And now I lay me down to

Im drinking sleepy tea. Its a cunning plan, you see, to convince my body that what it wants – what it wants more than anything else in the whole wide world is sleep. Body: you are tired. Brain: you want to go to sleep. Eyes: You desperately wish to shut. Work: you do not want to be thought about right now. Ears: you do not want to examine every noise around the house. Body: You just desperately – desperately in a happy way – want to sleep.

Is that working?

No.

Well, it is NOW, but the second I close down this computer, go upstairs and actually slip under the duvet? Not a chance. That is just not the way it works.

This is how it works:

My Beloved goes up to bed. Hell read, if he wants to, a few pages, or play a short game of something on his phone, and then put his head on the pillow, manage a few sentences of conversation before he slips into a heavy, happy, deep deep sleep. Immediately. Seriously. Within SECONDS.

I am so very jealous of this, its ridiculous.

Bigcat, seeing that My Beloved is going to bed, will have raced him up there, and jumped on the bed to enjoy the CRAZY TRIPPY CATPARTY of a body climbing under the stripy duvet cover. She will get utterly overexcited by this, freak out when someone tries to pet her while ON the duvet cover, squawk, and bolt down the stairs at around 80mph, barely skimming the carpet on the way. She will do sixteen laps of the house before charging back up to the bedroom, curling up next to my feet, and falling into a rock-like slumber.

I will have gone to bed at some point during Bigcats spazmatronic grand prix, and lie there, playing some mindless game or readinga few pages while My Beloved starts to snore gently next to me. After half an hour or so, I will feel myself starting to fall asleep, so plump my pillows, scootch down, and turn out the light.

This, of course, is then Smallcats nighttime routine begins. You will hear her jump onto the (very low) bed, with a little meep as she gets a little winded (only has short legs). As she walks up the duvet, she will start to purr. Loudly. Really loudly. By the time she reaches the top of your bed, and is standing on your shoulder, she will be purring at about the volume of a bulldozer. A giant bulldozer with enormous speakers mounted on it pumping out bulldozer noises. She will nose-butt you several times. In this instance, it means Butting you in the nose with her nose. This is not to say that she will not at any point have her butt near your nose – that is also possible – but mainly she wants to hit her nose against your nose, while pounding your shoulder.

Still, only a couple of minutes of that, and you can usually persuade her to curl up and sleep.

For about six minutes. And then she will meep, get up as if having forgotten something, and run off downstairs.

She will reappear with a toy in her mouth, and drop it near the bed. I will ignore it. She will run off downstairs.

She will reappear with a slipper in her mouth, and drop it near the bed. I will ignore it. She will sit and look at me proudly, every time I open my eyes.

At this, point, Ill suddenly decide I need the bathroom.

Ill come back up, and now completely untired again, Ill turn on the light, read some more, play another round of solitaire, turn out the light and then lie there in the dark, worrying about the next mornings work, fretting about things far off in the future, panicking about something someone said ages ago. And how my friend is and if shes sleeping. And what that noise is. And whether the doors locked. And what Im going to do with my life. And whether I was supposed to do something with my taxes. And whether Im going to become a hoarder. And if there were any emails I needed to reply to.

And at this point, one of two things can happen: either I turn on the light again or theres a small meep as Widget jumps up on the bed, and comes padding up the duvet.

Or, no, that makes it sound terrible.

The third option: she jumps up, and curls up with her sister, next to my legs. And there, eventually, we go to sleep.

Eventually.

I may have another cup of sleepy tea before we start.

Im totally sure that this time it will work.

Mhm.

Yup.