Once, when Matt and I lived in Alexandria, Virginia, our cat somehow leaped from the second floor bathroom window of our little row house onto the roof of a tiny shed behind the house. Once there, she yowled until she woke Nancy, our neighbor, who tried to get her down but couldn’t. Nancy called animal services, who came into our backyard and tried to get Fee down with a net, upon which she made one more heroic leap back toward the house, caught the edge of the window with her front paws, bicycled her back feet, and made it back into the house. Matt and I slept through the entire thing. When we next saw her, she was pretending nothing had happened.
That’s one of our family’s favorite stories. I used to think the amazing part of the story was the length of the jumps. Now I think it’s this: I SLEPT THROUGH IT.
I don’t know if it’s being a parent or just getting to a certain age, but these days I can’t sleep through a strong breeze. John’s awake or Matt’s awake or Michael is pouncing on my feet. Or the heat is clanky. Or the moon is bright. Or I have to pee. It takes nothing to launch me into wakefulness these days, and it might last a few minutes or a few hours.
I miss the old days, when sleeping through the night was a reasonable expectation. I know I’ve written about this before. It’s just on my mind today because I was thinking about that Fee story. In the middle of the night last night.