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OhmiGAWD what a night! I really must commend the gods of slumber one of these days for their unique sense of humour.

There I am, snoozing away, when I realize there's a cat on my head. Ohhh kayyyy....

Wait a minute: A CAT ON MY HEAD!?!?! (Where's the dog!?!)

The dog is at the foot of the bed, contemplating how she can get at the cat without stampeding over me and thereby getting herself killed. Every now and then she bounces in place, woofs, and makes a swift foray to one side of the bed or the other. The cat purrs louder and makes rude gestures at the dog.

"How the h*** did you get in here, Arthur?" I enquire. Arthur purrs and investigates my ear with a wet nose. "Silly human," sez she, "I slipped in while that idiot dog was out in the kitchen, of course."

Well this is unacceptable. I detach the cat from my head...the dog bounces joyously, thinking it's feeding time. For the next ten minutes I try to evict the cat (RUN, kitty!!!) while holding the dog back. Nope. Cat looks at me like I'm out of my mind while the dog nearly strangles herself by leaning on her collar, front feet suspended at least six inches from the floor.

OK, I pick UP the cat...warning the dog in explicit terms jsut what will happen to her if she tries anything...and heave her (the cat) out into the hallway. The dog gives chase and for the next five minutes all I can hear is the scrabbling of doggie claws on newly-waxed hardwood and a lot of hissing and spitting. Next thing I know...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZOOOOOM! The cat is back in my room, now under the bed, while my 50 lb German Shepherd tries to wedge herself under six inches of clearance to join said puddy-tat. Arthur laughs mockingly and makes more rude gestures. The dog runs around and around the bed from one side to the other. "Hyuk hyuk! Get da kitty! Duh...yup!"

"No, you can't have the kitty," sez I, contemplating my watch wrathfully. It's 4:30 of the a.m. Way too early to put the dog out (she likes to howl; my neighbors tolerate it by day, but I think they'd say it with bullets by night).

The cat hisses occasionally, just to keep the dog in a frenzy. I continue to ponder. Finally, the inevitable hits: I must lock the dog up in the laundryroom til it's a decent enough hour to let her out. So I stagger once more from my wee trundle bed. "Come on Mozz, come on you *^%&$%$$%%^%&% &$^#^%$ &%^$%^ idiot dog," say I in sugary tones.

She boings and leaps and bounces after me, leaving a smirking feline behind. Into the laundry room we go. She spies her door (the one that leads to her pen). "Oh GOODIE! I'm gonna get to go outside and bark and howl a whole bunch."


WHAM! I slams the laundry room door in her face, almost turning her into a pug. "Good night, Mozz," I call sweetly, and stumble back to bed. It is now about 5:00 a.m.

The fun has only begun. Mozza begins to howl. Sheba, our little dog, takes up harmony. Arthur emerges from under the bed and re-establishes herself on my head. I spend the next half hour convincing her that she doesn't really want to sleep on my head. She goes away and I slide into a coma. I wake an hour or so later to find another cat...this one MUCH larger (16 lbs worth of Maine Coon Tabby)...sleeping on my chest. I open a jaundiced eye and contemplate her furry little face. "Comfy?" I ask. Oh yes indeed, thank you very much.

I'm too tired to think, let alone move. I fall asleep again. I wake up half an hour later. I have one cat on my head, another on my chest. Both purring in harmony. Right. I fall asleep again. Half an hour later, I wake up. My head is now conspicuously cat-less (kind of hard to overlook), but I still feel like someone dropped a fuzzy cement block on my chest. Yup, she's still there. I evict said cement block by the simple expedient of turning over (why hadn't I thought of that before?). I snuggle down under the blankies and am about to drift off again when the dog starts howling.

"Tough s***," I mutter, "You shoulda thought of that before you started chasing kitties."

And I go back to sleep. For another whole half hour. It's now 8 of the a.m. and as late as I ever sleep, before or since the dd, regardless of how little or how much slumber I've had during the night. I wonder if the dog has eaten my wheelchair (which is currently parked in the laundryroom while my car is off getting a facelift). I think in terms of coffee.

The cats, their duty faithfully fulfilled, have vanished. I sit up. I swear. I knock back a fistful of Advil to dull the thundering in my head. The dog barks. My bladder threatens mutiny. I deal with the bladder (in the company of the 16 pounder whose thankless task it is to supervise such activities). I stumble and shuffle to the laundry room. I open the door. Mozza leaps out, cavorting joyfully, sniffs noses with the cats, and starts galloping toward my room.

"FORGET IT!" I holler down the hall at her. "It's time for you to go outside." She's not buying it. I wrestle her spring-loaded carcass out the dog-door and slam it. WHEW! She lopes off to the far end of her pen and barks a good morning to the neighbor's dog, who replies in kind before they settle down for a good howl.

I go in search of coffee, tripping over assorted and sundry feline personnel in the process. Open the front door. The nightshift cats come in, the dayshift cats go out. The coffeepot gurgles and groans, slowly filling the carafe with the elixer of life.

And so begins a new day...

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