Booted the kitties out of our bed last New Year’s Eve. This was a joint New Year’s resolution made by my husband, Martin, and me. So, after 5 years of sleeping on the edge of consciousness and feeling tired all day, we decided to bite the bullet, shut the door to our room at night and show some tough love to the three members of our furry family who slept in our bed. We love these little cats but 2 of the 3 spent a good part of the night laying on our feet or legs, snuggled up in our armpits or smothering us in our sleep. I would wake up in the night and want to turn over. But, we can’t disturb the little darling stretched across our chest with paws in face, now, can we? Often I’d just decide I was turning over anyway only to have Portia jump up and walk over my body from front to back until she figured out where my face was by which time I’d be wide awake and wishing I’d never moved. Trio likes to lay on our legs so she was a little easier to get around but, still, we didn’t spontaneously stretch out one moment and curl up the next lest we disturb the cat! And little Carmen (the baby cat) had her internal clock set for 5 a.m. No alarm clock needed at our house as she came meowing onto the bed licking Martin’s nose as if to say, “You’ve had enough sleep. Up and at ’em and get my breakfast first!”.

After talking about shutting them out for months or maybe even the last year, we decided enough was enough. We were taking back our queen sized bed and “the girls”, as we affectionately call them, would have to fend for themselves on the sofas or in the guest room. So January 1 we closed the door, I put in ear plugs and we settled in for what we thought would be a night of haunting, pleading cries outside our bedroom door. Hush! What’s that I hear? An occasional few seconds of meowing by our little Carmie? That’s it? As I pulled out my earplugs halfway through the night, I felt almost disappointed. Portia and Trio didn’t make so much as a “mew” and eventually Carmen quieted. It took a few nights for Carmen to stop altogether but all our worst fears of the girls being traumatized and our not being able to sleep anyway for the constant crying was nothing more than the imaginative over-exaggerations of our minds.

Our minds tend to do that, don’t they? Make things out to be worse than what reality unfolds to us. So we put off for 5 years, or sometimes forever, doing something we want to do or become or experience because we allow our mental wanderings to convince us all kinds of disastrous consequences await. Reality,as it turns out, is a good night’s sleep, rested days and three cats who share the guest bed, sofas and chairs. I get to dream again in restful REM sleep. Maybe happiness, maybe spirit lies in putting aside the self-doubts, the fears of failure, closing the door on the current situation and, instead, pursuing your dreams.