Do cats sense distress? I have no clue. Cthulhu always seems more worried about her own needs. Unless I wake up from a nightmare. When I do she is all over me. Obnoxiously affectionate.
The unfortunate thing about my sleeping pattern is that if I go to bed at a reasonable time my chances of having a nightmare skyrocket. In my dream I had returned home from work to find a letter from the Department of Veteran Affairs about my disability claim. I have been in the process over a year now and expect to find out soon about my claim. I took the letter to the Veteran Service officer, and they informed me that my claim had neither been rejected or accepted. But due to a technicality that they couldn't explain my claim needed to start over from the beginning.
That is a heart breaking thought.