3 AM–thump! Heavy ball of fur landing on the bedroom floor after making her way off the warm bed. Padded feet shuffle down the hallway to investigate what may be about in the outside world.
3:30 AM–scritch, scratch, yank, wobbly pull, rip. Sharp cat claws navigating the litter box and surrounding puppy training pads. A fleeting thought: will the pee be IN the box or will I be changing the pads later…then quiet once more, back to the couch blanket to patrol the goings on outside the house.
4 AM–meowww, meeooww, meoOWW-YOWL! On the dot, the age-old cat alarm rings. Activate the all-purpose feature as well. Cat sensors get no response from this bed, the highly tuned system conveniently sounds at the bottom of the stairs. It knows that we mustn’t leave the daughter out of routine wake-up time.
4:10 to 4:30 AM–shuffle, shuffle, tick, click, meow-me, squeak, shuffle, yeow-meow. The sequence of snooze alarm warnings has begun. With no discrimination, the alarm moves back and forth, from one side of the bed to the other, then down the hall to stand in the dark and call. Then repeat, with just enough time in-between to snooze-barely.
Everyone up now! My tummy says up…now march to the closet and march to the fridge and scoop me up a lovely plate of breakfast food. Hurry, hurry, HURRY! I cannot wait.
4:40 AM–Thump! Crunch! Groan! Onto the bed, the lady’s side as always. Clomp, clomp with purpose over and around to find THE FACE. Sniff, sniff, wet nose meets dry and warm. Furry head nudges and nuzzles human one. Chuffles and snorts and pokes and prods.
Mom, mom, mom, mom-up now please. I am so hungry. Up, up now. I cannot last another moment. Dad is not getting up today-no work, no work. You-you must get up, I need you now. NOW.
5 AM–(if mom is lucky) Groan, slide, scoot, groan, brrrr. Feet hit the floor, searching for slippers in the dark. Me-meow-meh-hurry mom hurry. Shuffle of stiff ankles not yet ready to move and flying, ticking, rushing cat paws moving head-long down the dark hall toward the prize. All six feet hit the kitchen tiles and last call for breakfast begins its urgent cry. Meh-meow-ooww. Meh. Mee. Meow.
Oh I am so very happy, oh mom thanks, thank-you, thanks so much. The pacing is frantic, back and forth between mat and mom who can scoop the stinkiest of cat foods in the dark. Is it ready yet, mom-mom is it ready yet? Please hurry. Oh, thank-you, oh, oh, hurry mom hurry.
Saturday morning. Sunday morning. Every morning rain or shine, sleet or sun. There is no distinction now for a hungry old cat who will only eat her wet food. The dry languishes in the bowl, only occasionally picked at with great disdain. This process will repeat, beginning around noon, or 1 PM, and last until it is impossible to ignore any longer. Try to push her to wait until 4–luck is usually with the regal lady and not with her humans, who give in and fill another plate. We wait for the impending knowledge that soon, very soon this routine will change again.
5:30 AM–Snoooze, snuuuffle, snore. For now, content, full-bellied, and in need of rest the cat alarm sleeps.