It’s a rare day that I get up before my cats. Today, Dougy greeted me with his now-standard body walk with kneading session, but Andy slept away on the little bookcase by my bed, oblivious to the time.
“Oblivious to the time”?! What? Feed-the-kitties time, and Andy hasn’t joined the assault on my sleep to shame me into an early start to my day so the cats get to eat yummy cat food at a little after 3:00 AM?
You got it. Today the cat slept in!
There he was, curled into a ball, butt hair just touching the oscillating fan when it paused before returning the opposite direction, oblivious to Dougy and me carrying on with the routine we have once I give up and prepare to get out of bed.
“Prepare to get out of bed”? Yeah, I have to make sure everything’s operating before I stand because misjudging the state of my legs can result in pain and a fall. I’m reminded of something my mother said once when the subject of falls came up. “Don’t worry, Doug. I know how to fall.” And she did: when you feel a fall coming on, relax, and you hurt nothing more than your dignity! Most times.
Allied with knowing how to fall is knowing how to get up. That I learned from my father, who had his share of falls as he grew older. Picking him up from a fall was difficult for either my mother or me alone, or together for that matter. Dad always said that if we could maneuver him to a solid support (chair, bed), he could use his upper body strength to get up. And he could!
I have falls taken care of, though the best bet is to let my legs determine how soon I stand up. In the intervening time, I sit on the side of the bed. Dougy rubs against my legs to encourage a little haste because kitty stomachs need regular, timely filling. So, I pat on the edge of the bed. Pat-pat-pat! That’s Dougy’s and my morning routine.
Bed patting prompts Dougy to jump on the bed. He continues his destruction of the box springs covering by doing a scratch-stretch to let me know he is impatient for some action that takes us all to the kitchen. Then he jumps up on the bed and rubs against my side and back. Well, to get a little petting, too, but that’s a side benefit!
Shortly after we begin the ritual, he hops back down on the floor to walk toward the kitchen, stopping here and there to look over his shoulder to see if I’m moving yet.
Andy usually is down there with Dougy, making a nuisance of himself rubbing against my legs, resisting all attempts to pet or pick him up. If I won’t get up, he’ll use my desire to pet him as a tool to pry me off the bed. I reach toward him, and he runs away. The little poop! He knows I like to pet my cats, so he plays me to get me moving. Anyone who doesn’t believe cats train their humans never met my Andy!
But Andy himself was sleeping in today, right? Last night was a cooler night than we’ve had in a couple of weeks. I think Andy was just too comfortable to get up. He slept and slept, even with the racket Dougy and I made.
My body finally signalled time to get up. I reached over to greet Andy with a nose kiss – his nose, my index finger. Both boys like this business because my “nose kiss” involves a nose rub of that spot between the eyes that Persian cats can’t reach easily. Both boys close their eyes, tilt their heads back in a swoon, yawn, and give me a kitty signal that means “More! More!” Better than catnip. Better than tuna! Well, maybe not that good, but pretty darn agreeable!
Today, I woke Andy when I touched his nose. Andy has a kitten face, thanks to a more delicate build than his brother’s. He looks sweet – and is sweet – when he first wakes up. He has to work into his typical cattitude because he truly is a sweet little cat when his guard is down. My finger to his nose, he yawned a big waking up yawn, but didn’t get up. That fan breeze felt too good to move away from it. I rubbed that special between-the-eyes spot, he swooned, tilted his head back, yawned, and signalled he wanted more! Tuna could wait.
I like it when Andy is relaxed. He is a serious little cat. Unlike Dougy, a very playful cat, Andy is slow to get involved with toys. He does interact easily with Dougy, fortunately, so I always feel good when they chase each other through the house, playing predator-prey, a favorite cat game of theirs. I also like it when he just wakes up because he always wakes up in a sweet mood.
This side of Andy is so sweet, I think I should get up earlier than I do so I can start my day with a happy Andycat. Or not. I’ll just take a chance that I’ll catch him waking up during the day. If I want “happy”, I know where to rub!