A few seconds later it started again. I climbed out of bed to investigate and walked downstairs, surprised to see light coming through the hallway. I wondered how the cats had reached the lightswitch, or if it was an actual person down there. I wished I'd thought to bring my eyeglasses.
I glanced first in the bathroom. No light, no water running. Then, the kitchen. Ah, the light was on in here. I looked toward the sink, half-expecting to see a stocking-mask-garbed burglar standing at the sink, perhaps washing up some mess he'd made. I wondered why he would have turned on the light. Don't they generally use flashlights?
Nobody was there. A loud gurgling noise came from right beside the sink. Oh dear, midnight home-improvement catastrophe? "No," I finally realized.... "The dishwasher!"
It had taken me this long in my sleepy-fuzziness to remember that I'd set the delay timer on the dishwasher to go off in the middle of the night, presuming that I'd be fast asleep by then. Apparently I'd been sleeping lightly enough that it had awakened me anyway.
I flipped off the lightswitch (which I'd probably just forgotten about when I was heading upstairs earlier), bid the kitties a good night, and wandered back to bed. Fortunately, I hadn't needed my eyeglasses after all.
(Oh, and when I finally dragged myself out of bed this morning again, around 9am, I felt almost completely healthy again! Yay!)