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Article Published May 20, 2019

Spring Forward

By Juliana Gribbins/Zip06.com

I’ve done that terrible thing again. I’ve fallen asleep on the couch watching TV. It’s one o’clock in the morning and I wake up feeling like the Bent-Neck Lady from The Haunting of Hill House. Why is the most comfortable sleeping position on the couch always a slumped-over one that eventually does your neck bones in?

I unfold myself and lurch to the bathroom. Even when I wake up in the wee hours after falling asleep on the couch, I still do my brush-teeth-remove-makeup night routine. Mom would be proud.

Now I’m wide awake. Another disadvantage to falling asleep on the couch is that once you wake up, you’re awake as if it’s morning. It’s morning, but early morning. Too early to be up and around for the day. I crack open a book and read until I finally grow sleepy.

Then it’s lights out, blanket snug around me like a cocoon. Usually my cat, Wolfgang, is curled up next to me, but tonight he’s not here. I briefly wonder why he’s not in his usual spot before drifting off to dreamland.

A crash.

I sit up in the dark. What was that? Did I dream it?

There are strange warbling sounds coming from the living room. I know it’s Wolfgang. Is he hurt? I’ve never heard him make sounds like that. I jump out of bed and turn on a light. Why is he making odd, birdlike noises?

He’s making those noises because his mouth is full. He’s got a mouse in it.

This is the night the clocks change for Daylight Saving Time and I have sprung forward from my bed to find Wolfie with a mouth full of mouse.

Great.

Now what?

I praise Wolfgang for his heroic capture, but I don’t want it in my house. He’s mumbling and the mouse is struggling to get loose.

I bring Wolfgang onto the deck and shake him gently so that he’ll release the mouse loose from his jaws. It doesn’t work. I end up putting him in the bathroom, mouse still in mouth, because it’s two o’clock in the morning and I don’t want to deal. Then I realize that he doesn’t have a litter box in there, so I gather up the box to put in with him. When I get to the door I see Wolfie’s paw poking out from underneath. I feel terrible for putting him in there. Then I see that the paw has eyes. It’s not Wolfie’s paw. It’s the mouse.

Oh.

I grab a Pyrex container and a manila folder and manage to trap the mouse by covering it with the container and sliding the folder underneath.

Now what?

I’m not running Mickey’s Nightclub in my apartment. Wolfgang shouldn’t have to act as bouncer. I need the mouse out and Wolfie to quiet down and go to sleep so that I can go to sleep.

So there I am, in the cold dark of early, early morn in my oversized sweatshirt and no socks or shoes, tipping the container and folder over the rail of my deck. The mouse takes a spring forward leap and runs off into the woods. Thankfully my neighbors are asleep at that hour. They don’t need to see me with my Medusa hair in my skivvies releasing nature back into the wild.

I come inside, toes and legs frozen, and praise Wolfgang again for a job well done. He follows me into the bedroom. He jumps onto the bed and situates himself so that he’s perfectly round and small as a quarter. Soon he will begin to snore. Yes, he snores. Saws logs like an boyfriend I once had.

Thanks to my bouncer kitty, Mickey’s Nightclub, like the famed Studio 54, burned bright for a very short time and then closed for business forever. I fluff the pillows on my bed and instead of springing forward, I now channel fall.

I fall back. Back into bed. Back into deep sleep.

Juliana Gribbins is a writer who believes that absurdity is the spice of life. Her book Date Expectations is winner of the 2017 Independent Press Awards, Humor Category and winner of the 2016 IPPY silver medal for humor. Write to her at jeepgribbs@hotmail.com. Read more of her columns at www.zip06.com/shorelineliving.