An ode to blackout shades...

You know those nights when you just can't fall asleep, no matter how tired you are? Not great. Usually, I would hate to make assumptions about how you might feel about them in your own personal experience, but knowing how maddening they are for me, I'm willing to hazard a guess.

A couple of nights ago it was taking me hours to fall asleep. And let me mention that although I was not in my own home (housesitting with three cuddly pets with me in the super comfy bed), I usually sleep quite well in this bed. After a while, I grabbed my phone to try to do something with my brain until I was so tired I couldn't stay awake. I know this is supposed to be the last thing that will help me sleep, but hey, sometimes it's the thing I need. Finally, at almost three a.m., when the emails and Pinterest pins and NPR articles that I wasn't reading but just adding to the open-tabs-for-later stash seemed to be doing the trick, I was about to shut things down and put my phone on the nightstand. It was at this moment that the saga of my night really began, a saga that felt like a 2020-themed adventure of "what more could possibly happen?" And let me preface the rest of this story by assuring you, dear friend, that I adore these animals and would still gladly sit for them again.

One of the cats, who naturally needed to check out something on the bedside table, was startled by something on said table that I can only assume moved suddenly or otherwise behaved in an unexpected manner. (A note to the reader: everything on the table was, of course, inanimate.) In reaction to this, he did as cats are wont to do, and freaked out. I watched in the soft light from the screen of my phone as his leap caused the lamp to tip in slow motion and fall to the floor, dragging its cord behind it in an arc across the table, which, just as slowly, slid my full VIVO COMO SOY mug of water right to the edge and onto the ground. (In hindsight, I don't think a more fitting motto than the words on that mug exists for the life of a cat.)

Feline-fast myself, and also pissed, I flicked on the overhead light, threw a pillow (and a few words) at the cat, and proceeded to clean up the puddle, which also gave me a chance to practice a new Spanish word from earlier in the day: el charco = puddle. After that, believe it or not, I actually fell asleep.

It was rough sleep, however, and a mere three hours later I was awakened fully by the polite footsteps of the dog who wanted to go out (albeit much earlier than his usual pee time). In my path to the door, I discovered that he had also vomited a nice pile of pistachio shells on the rug. (Earlier in the day, he had reminded me that I had a small bag of them in my purse by eating the lot.) We went out, came back in, I cleaned up the throw-up, discovered from the faint blood marks next to it that he had also somehow got a fortunately minor scrape on the top of his nose, and was all set to take another crack at the sleep thing. Needless to say, this was the opportune moment for two more barfs. Cleaned those up, almost barfed myself (texture, you know), and called the dog back up to get settled on the bed.

Now. This is not a drooly dog. Like, he just doesn't drool. But as he sat there looking at me, a stream of drool of which a Saint Bernard would have been proud began to fall from the right side of his mouth. Just as I started to think, "That is a strangely faucet-like stream; I should get a tissue..." it turned into a full-on cascade of (luckily mostly water) vomitus. Dog to the floor, thick blanket and el charco to the shower, dog made to stay on the floor, and me back to sleep.

This time I slept deeply, well, and for several hours, despite (surprisingly few) meows from the cats at their usual breakfast time, despite the incessant drilling from a new-that-morning construction job apparently in the apartment above, and thanks, many thanks, to the persianas: glorious shades that completely shut out the light of the burgeoning morning outside.

My buddy, Shasta, who is now back to normal with no lingering effects from the pistachios!

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