By Brenda Moore

Catch that Cat! I was finally starting to feel sleepy as 5 a.m. rolled around. 
Transitioning from night shift mode to being awake during the day is always tricky. I had only taken 2 pills since waking in the afternoon, so the yawns came fast and furious. Sean was already in bed asleep, so I quietly snuck into bed. 
The exhaustion hit me hard as I settled in under the covers and closed my eyes. 
I wasn’t startled by the pounce of a cat onto the bed next to me because it’s pretty routine from my 12 year old cat Jeter. My eyes flew open as I realized that Jeter had already gone out for the night. “Ugh. That cat’s back,” I thought as I scanned the bed and saw nothing but blankets. 
Sleep paralysis is a pretty common thing with me, so over the years I’ve gained a sort of tolerance. This phantom cat had made a few visits to our bedroom and even pounced on Sean once, giving him his first SP experience. 
That actually made me a little happy. As tired as I was, my eyes closed. This time the cat was already on the bed and walking alongside me. Although my eyes were closed, I felt the familiar light impression of cat feet, especially as it walked across my legs. 
I managed to break free of the paralysis once again, and my eyes saw nothing. I didn’t feel scared, but I was so tired that I needed it to stop. This time, I was going to catch the cat. 
My eyes grew heavy, and I let them close. Exited by the feel of its feet, my eyes flew open. There it was, right next to me. My sleep paralysis visits are not shadows when there’s daylight. The room was just light enough to see the fuzzy mass of energy in the shape of a cat. As it saw me see him, it turned to flee. “Oh no you don’t,” I thought as my arms reached forward and grabbled the back end of it. I could feel the fuzzy energy of my hands make contact and actually hold him in place. 
I was so proud of myself that I wanted to wake and see I had. So, I did what I’ve learned to do when wanting to wake; I began to moan. Sean has also learned over the years to recognize the different sounds I can make when needing his help waking up. 
I felt his arm plop down on my chest and heard his voice, “You OK? Brenda, are you OK?” 
For some reason, I didn’t immediately come out of the paralysis like I typically do, so the flopping of his hand all over my chest was getting annoying. I don’t have cataplexy, but I suppose that was the closest I’ve come to experiencing it. 
Finally I felt the release of the paralysis, and I got my voice. “I’m fine! I caught the cat!” As I said the words, my eyes were staring right where the cat and my hands should have been. There was nothing. Everything had come clear, yet my arms were exactly where I left them at my side with my head on my pillow. As usual, Sean rolled his eyes, turned over, and went back to sleep. 

Brenda Moore

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