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I have insomnia. If I sleep more than four hours straight, I'm a happy camper. I am also a night person and hate mornings. I've been this way since I was born and I have a daughter with the same problem to prove it. I've also always worked the overnight shift since I discovered years ago that I sleep best in the late morning. That has changed and has confused my cat, Cosette.

She developed a sleep/wake pattern geared to my not being home all night. According to my family after I would leave, she would get her late night snack, wander the house for a bit and then sleep in the middle of my bed. I would get home around 8 AM or so and she would be at the door to greet me. Like I said I didn't usually go to bed until late morning after eating my dinner, then doing some errands and relaxing with programs that I had on DVR. Cosette would be up, playing or sitting with me so I could pet her.

That was then. In late September, I retired. Now I go to bed between 2 or 3 AM and try to sleep for at least 6 hours. That means I am in a pretty deep sleep at 7 AM which is about the time Cosette decides she needs to be fed. I am her "petter and feeder", so she is meowing in my ear and patting my face or nudging my hand. Now, it's not like she doesn't have a bowl with kibble available. There is usually the night snack left overs and a full bowl of clean water. Not good enough, it's leftovers and her brother Jacques has nibbled and drank from the bowls. She won't eat after him and heaven forbid, she should drink from a water bowl that hasn't just been filled as she drinks from the faucet. She sits near the bowls, looks at me and meows as if she's saying, "Look! He spit in it." She is very vocal.

So, I dutifully get up, dump the kibble into another bowl in the kitchen and get fresh from the bin. Cosette takes a few bites while I take the water bowl into my bathroom, empty it and place it under a slowly dripping faucet. Now, mind you, by this time my daughter is now up to feed the other kitties that belong to her and her significant other. They all get a quality canned food twice a day and a kibble snack at night. My fussy fur ball, won't touch the canned food in the morning, even if I haven't given her fresh kibble. We've tried.

She's really a sweet, affectionate kitty and a 6 year cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with lymphoma after we discovered she had asthma. She had a lump in her chest that was found by the veterinarian who has treated our household pets for years. After evaluation at Animal Medical Center in New York City, it was decided her prognosis would be excellent with chemotherapy. After six months, the tumor had nearly disappeared. On her one year exam, it was gone and has not recurred. Yeah!

But I still have a problem with her waking me up in nearly the middle of my sleep cycle. Once I'm awake, that's it, I'm up but feeling really tired and totally lacking any ambition for the rest of the day. Since she isn't going to change her ways, I'm going to have to change mine which isn't going to be easy, especially with my circadian rhythm and insomnia. What we do for our pets.

That's my problem. What's yours?

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