The Cat and the Mattress


After two years of insomnia, one day it occurred to me that a new mattress – one that was not 10 years old and looked like two inverted graves side by side – could possibly help me sleep.  That was 3 years ago. 

Lately SH has had trouble sleeping and it occurred to him that a new mattress might help.  I’m not sure if it was steam that came out of ears – indicating my temper boiling, or if it was smoke indicating my brain burning.  Either way, SH went to leave me at home to purchase a surprise mattress, and I was having none of it.  A mattress had to be tried, I said.  It had to be agreed upon by both parties, I said.  Yeah, yeah – he may or may not have said.  The hour trip into the other side of town meant I was quite ready to give mattress testing a really solid go, and SH made straight for the same mattress he bought from this store 15 years ago, ready to tell the young salesman to wrap it to go….

I had a bit more small talk with the salesman however (it was a slow day for him, poor mite) and next you know, we (I) was being shown into the Bellissimo room.  Room!  It was posh and the beds were soft and luxurious and felt like posh hotel beds.  It felt like I was a square of butter melting into a lovely thick piece of toasted white bread (can you tell I’m missing gluten much?).  Sadly, this lovely mattress cost twice as much and bit more, than the mattress clone in the other, boring room…but then I discovered something…

When I rolled over, SH didn’t get the ripples!

You know? No? Well, some technology stuff and things meant that the individual springs weren’t tied together or something or nothing…end result being, if one person moved the other was hardly the wiser.  This is a big deal in a relationship where one person’s insomnia/ipad use/restlessness directly affects the poor wife’s sleep and drives her mental.  And mean.

And so the luxurious bed was put on laybye.

Fast forward 4 months to last Friday night: Mattress delivery Friday at 10am.  Home and in my anticipatory pajamas by 6pm.  Looking good.  Fast asleep and snoring by 9.20pm apparently. A completely somnambulist ‘ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh’.


‘Merrrrp’ is the sound our largely silent, small cat makes – if she was human she’d be Nina Simone.  She hides when it is “into the laundry time for dogs and cats” so that she can sneak back to lie in front of the fire unaccosted by silly, licky dogs and massive, murderous Maine Coon foster cats.  She rarely disturbs us except to let us know that the fire is getting low at around 4, when she would prefer it to be roaring, thanks very much.  However, I suspect there’s an evil side to her and that she’s a good candidate for being the monster under the bed, just for the pure entertainment value of it.  She gives the appearance of being a sweet, smart, tiny cat who rarely meows – instead she utilises the bell on her collar as it turns out it’s much more effective at rousing humans from sleep in the early hours.  She knows we can ignore her low pitched ‘Merrrp’ if we are deeply asleep, but the bell….the bloody bell…


You know how good our new mattress is?  Despite being the lightest sleeper in the world, I was able to incorporate her Merrrrps and dingdings into the dream I was having, and I was quite happy to do so. There were big buttery slabs of thick homemade white bread toast in that dream.  And lemon curd.

Dingdingdingdingdingdingdingdingding Merrrrrp?!

Awake.  And straight into that age old relationship bugbear: “I always have to wake up and do the cat/baby/vomitting child…I’m going to pretend to be alseep and let HIM get it FOR ONCE!”

After 20 years, you’d think I’d remember he can play possum much longer and better than I.

I lay listening to that dingdingdingding and growing more infuriated by the minute, wanting nothing more than to melt back into my inaugural sleep on the new mattress and SH, apparently, slept on!

Until he gave himself away by sneezing. 

I maintain, you cannot sneeze in your sleep.  He says otherwise, but he has been sucking up an awful lot since then.

Irate, I climbed down off the bed (Bonus: the mattress has a topper and it’s really high: makes me feel all petite and wee – those who know me, know how hard that is) and attempted to collect the cat…little tart, the fire was fine, and we had a merry (not!) game of cat and idiot around the house, before I caught her and dumped her in the laundry and returned to my toast, err mattress, I mean bed!

On my old mattress, I would’ve harrumphed and climbed into bed noisily and disturbingly, and SH would have possumed right through that too, mongrel, although I’m sure (I hope) he’d be at least mildly irritated…but on the new mattress all I could do was add the noise…there was no disturbation at all, at all.

And the flipping thing was so comfortable I got over myself and went to sleep!

Guess who is getting collected every night from now on in, for Laundry bed time (surprisingly not the possum) no matter how cute she is by the fire?!

And sneezing – tell me reader – can you sneeze in your sleep? Do get back to me, I’m pretty sure there’s some score settling to be done!

