I was jerked awake in the proverbial middle of the night by a blood-curdling scream. What other kind is there? I was already on edge when I went to bed because I had just watched "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark." It was terrifying and pushed all the buttons of my childhood fears of cellars and dungeons and demons.
As it turned out, the scream came from my cat, Ginger Pie, when I rolled over on her in my sleep. I think she sleeps with me for warmth. Aren't all cats heat-seeking missiles?
I have been sleeping with animals all my life. When my kids were small, I used to wake up with all three kids and the dog and cat in bed with us. Such crowding makes it difficult to shift one's position. We had a cat door in our house, and there would be times when I would awaken to find strange cats sleeping at the foot of my bed.
I never really minded sleeping with animals - except for my husband. Only slightly less furry than the dogs and cats and prone to an even louder version of snoring I used to long sometimes for twin beds. Didn't the old TV shows from the fifties depict couples like Ozzie and Harriet and Ricky and Lucy sleeping in separate beds. This was probably done as a nod to the prudishness of the fifties mindset, but maybe there was something to be said for it.
The animal who was my husband breathed cigarette breath in my face all night. If I turned away, he would drape his hairy limbs all over me. He wanted sex both morning and evening. He was insatiable. I used to beg him to find an all-consuming hobby. "I have a hobby," he would assure me as he moved in on me.
There is nothing like living with someone to take the romance out of a relationship. Cleaning someone else's hair out of the bathtub drain can do it or sitting on a toilet in the dark of night with the seat left up.
When I finally get to live in my dream house, it will have separate master bedroom suites so as to allow the romance of a relationship to survive. As for dogs and cats, they're welcome to the foot of my bed anytime.