Life in the Cats Lane – the Morning Drill

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You who are owned by cats, like me, know the morning drill. Here’s an excerpt from my diary from a typical Tuesday…

5:00 am. Sound asleep, peacefully dreaming. Of something other than cats, most of the time. Lately for me, it’s how to get a word out of x, e and p in Word on my cell phone, something I’ve been addicted to since Alec Baldwin got thrown off the plane for playing this wretched game.

Suddenly, something lands on my head. Aacchhh! What the hell? Wide awake, I see a cat on my chest, peering into my face. Little Sam Cat. But I know that she wasn’t what landed on my head – the missile was much lighter. I feel around the pillow. Ah, there it is. One of Sammy’s nerf mice. She loves to play fetch and is really good at it.

But I’m not having any. “NO, Sammy! It is not time to get up!!!” I try to hide the mouse in a drawer. Sammy is not fooled and pulls the drawer’s handle to get at her treasure. Luckily, she’s not quite strong enough. I savor this tiny triumph, feeling not the least bit of guilt. And, closing my eyes, I drift back off…

5:20 am. SPROING! Dammit to hell! Sitting up, I’m just in time to witness little Sam take a running leap and ricochet off the bed again, meowing loudly upon hitting the floor seven feet away. “Sam! Cut that out!!!”

Sure. A few more running leaps, with contact. I remain motionless, trying to fool the cats into thinking I’m really back to sleep.

5:30 am. A very deep growling meow, followed by a poke in the cheek with a claw. A gentle poke, not meant to hurt, but a poke nonetheless. I have never been able to teach the very affectionate Pixelle to keep those sharp nails retracted. “No, Pix. It is NOT time for breakfast! Go back to sleep.” A heavy weight walks down my body, finally making circles between my knees. Mercifully, Pix nestles, meowlessly, between my knees. Grateful, eyes closed, I nod off again.

6:35 am. BANG, BANG, BANG! Without turning around, I yell, “Fi Cat, stop that!” Fiona, Sam’s sister, is opening the cabinet door, which springs shut with a loud thwhack each time she tries to pry it open with a paw. The door slams once or twice more, then, amazingly, all is quiet on the bedside front.

7:00 am. An Identified Flying Object lands with a thud on my right foot. “Sam-meee!!!!!” She has leapt from the top of a 7 foot tall bookshelf.

7:01 am. OK, I guess that’s it for sleep. I stretch, and before I’ve even stood up a feline chorus rings out. Sergeant Pix, Cat-in-Charge-of-Getting-Meals-for-the-4-Legged, takes command, going nose to nose with her little sisters, telling them breakfast is coming. Meanwhile, I rattle around the kitchen, taking care not to step on anyone.

First things first: set up the coffee maker – as a friend says, gotta get my heart started. Next, it’s pick up all 3 cat plates and soak them in the sink, to loosen any stuck-on morsels remaining from dinner. While the plates are immersed in suds, I pad into the guest bathroom and empty the clumps in the litter box. I then go into my office, where a second litter box resides, for the almost exclusive use of Fiona Cat. Which I’ll explain in another post … it’s a long story.

7:30 am. OK, so by now, coffee brewing, boxes cleaned for the morning, it’s time to return to the kitchen, scrub the cat plates, and dollop ¼ can of wet food onto each. Knowing the cats will turn up their noses if served the same food twice in a row, I carefully alternate stacks of pussycat meals before placing them in the cupboard. Love it on days when the already sliced bits or filets come up…much faster. Today it happens to be the pate, which can’t simply be spooned onto the plate, so I had to take a bit of extra time mashing the liver and chicken with a fork.

I put the plates down, food ready to be picked up easily by the kids with no hands. Pix takes a few bites, then retreats to the litter box. Pungent. As soon as she returns to her food, I run in and re-scoop. Next, it’s rinse out the water bowls and replace, with filtered water from the frig door. The little ones deserve not to have metals in their systems, just like us humans, right?