What’s a small thing that you’re grateful for?
I’m really grateful that Misha slept with me last night. It took me a lot of patience and determination to convince him to do so, but eventually I won. We had a proper battle of wills here, and I’m really proud of my little achievement, because usually for everyone in this house, myself not only included but probably usually most guilty of this mentality, Misha’s will is like a rich uncle’s last will, unless he wants something that could be harmful to him. And he is really obstinate and knows how to always get his way. But not last night.
Lately, Misha spends a whole lot of time with me in my room and is generally very nice and affectionate with me. Which I’m also very grateful for. So, despite he actually slept quite a lot in my room yesterday during the day, he also came in the evening, ate his snack and put himself to sleep in my chair. It’s like an office chair and he looks very small in it, so Sofi and I always laugh that he looks like a tiny workaholic businessman who either doesn’t have a house to go to after work or works so tirelessly that he finally falls asleep at work from exhaustion. I was very happy with it, because I’m happy when Misha sleeps wherever in my room, and the chair is always better than when he sleeps high up on the wardrobe, but I like it especially much when he sleeps in or on my bed so that he’s close with me, and I’m always worried that he’s cold when sleeping in the chair. Especially since I discovered that if you scoop a sleeping Misha, quickly take him to bed and tuck him in and hold him gently, he often won’t protest at all and will barely even realise that he has just changed location, whereas normally he hardly ever agrees to sleep right next to me in bed under the duvet. Eventually, he will sleepily move from under the duvet to his blanket on the bed, but that’s perfectly fine. So when I saw that he went to sleep in the chair, I told him that he can stay here for now, but I’ll get him in a couple hours when I’ll be going to sleep and we’ll sleep together. In the meantime, I was in bed myself but just listened to music and hung around in my Brainworld. Then after some time when I was about to go to sleep, I went to get Misha and took him to bed with me as soon as possible. But then I realised that my phone’s battery was almost dead and I forgot to plug it in to charge overnight, so I tried my best to do it as quickly, gently and quietly as I could using only one hand, because I still held a half-sleeping Misha with the other, and not moving too much because he hates it when humans squirm around. Unfortunately, despite my best intentions, , I still must have squirmed too much for him to be able to tolerate, because he was suddenly wide awake too, his whole body screaming “I DON’T WANNA BE BEING HERe!” I immediately felt awful for waking him up like this, even if my intentions were the best. I tried to make it better and helped him onto the blanket, encouraging him to sleep on it, but he wouldn’t have any of it. So I gave up and, feeling very remorseful for disturbing his sleep so much, put him back in his chair and stroked him gently for a while so that he would relax again. He did sort of lay down on it, but was extremely tense, and his tail kept flailing and thumping with outrage. I decided to leave him alone, hoping he’d settle and calm down by himself, but soon after I went back to bed, he jumped off the chair and dashed for the door, crying that he wants out. As the regular people on here know, I always sleep with the door closed, because I can’t stand doing otherwise, so I always have to let Misha out when he wakes up early in the morning.
It looked like I just sorely lost this battle, but I was really desperate. I’ve been having a lot of sensory anxiety and related stuff ever since about Friday, and I knew that when Misha leaves, it would kick back in full force. It’s insane how one little quiet Misha who is so angsty himself can make so much difference for me, but he does, and I feel way safer in every possible respect with him than without him. And I also felt bad for his sake. The night was just beginning and I didn’t want to feel guilty for the rest of it that I spoilt it for him completely, I still wanted to compensate for my wrongdoing. Plus, it seemed irrational to me that five minutes ago he slept deeply and now claimed he no longer was sleepy at all. I tried my best to convince him to go to sleep anywhere else in my room that he likes, as he has a lot of favourite places. But he just wasn’t interested. Having ran out of ideas, I just went to bed and played for time, pretending that I fell into deep sleep all of a sudden and couldn’t hear his mournful cries. Misha understands that humans sleep sometimes and are unresponsive then, and I hoped that… well, dunno, maybe he’ll follow my example or something. I decided I’ll wait like this for fifteen minutes and if he’ll still be so hellbent on leaving then, I’ll let him go.
I think those fifteen minutes were extremely unpleasant for both of us. Misha kept crying in regular intervals, and despite my being so desperate to keep him in my room, it was really difficult to resist the urge and not let him out. It always really upsets me, I guess often more than it’s actually worth it, when I know that Misha is closed or stuck somewhere but can’t figure out where exactly or can’t free him, or when he has to be closed somewhere because for example my family have guests who are sitting on the terrace and Misha could escape etc. such situations sort of trigger me and make me go nuts as if he were in some real and immediate danger. Yet, here I was, wilfully and selfishly keeping Misha captive. We made it through each of those painful fifteen minutes and, feeling utterly defeated, I got up and thought at least I’d give him a mini snack before he leaves so that we part on good terms. Misha is very noble and he never really holds grudges against anyone, or at least never shows it if he does, but I didn’t want him to feel hurt or have bad associations with my room which is also his own room. I put the snack in his bowl and moved it slightly in his direction. I knew that if the bowl would be too close to me, he could be afraid to come. Yet, to my very positive surprise, he came immediately, and brushed himself lightly against my leg.
Suddenly, my hope rose and I took it as another chance from fate for me, and when Misha ate and it looked like he isn’t about to scurry off fearfully back toward the door, I tentatively picked him up. I propped his head on my shoulder and held him in my arms, massaging his face the way he likes but very gently and gradually slower until I stopped massaging him completely but still had my hands on him. He typically prefers stronger face massages but I was walking on eggshells, and I wanted to help him find his lost sleep again. I sat as still as I could with him like that, and breathed into his tummy which he likes when we do, to make him toasty, because his hind paws were already cold from those fifteen minutes by the door. Finally, he sighed, stopped purring and went limp and heavy, but I still sat with him for some time longer, not wanting to risk waking him up and not sure how to best transport him to his chair without waking him up. Finally, I just took the plunge and placed him in the chair as quickly and gently as I could.
Of course he woke up and tensed up immediately, but I sat in an armchair opposite him and started massaging him, not taking my hands off him for a single second. He laid at a very uncomfortable angle and it clearly looked like if I were to move away from him, he wouldn’t stay long on that chair, and I’m pretty sure he was staring at me all the time, but he was nowhere near as tense as he was earlier, and I could feel him relax gradually again. Then I stopped touching him at all and just kept my hand very close to him so that I could still feel his movements. I stayed there for another few millennia or so it felt. Eventually, he shifted a bit to make himself more comfortable, turned away from me, sighed and clearly drifted off. I think he must have believed that if he won’t fall asleep right there, I’d just keep watch until morning, and I guess it’s entirely possible that I would. 😀 I still sat there some more just to make sure he’s not tricking me, and then went to bed myself, feeling triumphant, and fell asleep quite quickly as I had very little anxiety because Misha was here, even if not right beside me. We both slept soundly until about 5 AM, Misha’s more or less typical waking time, when I let him out. My Mum couldn’t believe my success story. 😀
So yeah, I’m really really grateful that he stayed with me, after all, and I think we both ended up having a good night’s sleep in the end, despite going to sleep late as a result of this sleep battle.
How about you? 🙂