Friday, April 3, 2009

long story about a long night

Last night was a rough one, and it had very little to do with the kiddo.

M and I went out on a date last night, leaving the E man alone for the first time since the special care nursery. My parents are only in town for a few more days and we decided to take advantage of the availability of trustworthy babysitters to have a warm, uninterrupted dinner somewhere other than our couch. It was awesome.

I decided to take the first shift of baby duty and had him tucked in a little after 11pm. I woke up around 1am to tend to a situation of my own. (There have been some particularly unglamorous aspects of my recovery. I'll spare you the details, except to say that one of them wakes me during the night with some regularity and... um, urgency, as if I need anything else waking me up at night these days.) It was too early to wake Elliot up and too close to his next feeding for me to go back to sleep, so I kept myself up for a half hour or so, checking my email and remembering my former life where 1am and my conscious self rarely crossed paths. While I was stalling, the dog asked to go out so I let her, but on the way back in, our (indoor) cat slipped past me and disappeared into the darkness. Damn it.

I woke Elliot up and settled in for a marathon nursing session*. We finished up around 2:45am and I dozed off in the chair I was sitting in. Around 3:30am, I woke up to the dog whimpering at the door - her standard signal that the bad cat has returned and would like to be let in. With glasses and lights off and baby in arms, I opened the door for the cat who scurried by both the dog and I and down the basement stairs, then locked up and tucked everyone in to sleep for a little while. A few minutes later, I heard a terrible squealing sound coming from the basement. In my dazed, sleep-deprived state, I convinced myself I'd dreamed it... until I heard it again. Each time our dog would jump up off the couch (where she and I were sleeping) and run around to find the source, but she returned baffled each time. I finally realized that our cat had brought some kind of critter in and was presently torturing it in our basement, but a combination of exhaustion and fear prevented me from going down to check it out. I'd hear a squeal every 5-10 minutes and after each one I'd think, "Thank god. At least now he's killed it." I would - obviously - prefer that our cat not catch small prey animals to start with, but once caught, I feel the kindest thing would be for him to put them out of their misery as quickly as possible. I guess I was being overly optimistic because each time I thought that, I'd hear the sound a few minutes later. Cats suck.

At 4am, when it became apparent our stupid cat intended to keep this up all night, I went in to wake up my braver better half so she could deal with the situation. I apologized for waking her up with quite possibly the most awful task there is, but explained that I couldn't cope with this situation with all of my wits about me, let alone having been awake for the last three hours. I heard the sound once right after I woke her up and it sounded closer. She asked if I was sure it was in the basement and I said that's where the cat had gone. Then the sound came again and I swear it sounded as if it was in the freaking room with us. M jumped up at that point and turned the light on. Just outside our bedroom door was our bastard cat... and the baby bunny he was carrying through the dark house.

M managed to get the cat away, scooped the bunny up in a towel and gave him a once over. (I told you she was brave.) She declared his injuries "not that bad" and took him outside where she tucked him into a protected area of our yard to give him the best shot possible. I never saw him myself but apparently he wasn't even that little. It's amazing our stupid cat could even pick him up, and need I remind you he brought him into the house past me and our dog? I was mortified and apologized over and over to M who declared that she could easily have made the same mistake. This cat is 6 years old and has never brought anything into our house before and either one of us would have bet money his hunting skills weren't up to it anyway. I didn't even think to check for cargo when I let him in, but I certainly will from this point forward.

I headed back to the couch and found that our dog had settled herself squarely atop the blanket I'd abandoned in a pile when I went to get M earlier. I elbowed her and told her to move at which point our comically-submissive-wouldn't-hurt-a-fly dog growled at me. Like, a real growl! I nearly died of shock, and then I got really mad. I stood up and demanded that she get off the couch, which she wouldn't. She stared back at me with her ears pressed against her head and her tail tapping nervously but she wouldn't budge. I yelled (well, whisper-yelled on accounta the sleeping baby) at her that she was out of her mind and if she didn't come to me right that second I'd kill her and blah, blah, blah. Eventually, she slipped off the couch and sulked down the hall to our bedroom. At this point, I started to worry about how atypical her behavior was. Was she guarding something? Had the cat brought in something else that she'd buried in my blanket?! Stupid, I know, but I was tired and on edge and the last thing I wanted was to flop back down on the couch and feel something furry at my feet. So I pulled all the pillows and blankets off the couch and shook them out in the middle of the room - nothing, of course. I remade my "bed" and settled back into it, albeit shakily. I think I drifted back to sleep around 5am. Aaaaand, Elliot woke up around 5:30am to start the next (marathon) feed.

I am sooo tired today.

I have more interesting things to report on but I'm tired. Did I mention that already? I'll be back soon, I promise.

*Did I mention he has reflux? He has reflux. This blows. The poor kid spent two nights writhing in agony before we figured out what was up. It's pretty well-managed at the moment (knock on wood) but his comfort requires that I pull him off the boob every 5 minutes for burping, and hold him fully upright for 30-60 minutes after each feeding. The feedings that used to take us 20 minutes now take 40-50 and must be followed by at least a half hour of sitting in a chair. It's not so bad during the day, but it really sucks during the wee hours of the morning.


Laurie said...

Oh my... what a night!! Poor little bunny... and poor baby with reflux :(

Inlocoparentis said...

Oy vey. The craziest part to me was the fact that E growled at you. That dog has never growled at anyone in her life!

Anonymous said...

whoa. that is one hellava crazy night. hope tonight is better and you are able to get some rest!!

tbean said...

This story made me laugh. And it also reminded me that my wife is right when she insists on banning our cat from the backyard. ;)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a horrible night. I am sorry for that bunny, and for you and for E with his reflux - I hope that gets better soon. xo L