Sunday, July 9, 2017

Mr. Bingley's Sleepover

A few weeks ago, Chris was about to leave for a five day work trip and I was stressin'. It was the longest trip he was going on since Henrik had been born. I have anxiety issues so I was unsure of how I would handle him being gone for so long. What worried me the most was nights by myself. I knew I could probably handle dealing with Henrik's middle-of-the-night needs, but I did not like the idea of being alone. In my house. At night. That totally freaked me out. In the past, whenever Chris was getting home late, I would just stay up because I was too scared to turn out all the lights and go to sleep by myself. Any little sound I heard terrified me and I was so nervous someone would break into our house and murder me in my sleep or something (our neighborhood is v safe, btw. I'm just a scaredy cat).

I contemplated moving Henrik and myself into my parents' house for the week and just sleeping there, but deep down I knew Henrik would do better in his home environment and it would be a big hassle to pack up ALLLLLLL of our gear and get settled at their house.

My mom and I talked and talked about a solution and finally decided that we would have our shared cat, Mr. Bingley, stay at my house (he lives at my parents'). This seemed like the perfect solution since Bingley looooooves to sleep next to my mom and is generally a good companion. I knew he would distract me from my fears and make me feel not so alone.

I bought a litter box and some fish toys filled with catnip as a welcome gift and my mom brought him over the first night Chris was gone. He freaked out at first, but my mom stayed for a bit to get him acclimated. He quickly realized that I was there and the familiar faces made him feel right at home. It took him about ten minutes of looking concerned before he laid down on the couch with my mom.

V relaxed.

Once I got Henrik to sleep, my mom left and it was just the Bing & I. I started my bedtime routine and Bangles (one of Mr. Bingley's nicknames) had a GREAT time exploring my house. He followed me into the closet room while I took some outfit photos for Instagram and loved discovering all the nooks and crannies (and shoes).

'splorin the fun closet room. 

While I was taking out my contacts and brushing my teeth, Bingley hopped into my bathtub, stared at himself in the mirror, and rubbed up against me. He seemed quite at home and I was relieved that he wasn't distressed about his new surroundings.

He loves bathrooms. 

He followed me around as I locked all the doors and turned out the lights. The only one that was left on was the one in our bedroom all the way down the hall. He could see the light and sprinted ahead of me down the hall and immediately hopped up onto the bed.

Getting comfy. 

Oh hello.

Here's how the rest of the night went down:

11:30 In bed, about to go to sleep. Bingley is snuggled up near me. "This is going great!" I naively think.

So innocent. So pure. So deceiving.

I want Bingley to be quiet so he doesn't wake up Henrik so I immediately try to shush and get him lay back down next to me. Which he refuses to do. Instead he kneads my hair and walks all over me. I notice kitty litter by my head. I fall back asleep and presumably so does Bangles.

4:00 AM: MEOOOWWWW!!!!!! WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UUUUUUPPPPPPPPPPP. I tell Bingley to be quiet, which only seems to add fuel to his fire. He plays with his new fish toy by my bed. Loudly. Which I did not think was possible (it's not a loud toy). He walks on my headboard. He headbutts my face with vigor. I am covered in cat drool and fur. He tries to get comfy but just  meows. And starts doing who knows what in my bedroom (there's a lot of clanging). I cannot sleep.

4:45 AM: Henrik is awake and hungry. Bingley follows me into the nursery. He then proceeds to try to take down Henrik's name banner, get in his bassinet, scratch at the wicker basket, knock over a stack of books, knock over a lamp, climb the walls, etc. Then he jumps mightily into Henrik's closet and dumps everything in there, hops onto the changing table and licks some lotion off a bottle and smacks his lips and shakes his head for a while because apparently the lotion taste isn't to his liking, walks on Henrik while he's nursing, sits on Henrik, and meows at Henrik. All of this commotion prevents Henrik from falling back asleep (can't imagine why?) so I kick Bingley out of the nursery. The door is not sound proof and his meows are very loud so this is a pointless gesture. Henrik still can't sleep. So I let him back in.

5:45 AM: Try putting Henrik back in his bassinet and he appears to be asleep. Bingley follows me back to bed.

6:00 AM: Henrik has woken up again. Bingley helpfully trots over to the nursery door before me and rubs his head against it as if to say "Aha look! I found the source of the crying! I am such a good cat." Bingley meows while I try to get Henrik settled and is a general nuisance, but not as big of a nuisance as he was before. I get Henrik to sleep and back in the bassinet. I text my mom and half-jokingly ask her how soon she can come retrieve the cat. I go back to bed.

Bingley starts meowing. Again. Loudly. Bangs around my room for a bit then leaves. It's quiet and idk what the heck he is doing in my house but I don't care because he's not meowing in my face anymore.

He eventually comes back and tries to sleep on my chest.

I kick him off.

He mysteriously disappears again but then at 6:30 comes back to meow at me.

I determine my fatal flaw in the past has been to respond to the meows, which only seems to excite him and make him more determined to hang out with me because if I'm awake, that apparently means I am ready to play and give him my undivided attention.

So I play dead.

He walks all over me, meows some more, plays with his fish, sits on my bookcase and shoves his head through the blinds of my window so he can see the great outdoors. He eventually settles down.

Shortly after 7 AM, my mom texts and says she is awake and can come pick up Bingley (BLESS HER).

I look down at the foot of my bed where Bingley is laying. He doesn't realize I'm awake and yet there he lays, meowing. Just for the fun of it.

We get out of bed and eagerly watch out the window for my mom's arrival (one of us more excited than the other).

She arrives and I pass Bingley to her and discover after she has left that in Bingley's final farewell, he left a poopy streak on my  pajamas.

I then notice that all of the blinds in our family room are all tangled and a banner we have hung in our kitchen is on the floor. Henrik's door is also more open than I left it (I recall hearing Bingley meowing in the distance while I was asleep so I'm pretty sure he went in there to meow at Henrik at some point).

Misaligned blinds: Evidence of Bingley's middle-of-the-night adventures.

I change my pajamas and go back to bed and sleep much better.

I love Bingley, but decided I would rather sleep scared and alone in my house than have to deal with him again. He did not return for the subsequent nights.

Also for those keeping count, Henrik only woke me up really once whereas Bangles woke me up at least six times.

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