An Eye Opening Experience – Learning to Sleep Like a Cat

A cat makes it seem so simple to sleep in an upright position…but like Zoey here, don’t think just because my eyes are closed that I’m asleep! At least not while I’m on the couch in an uncomfortable position!

As many of you know, l had emergency laser surgery to repair a tear in my left retina on Friday, January 5. It’s been a scary ordeal – I still have significant blurriness and floaters in my eye, which make it quite hard to see much of anything. I was also given doctor’s orders to sleep sitting up, which I have to say is nearly impossible.

Clearly, I need to be a cat, because they seem to be able to sleep anywhere without any issues. For me, not so much. Because I already have chronic back pain, sleeping sitting up makes it worse, although some of it could stem from the 3 to 4 cats that are typically lying somewhere on my belly or outstretched legs. But I have to give it my best try, even though it means I don’t sleep through the night and am constantly shifting pillows around me because sitting up is the only way to help the floaters settle to the bottom of my eye where they need to stay.

This was taken late at night with no light, so it’s a horrid picture, but I think you get the idea of what it’s like for me trying to settle on the couch – not much room at the inn!

Apparently, my legs are prime real estate when it comes to my cats. Mia could nap anywhere she wanted to on the couch, but she prefers to be on my legs, and she also prefers to be next to her mama, hence Zoey looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

I’m not complaining, I’m really not. It’s just a matter of being patient with my recovery and adapting to my current circumstances (such as keeping a magnifying glass close by when I’m trying to read something). I had my follow-up check up on Friday and the good news is that the retina is healing quite nicely. The bad news, the blurriness could continue for several more weeks and I might have floaters to some degree or another the rest of my life.

But hey, when you have nurses as good as mine; it can’t be all bad, right? My cats definitely sense my situation and are sticking with me like glue. I love having them around me and I’m just doing my best to stay positive and remain grateful that I was able to save the retina in time. And despite the blurriness, my doctor has told me to continue using the computer. He doesn’t want my eye to become lazy and as long as I don’t exhaust myself, I should try to go on with things as normal as possible.

How can I complain with a nursing staff like this? Could Jazmine possibly get any more comfortable?

How about you all? If you’ve had surgery, or you’re recovering from some sort of sickness, do your cats seem to sense your predicament and try to take care of you? Happy Sunday everyone – and don’t forget, January is the month we get to help one of our favorite organizations – Riverfront Cats of Miami! For every purchase of the Rescued Volume 2 book this month, a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Riverfront Cats. To read more about it, please check out last week’s post in which I share a bit about what it was like to be a contributor to the Rescued series and why I chose Riverfront Cats as the organization I wanted to raise funding for.


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  1. Ingrid King says:

    This must be such a scary experience, and your positive attitude about it all is inspiring. Cats make the best nurses, don’t they? I’m recovering from a bad cold, and Ruby was a very attentive nurse. Wishing you all the best for a quick and complete recovery!

  2. Sue Brandes says:

    Hope you get better soon. Enjoy your week.

  3. Aww the guys know when something is wrong, and when they can have a great cuddle spot too! I hope that it all settles down for you, soon.
    Toodle pips and healing purrs

    PS still looks like there’s room for another couple of cats on that sofa!

  4. Timmy Tomcat says:

    We all pile on Dad if he is a bit under the weather
    Timmy and Family

    I went to the eye doctor last year in a panic due to floaters that appeared out of nowhere. This is a big deal as I only have sight in one eye and was afraid of blindness. The doc was easy going and saw nothing going on. Good old Iatrogenic (no known cause) floaters. They took about 6 months go go away so be patient
    Dad Pete

  5. Bernadette says:

    Are you kidding? A willing 24/7 lap? No cat is going to complain about that. But the back pain…as soon as you can you’ll have to have a few purr on your back to counteract this. So glad it’s healing well, and you are feeling optimistic. Hope it’s over soon, though!

  6. I hope your eye continues to improve well. It must have been a very scary experience.
    When I was recovering from cancer treatment the first time around, Eric and Flynn never left my side. I do wish they were here to help me through it again, but I know they still watch over me.

    • Deb says:

      I wish Eric and Flynn could be by your side, but yes, they are certainly in your heart and no doubt are watching over you. My prayers are with you and I appreciate your support.

  7. jmuhj says:

    I had be on my left side in bed 24/7 for several WEEKS after my “worst” retinal semi-detachment. You think you can’t do it, but believe me, if your sight is at risk, you can and you will. I have floaters and will always have them; my eyesight “flutters” at dusk and dawn. Yes, it’s bizarre; but as I said last time, my amazing opthalmologist said I had a 50/50 chance of losing sight in that eye — and HE SAVED IT. I thank god for him every day, and am so grateful for being blessed with the sight I have. You will, too.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you for your honest words of encouragement, jmuhj. I am so glad you have such an amazing ophthalmologist – I know your feeling of gratitude and I feel the same way. The blurriness is a distraction, but I am so blessed to have caught the tear in time before permanent damage was done. xoxox

  8. Get better soon ! Purr-therapy is the best ! Purrs

  9. Yael says:

    Get better soon. It sounds like your kitties will take good care of you.
    Yael from

  10. Mary McNeil says:

    Glad your eye is healing up . Maybe putting a pillow under your knees when you stretch your legs out would help a bit. That way when they all lie on your legs, you won’t hyperextend your knees. Purrayers !

  11. When I had my hip replacement surgery, my cats took great care of me. They laid on top of me when I was in bed so that I couldn’t get up and had to rest like I was supposed to.

  12. Ellen Pilch says:

    Such cuties. Cats do know when we need them most.

  13. meowmeowmans says:

    You definitely have the best nursing staff around, Deb. We send lots of healing purrs and prayers to you, dear friend!

  14. I read this last night and then forgot to comment (oops!). I hope your eye continues to get better. I can’t imagine trying to sleep sitting up – I have a hard enough time sleeping laying down (ha!). Please keep us posted on how you are doing. You have some great nurses taking care of you <3

  15. speedyrabbit says:

    We both wish you a speedy recovery Deb.Me I have no surgey to recover from I’m just exhausted from going to work,coming home and taking care of the Hubby and Speedy and Hubby’s mother as she has Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s ,its hard up and be well Debs,xx Rachel and Speedy

  16. I am glad you are recovering. Things like this can be worrying but you have top nursing care.

    MyPaul has had floaters all his life, he looks on them as friends not enemies.

    We are so late for the Selfies Sorry. we spent all yesterdays Selfie catching up time sorting out our flights to to the US, from a silly card company sorry.

  17. Sheesh just read this about the eye surgery. That’s rough. Our human had it too, though not emergency. Sure hope you are doing better and sending you belated purrrrrs