Half-asleep irrational panic

I woke up a few minutes after 1am to the older cat howling. In my half- sleep state, I asked him what was wrong and simultaneously told him everything was ok & go back to sleep. L was sleeping sprawled across the bed, which left me squished into a tiny sliver of space. I wriggled one leg under her’s to feel more anchored to the bed. In my haze, her leg felt extremely heavy and unmoving even after I wormed one of my own under it. She didn’t seem to notice.

In that half-asleep haze, I panicked she had died some bizarre death. I listened for her breathing. For an agonizing several seconds, I  couldn’t hear anything but the cat. I swear my heart dropped through the floor and my brain did frenzied back flips… and I suddenly became wide awake. I heard her breathing and felt her moving slightly as she slept. My rational brain kicked in; she’s relatively healthy. The likelihood of her randomly dying over night in her sleep is slim…

I’m still a bit panicked. It’s taking my heart- rate a while to return to normal. My brain is still buzzing with left-over activity brought on by the half-sleep nightmare. I can hear her breathing though. I know she is alive and well… now I just have to convince myself it’s ok to fall back asleep. It’s only 1:40 am. I still have 4 hours of sleep time. I’d really like to make use of it.

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