back to normal sleep instead of feeling like she has to report there’s another cat in the house all the time. Even Molly is tired and trying to sleep


    • On the rare day that Jake sleeps in, Mollie, our bed cat, decides that 3 a.m. is cuddle and pet time. Eek! Disruption is hard on cats. Sometimes when we have overnight guests, Jake doesn’t get up during the night but you can be sure I will pay for it when everyone leaves. RC is just doing her job!


  6. The hairball truism is alive and well in our home. Also, anytime I am having a hot flash in the middle of the night (which is frequently these days) the cats have a secret pact to all jump on me at once and cuddle. Ick. And, when I do manage to fall back asleep, Chrissy puts her head in the palm of my hand and pets herself until I wake up and pet her some more. It’s a good thing they are so darn cute.


  7. Coco is the same and she is only 3! She wakes me up so consistently that I now wake up at 3:00 even if I am on holiday and she is at Grandma’s house! But I’m also quite deaf and never hear my alarm so her persistance has paid off when I have an early flight or train to catch . Have a great weekend Kate!


      • My husband said that I sleep like a stone, but I am also starting to wake up with hot flashes…the onset of menopause 😦 so I can totally relate. I have never been a morning person and now I am up and out of bed at 7:00! Thankfully I am not working full time so naps are still a guilty pleasure.


  8. Don’t know how old Jake is, etc. but sometimes a good interactive play session with cat dancer, laser or some other fun toy for 15-20 minutes can help kitty sleep. Sometimes not. 🙂


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