Monday, 1 February 2016

Night Shift

It's been a long time since I have posted.  And, for those who have checked looking for a new blog post and an update about Caesar, I am sorry about that.  The truth, perhaps, is that the older Caesar gets, the more accustomed to our lifestyle he gets and the less quirky things he does.  Or maybe we're just getting so used to his oddball habits that they cease to shock us anymore... There's a limit to the number of times I can tell you that Caesar has broken into various rooms and made a nest of whatever he found in there.

However, just when you think that Caesar doesn't have any more surprises left in him, he develops a whole new habit.  Caesar is a complex dog - there's no doubt about it.  I often sit and wonder what has happened to make him how he is - if anything at all!  Perhaps he was always destined to be an odd dog - I certainly haven't met another like him.

For reasons that are best left unexplained, I haven't been sleeping too well recently.  This is strange for me - I'm always tired and, if there's one thing I'm good at it's sleeping.  Damien will often laugh at the fact that we can go upstairs to bed at the same time and I'll be fast asleep by the time he's finished brushing his teeth.  Sometimes I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow.

Or at least I didn't until the last few weeks.  My sleepless nights all started with some awful nightmares.  At first, going to sleep wasn't so much a problem.  It was remaining asleep for the duration of the night that was the issue.  I'd lie down and be asleep within half an hour most nights.  However, I'd be awake again an hour or so later, shaking and feeling petrified.  My restlessness began to keep Damien awake too and, eventually, I decided to move into the front bedroom alone so that I could toss and turn and kick and turn the pillows over as much as I liked without waking Damien up.  Caesar, of course, came with me.

I visited the doctor after a few weeks of these bad nights as I was beginning to feel exhausted.  He gave me sleeping medication and told me to come back in a few weeks.  "Sleeping medication!!" I told Damien, unsure whether to laugh or cry.  We both agreed that it was strange how I'd gone from a person who could fall asleep in less time than it took for Damien to ascend the stairs, and remain that way until my alarm rang at 6:30, to someone who was sleeping so badly I had visible bags under my eyes from exhaustion.  So I decided not to take the sleeping pills.  Instead, I decided to investigate further.  I would, I thought, be better trying herbal sleeping tablets first.  And then my plan was to use an app to record any sounds during the night - I was expecting to hear myself sobbing or muttering in my sleep as a result of the nightmares.  What I heard was something much different....

At 11pm, the sleep recorder was activated.  At 11:30pm there was definite heavy breathing (which I am refusing to call 'snoring').  Then, at just after 1am, another noise.  A pitter patter of feet - claws ticking across laminate flooring.

The next morning, I played the recordings back wondering where Caesar would be going at 1pm.  Due to a misunderstanding between him and Damien, I now have to sleep with the bedroom door open, else he thinks Damien will go downstairs and forget his breakfast.  But why was he leaving the room at 1am?

That evening, I put the question to Damien.  "You know how Caesar always sleeps with me?"
Damien looked amused, "No," he replied, "he always sleeps with me..."
I looked at Damien confusedly.
"Every night," he explained.  "He comes to bed with you.  Then, when I come to bed, he comes and gets in bed with me..."  This did explain the pattering of feet that I had undoubtedly heard on the recording.  But there were still things that didn't make sense...
"Impossible!" I told him, "He's always there when I wake up!"
Of course, to Damien that was a bit of a mystery, as he too, had no recollection of Caesar leaving his bedroom.
"He's always there when I wake up!" I told Damien, "Whatever time!"
"He's always there when I wake up too," And, of course, I realised at this point that as Damien gets up a good half an hour after me on most days, by the time he begins to wake, Caesar is already back in his bed.

It appears then, that, in our house, only one of us is not sleeping.  It's the one who lies there waiting for someone to stir before sneaking out of the room and back under the covers hoping that they will never notice they were missing....