The alarm rings at 6am – time to hit the snooze a few times. I need my snoozes. Fortunately, the cats understand the significance and vital importance of mom’s snooze time, and rarely bug me. They do know what it means when I grab the phone and turn off the alarm 10-15 minutes later though, and come leaping up on the bed to say their hellos.
We walk down the hall towards the kids’ rooms… I shuffle groggily, they scamper and swirl. I turn on lights, radio, and get each child to acknowledge my presence and purpose for trespass… then I go out to allow them another 10-15 minutes sleep. This snooze ‘alarm’ works very well for them and it’s very easy to get them going when I wake them like this. Often I take advantage of the time and go back to bed for a few more minutes myself. Yes, I do set the alarm again, and amazingly enough, the cats ‘get this’ too, and while they follow me back to bed, they still don’t bug me.
Oh, but soon enough, it’s time to get up, for real, and the cats throttle up the excitement level to the highest notch! Off we parade down the hall again… one shuffling, 3 racing… and I let the cats determine who gets up first. They leap on the chosen bed and snuggle, rub, head-butt and purr. Then we have fun pulling clothes out of the closet (yes, they can balance on the clothes rod), catching (stealing) socks, digging through drawers, etc. Ninja loves the ‘toe attack game’ and considers it her daily duty to pounce on toes as the kids attempt to extricate themselves from the blankets.
“One kid successfully awakened… next!”
Getting dressed, shoes on, teeth brushed and hair brushed are all closely cat supervised. Sometimes too much so. It’s dangerous to brush hair when a cat is trying to grab the brush from your hand. And it’s hard to brush teeth with a cat in the sink wanting to play with the water… despite the distractions though, getting ready with cat help tends to be a lot of fun.
Eventually the kids make it out to the breakfast table. Pumpkin generally leaves everyone alone and has his breakfast, but Pixie believes it is her job to bother the kids, as much as possible, at the table. She is especially interested when milk, or Kiri cheese (cream cheese), is involved, but also loves the effect she can get by diving at the base of a cereal box to knock it across the table, cereal flying! (brat!). Ninja meanwhile, helps me with the kids’ lunchboxes and backpacks. I set the boxes on the counter, go find snacks, remove a toy rat from a lunchbox, start packing the box, go get water bottles, remove the cat from the box, turn around to put everything in backpacks… remove cat and/or rat from backpack, etc.
Finally, we make it out of the door and the kids get out to their bus. Some mornings we can hear Ninja meowing forlornly from the living room as we wait outside. What never fails though is, as I come back in the house, I will hear Ninja calling desperately for me from inside the door. I suppose minutes are like hours in cat-time. She wheelies up, meercat style, on her hind legs for love and pets… then she brings me her toy rat. Rat fetch is the BEST. GAME. EVER., especially with a big long living room and marble floors to slide across. I’ll toss her rat for as long as she brings it back, or until my arm gets tired… usually she gets distracted by her sister joining the game and I can make my escape.
Next on my agenda is making coffee. That routine is very similar to packing lunches… get the pot, remove the cat from the sink. Remove the rat from the sink. Fill the carafe while preventing the cat from playing with the water. Pour the water into the coffee maker and insert a filter. Go get coffee. Stop the cat from placing the rat in the filter, (or coffee tin or whatever is handy), toss rat across kitchen, spoon in coffee grounds, etc. Then, get the rat from the counter, again, remove the cat from my shoulder, go in living room and play round two of rat fetch, the BEST. GAME. EVER. It probably would not surprise anyone that I often forget to turn the maker on…
Eventually, I sit down for a few minutes to check the news and my email. It’s about this time that Brad comes out, ready to leave for work… and often has to remove at least one fast asleep, worn out cat from his chair so he can sit down and put on his shoes! The cats will often sleep most of the day too, unless I go shopping and bring home exciting groceries (doesn’t matter what I buy.. groceries are always interesting), and they will only wake up when it’s time for the school bus to bring their kids back home again. The cats need all day to rest because homework play, evening play, and bedtime rituals tend to be just as wild as our mornings, with cats.
(btw… I sure hope the grocery store has more furry toy rats back in stock… the ones we have left are about played out!)