Bedtime is an Olympic Sport

For most people,  going to bed is a simple process. Its a matter of crawling into bed and covering up and going to sleep.  At our house, its not quite that easy. You might we wondering, why? Do we live near train tracks or people are blaring their car stereos all night?  No, it’s not that. We have pets. Its as simple as that. For those of you who are pet owners, I think you can relate to this.

A typical bedtime starts with shutting off the lights and telling the dogs its bedtime. By the time we get to bed Luke and Abby, the cats, are curled up on my side of the bed. Then Gwynnie, our old toothless cat, hops on the foot of the bed and starts screaming about them being in her spot. We aren’t talking cute little mews, we are talking screams that sound like she is being strangled. Who needs music to sleep too?

Next its time to move the cats. I suggest that Mr. Bernie  move his cats so Gwynnie and I can crawl into bed. He just chuckles and tells Gwynnie, “Shut up you toothless wonder.” She doesn’t listen.   I go to my side of the bed and yell, “move!” Luke and Abby just stare at me.  Mr. Bernie crawls into bed and covers up, then Abby hops on his side. Luke just glares as me as if to say he can’t believe the injustice that is being put upon him. Mr. Bernie will open his arm and Luke will curl up in it like a baby. Meanwhile, Gwynnie is still screaming her strangled scream because its time for me to go to bed. I crawl into bed, all the while she is yelling at me to move faster or something. As I get my cpap machine on and get situated, Gwynnie is still screaming her strangled screams as if to say, ‘Chop, chop, Mom!” I’m all covered up and Gwynnie stops screaming and lays down for her 20 minutes of petting. That is all she wants is 20 minutes of petting and then she goes into the closet.

About 10 minutes into the petting, Luke hops out of Mr. Bernie’s arms and runs across me to go look out the window.  Abby is so happy to have her “man” that she purrs and knead the heck out of him. Then I hear Mr. Bernie yell, “Ow! Not so hard girl, I’m not a pin cushion. Don’t make me thrown your ass on the floor.” By this time 20 minutes have passed and Gwynnie is done with me. Luke races across the bed like his fur is on fire. Roy is still whining at Abby. Now its Patch’s turn to stand up and start to bark at Betty, our foster dog. She is just laying on the couch but if she moves, he lets us know. We aren’t talking little woofs. He starts to bark as if an intruder has entered our home and he is going to kill them.  Kattie just lies on the floor next to me until Patch starts barking at Betty. Then she is up next to Patch with her little barks and warning poor Betty off.

Finally, mandatory petting is done, running across the bed is done, barking at the dog is done. Abby curls up with Mr. Bernie and falls asleep. Luke curls up next to me and falls asleep. Patch and Katie fall asleep. Now its time for me to fall asleep.




  1. I can relate… Although bedtime here is different. Marc and i go upstairs. lucy follows shortly after usually as I am going to the bathroom. She has to join me in the bathroom letterbox – heaven forbid either one of us go alone. Then she wants to play for a few minutes. We go into bed. She goes to gather her toys which she brings up one by one (you can’t sleep without toys, can you). Finally she makes it up there, we are usually out cold. She attaches herself to me and spreads out. I barely can move but feel bad to move her so I wake up like a pretzel….

    • No, its better if you have help in the bathroom. She knows you can’t do it alone. I’m the same way, I won’t move if one of the cats is next to me or on me. I will not cover up until Gwynnie is done with her petting. She doesn’t like the blanket.

  2. Thanks for sharing your evening pet ritual. I will never again complain about my dog’s nighttime habits. Rufus goes to bed earlier than I do (along with my husband) and likes to sleep on my side of the bed. When I join them around midnight, I get the most awful moans and groans from Rufus, who I have to roll over like a giant log so that I can have my allotted twelve inches of space. The upside of this is a small warm spot where he has been curled up.

    • Yes, the warm spot is the best reason for them to keep your post warm before bed. I agree!! I can just hear a dog’s moans and groans when you move him. *lol*

  3. benzeknees says:

    I know only too well what sleeping with pets involves! I should write a post about going to bed with my beloved Bandit was like. I think I will! He had a routine every night too & I miss it dearly now he is gone. Laughed like a hyena at your description of going to bed.

  4. We do love them enough to go through the rituals. At our house Nutmeg is go about going to bed if she thinks we are up to late she will tell us it is bed time. Raven on the other hand has to have her treats & loving from Pete.

  5. I am usually up until after midnight so I can let the dog out one last time, then I sleep for a few hours and let him out again, then he sleeps with daddy who lets him out at 6. He used to sleep through the night until he got sick. In the middle of all that the cats constantly come up and stare at me to see if I am asleep or awake. The joys of having pets that depend on us, but they are so worth it!

  6. That is so funny. Last night was a “lot of short naps night” here. The weather is so cold that poor Oreo goes and does just enough of her business to no longer feel like she needs to do her business, but not enough to be done doing her business. So last night I was up every 2 hours letting her out. I was never up as often with my kids when they were newborns.

    • Ugggg! I know how that goes. I’m so thankful Patch is out of the puppy stage. I feel even worse for Oreo today with the temperatures you are about to get.

      • It is going to be a bunch of long nights with short sleeps. Just too cold out there for her to want to finish. And she is going stir crazy and barking at everything: furnace kicks on – she barks, plane flies over (we are close to the airport at this end of Eagan) – she barks, coffee maker starts – she barks, kids get up – she barks. It would be driving us nuts except for the fact that we know she is only doing it because she cannot run around outside and hall ball only takes care of a bit of energy. And hiding socks so I have to hunt for them only uses a bit more. I have promised the dog park or day camp when the weather is warmer. Too cold to safely take her anywhere in the car – would hate to break down.


  1. […] from One Mixed Bag inspired this post.   She wrote this wonderful post about what it’s like sleeping with pets. […]

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