One of our cats is extremely human focused. He sleeps with us every single night. He has a pillow between the one of my wife and mine. He also has a bit of an unfortunate quirk of stretching when changing sleeping positions. This includes stretching his front paws including claws. He will also do a little bit of kneading on the surface his paws touch. He does this no matter what surface they touch. I've already gotten used to being woken up every now and then from the feeling of a cats paw and claw working my skin. However recently I have had a few instances where I have woken up at night realizing something is kneading my eye lid. This is not done on purpose by the cat, but its very unsettling. Luckily I was already used to it from other parts of my face and was able to just wait until it was over even though I was barely awake at that time and therefore did not panic and jolt my face away potentially causing harm to my eyes.
The problem pretty much boils down to the fact that the cat has an unfortunate habit of stretching his whole body every now and then more or less asleep and the fact that even if I move his pillow more towards the side of my wife he will literally sleep an inch or less from my face.
I know that many people have their cats sleep close to them at night and I am certain other cats have similar "stretching behaviors". Does anyone have any tips how I can both allow my cat to sleep on the bed with us (he is completely devastated in the morning if we close the door or move his pillow and I might be willing to sacrifice an eye to allow him to sleep there) without having to wake up with a claw lodged into my eye lid?