Actually, it’s more like early moring. Going on for 3 am. My cat wanted out earlier, after midnight, which is a no-no. But there was an intruder in the courtyard and she behaved oddly – miaowing at the door, purring around, dropping down to a crouch and staring intently through the screen door. I relented and let her out and she ran to the gate, leapt up and onto the fence and walked along it a while.  She came back when I called (very softly, it was after midnight), then I was terrified she was going to leap onto the roof.  Asound distracted ehr, something I didn’t hear, and she went all tense and watchful.  She jumped back into the courtyard and was most intrigued at scents on the ground. Cat or rat? Has to be another cat, I think. I don’t see a rat going around the areas she was interested in.
Just before she took off into the jungly dark around the fence between my courtyard & the neighbour’s, I picked her up (& was rewarded with a very rare hiss) and brought her back in. I shut the door, locked it & turned ouff the light. And that was that. It was purrs & cuddles and no more wanting to go out.
Most intriguing.
Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have to curtail my cat’s night life, but she’s not much at self-defense & I live on a busy road. I don’t know whether me wanting to keep her safe is selfish or not.