I dreamed that a two-tone blue cat came to live with me. She was a deep dark blue with a large sky-blue patch over her shoulders. My mother was there too, and she said, "Keep her. You won't see another cat like her again."
My mother's name was Alice. I also once had a cat named Alice, so-named by my eldest son when he was five. Alice (the cat) was a cranky tiny tortoiseshell whose language was Teeth. My sons learned her dental vocabulary, and avoided puncture wounds. She lived to 17 years, blind at the end, and no less irritable. We adored her.
She visited me last night too, one dream after the blue cat. Jumped up on my bed, and my only thought was why has it been so long since she's done this? And then the aha! moment: oh, right. She's dead. Nonetheless, we had a sweet sleep-visit, after an 8 year absence.
I believe we were meant to dream the winter away, drowsed in hibernal caves, a layer of fat to sustain us. Nights I return home after work, invent a meal, pencil-in a few words of the Sunday NYTimes crossword (it takes me all week). And then what? All I want is sleep.
All this electric interference — LED's and fluorescents and incandescents — all they do is meddle with the melatonin. Somewhere along the way we went wrong. I admit: I even have my hens on a timed light so that their laying continues through the dark months. I'm not altogether comfortable with that, but then again what are they but gallinaceous extensions of our anthropocentric existence? If I live by the glowing filament then, by god, so will they. I thank them for the eggs.