Living in a Large Space

Kayfa Kitty

Thank the Baby Cheeses that we live where we do; 5 acres is nothing to smirk at…we can see the glowy lights of our neighbours through the trees, but unlike when we lived in the city, we can’t see them through the window sitting at their table eating their burnt chops and lumpy mash.  And, happily, unlike in the city – they can’t see us through their window in our next-to-nothings unless we happen to make a break for the clothesline early in the morning.  I do try to keep that to a minimum.

But, see, 5 acres seems to be magic.  Out here things tend to disappear into thin air.  Clothes disappear after mini tornadoes rip past the clothesline.  Electricity disappears with one good crack of lightning.  Great fat chickens sometimes disappear leaving nary a feather.  And food disappears from my pantry at a fascinating rate of knots.  Weird weather, foxes and teenagers growing on fresh air and hormones can all be blamed for those types of losses to some degree or other.  After having a really good look around (No, kids, not a BOY look around) we sometimes just shrug our shoulders, scratch our heads, pick our noses and accept that the thing in question is GONE.  It doesn’t pay to overthink it – it’s farmlife.  Bonus if it comes back (especially the electricity) but we’ve learned not to expect a return.

Sadly, our much loved cat Kayfa has similarly disappeared into thin air.  We last saw her four days ago – leaping out the tray of the ute when I had to use it unexpectedly to make the school bus drop; she likes hidey holes and has about 72 here that we know of.  That we know of; we’re all hoping she also has eleventy three we don’t know about. In  Kayfa’s case (lovely petite, possum colored kitty that she is),  it’s best not to think about what might her fate might be.  It’s enough to keep me up at night.  Cross your fingers.  Oh, and in case she doesn’t return, please remind me it’s not necessary to balance out the animal quotient here…there are plenty of paws as it is.  Plenty.

Anyone else have things disappear into thin air?  Does it drive you to distraction trying to figure out how as well?


Monday morning – 6 days later – a seriously cranky Kayfa appeared at the door as I left for work!!  She yowled all the way to the laundry where her food dish is, and Mr 17 year old leapt out of bed (crippled with hayfever) and called “My Little Darling!  Where have you been?!”

Leaving me with two thoughts: No more can people blame all the animal craziness on me AND in what Universe did she disappear into??



In my dream last night a noise intruded, so that the dream turned on its ear and suddenly I was finding beetles in a desert in Egypt.  Noisy beetles, long black ones that sounded like someone stroking an old fashioned washboard very hard, very quickly and very, very, very loudly.  It woke me up, and SH too.  We both lay stunned for a minute trying to sort if we were having a collective dream experience when we heard it again.  You’d jump if you heard it – we did. 
Having ascertained it was not human, SH went to see, while I encouraged him from the bed.  It sounded marsupial to me, I’ve heard possums make a similar noise and figured it might be a bush rat.  I don’t deal with rats of any sort.  Snakes? Fine…yes do drape it round my neck, how lovely.  Spiders? Well, you stay in your web where I can see you and I’ll stay away from you.  Mice? Cute really, but Jemma Jack Russell and two cats will sort you out quick sticks, so hide.  Bees? Leave them alone poor darlings, and get me some honey to put on the stings.  Wasps? Get your hands down you’re drawing attention to yourself, you great twit – I’d sting you too.  Rats?  Call your father, my father, anyone, I am NOT coming out until it’s dead!  It’s their tails.  There’s something malevalent and evil about those tails.  Ick.  So, SH was on his own.  It was a frog. 
 He was about the size of my palm, and he was making his very loud alarming call at the cat.  Quite rightly too.  And it was working, she was alarmed.  Of course, once it wasn’t a rat, it was my job to catch it, which I did with my hat (there is a poem or a limerick here, somewhere isn’t there Lavenderbay?) my guts jumped when he leapt inside the hat with my hand over him, but once I reassured myself it was actually a frog, not a rat, nor a rat posing as a frog, I scooped him up and deposited him at the bottom of the cumquat trees in the wine barrel outside.  Perhaps he’ll eat some of the meatier spiders that have been making silly webs across the verandah posts. 
I don’t think it was Hank, I imagine Hank to be smaller and greener.  And Hank, for all his singing in the tank, is much quieter…more like the Frank Spencer of frogs compared with this Russell Crowe version.  Who knows how he got in, probably while I was star gazing on one of my cat doorman duties at midnight.  I’ll know that sound from now on though, and I’ll be happy in the knowledge that no rat makes it.