Almost asleep, the comfort of dreamland within sight, then--CHUK CHUK CHUK.
Delmar's curled up beside me, so it must be Monika in the litter box. Great. This'll take awhile.
CHUK CHUK CHUK CHUK CHUK CHUK CHUK. The sound of her scratching at the litter. All this before she actually tends to her business, which takes no time at all. But the preliminaries--that can take a full minute or two. And even though the litter box is in another room, it's as loud as thunder.
Then, of course, once she's done, the dainty little creature must cover her unsightly mess. So CHUK CHUK CHUK CHUK CHUK, scratching at the litter, this time for three whole minutes. Three minutes--I counted.
A few minutes later, she hops up on the bed, but as if on cue, Delmar hops down. And heads for the litter box. CHUK CHUK CHUK. I turn on the TV, just to drown out the noise, and flip channels until Del reappears.
Then I shut off the TV, snuggle under the blanket--SHHHHHKKKK! Monika is pushing her water dish around, and as it scrapes along the tile floor of the bathroom (I keep it in the bathroom so it's separate from the food dish, otherwise both cats would dunk their food in the water), I look at Del, still sitting at the foot of the bed. Somehow, I know as soon as Monika is done pointlessly pushing the dish, he'll take his turn.
It's going to be one of those nights.