I am not a great one for afternoon naps. I believe night time is for sleeping and day time is for waking and ne'er the twain shall meet and unbalance the rhythms of my life.
But this afternoon, around four o'clock, I became overwhelmed with tiredness. And as I didn't want to fall asleep early this evening (lots of televisual delights on a Friday evening, perfect for rounding off a busy working week) I thought I would grab a zzzzzzzzzzz before Andy came home and started banging his knife and fork on the table demanding to be fed. (In fairness, he never does this - I just said it for effect.)
I don't know why I felt this tired. I have done a lot of gardening and sewing this week, and have been back at work, too, so perhaps a combination of these things plus it being a hot few days weatherwise have resulted in the makings of drowsiness.
Anyway, I had a quick shower and flollopped on the bed, having dropped the blackout blind and pulled the curtains. Tybalt appears and, like the good boy he is, curls up against my leg when I tell him I am going to have a quick zzzzzzzz. 'I shall join you,' he says, like cats don't spend most of their day sleeping already.
Five minutes later, just as I am enjoying the peace and semi-gloom and thinking what a lovely week it has been, Flora Bijou Mybug appears.
'What are you doing?' says she, leaping onto the bed with all the grace and delicacy of a dyspraxic hippo.
'Trying to have a zzzzzzzz,' I say.
'You never zzzzzzzz during the day,' says Flora. 'Can I lick your elbow?'
'I'd rather you didn't,' I say as Flora licks my elbow. She is fixated with licking elbows. Lord knows why.
I shut my eyes again. Flora stomps over my stomach and jumps with a thump off the other side of the bed. And then jumps back on the bed.
'Can I snuffle your nose?' she says, snuffling my nose.
'No,' I say. 'And if you are going to stay in here, settle down please. Like Tybalt.'
Flora stops snuffling my nose and starts licking Tybalt's ears instead. Tybalt is very patient with Flora. He carries on pretending to be asleep. I know he really wanted to doosh her round the side of the head.
Flora leaps from the bed to the chest of drawers. 'What are these?' she says.
'Headphones,' I said.
'Can I chew them?'
'Can I chew your mobile phone charger then?'
Silence for all of 30 seconds. I am aware of chewing. 'I said, 'Don't chew the mobile phone charger,' I say.
'I'm not,' says Flora. I open an eye. She is still sitting on the chest of drawers, a bit of green leaf dangling from the corner of her mouth.
'And DO NOT eat the plant!' I say. I jump up and relocate the plant to the bathroom when what I really should have done was relocate Flora Bijou Mybug downstairs to the kitchen.
Back to bed. Tybalt is still lying there, his eyes resolutely clamped shut. My heart is pounding a bit with the sudden exertion and I have a bit of a hot flush. All is quiet.
'Why is it so dark in here?' says Flora.
'I have pulled down the blackout blind,' I say. 'I thought it might help me doze off.'
'HELP ME!!!' shouts Flora. The curtain/blackout blind combination has flummoxed her and she is stuck betwixt the two. She is wrestling window dressings and losing quite badly. And noisily.
'Good grief,' I sigh, extricating her from the curtains. 'Can you just stop, please?'
'Soz,' says Flora.
I think I have just dozed off when...
...KA-BOING! Flora leaps onto the bed, startling Tybalt who flings himself from the room and thunders down the stairs.
'Are you sure I can't lick your elbow?' she says.
'Positive,' I say.
'What about your dressing gown?' she says. 'Like I did when I was a kitten.'
'If you must,' I sigh. I arrange my dressing gown in a ball, dump Flora on top and embark again on the journey to find the increasingly elusive zzzzzzzz.
'Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp.' This is the sound of Flora reverting to kittenhood.
She is padding my dressing gown as though in a trance and leaving big dribbly patches all over the sleeve. Downstairs, the front door bangs. Heather, home from work.
'I suppose I had better go and cook dinner,' I say, because Andy won't be far behind.
Flora pauses in her padding and licking. 'Could you do it quietly?' she says. 'I'm trying to go to sleep.'