Thursday, July 12, 2007

Gentle alarm clock

The Country Cousins' diarrhea has not resolved completely, but has improved to the point that not only do they have good bowel control and litterbox-seeking behavior, never really an issue, but they are able to cover the stool and leave the box without getting poo on their feet and tracking it through the house. As such, they were granted nocturnal whole-house privileges a week or so ago.

When I first leave the office door open at night, most kittens will still seek the familiar and sleep upstairs. These kittens followed the usual pattern, discovering the expanse of the downstairs frontier after a few days, then figuring out how to climb on the bed, finding the big cats sleeping there, and finally - oh joy! - MOM!

It's a little crowded on the bed these past few days, though Cricket has elected a change of venue to the closet hallway, temporarily, I assume. That leaves John and 5 kittens. I am forced to admit that on a couple of occasions I have returned to bed after a 2am nature call to find that there was no room for me to squeeze back in, human pretzel that I am, and relocated myself to the couch.

Now, don't snort with disgust and tell me to just throw the kittens off the bed. (And if you believe cats shouldn't be on beds in the first place you are obviously reading the wrong blog.) Waking a sleeping kitten at 2am initiates a domino effect. He starts playing, wakes up all the other kittens she can find, they wrestle and pounce all over the bed, and either wake you up or keep you from going back to sleep, too. You become greatly annoyed, scoop up all the kittens you can grab, toss them out of the bedroom and close the door. They spend the rest of the night scratching and crying at the door. Trust me, it's easier to relocate to the couch for those last few hours and let sleeping cats lie.

While DH is traveling we have the whole bed to ourselves, and it's fairly easy to reposition myself around half-a-dozen kittens in the middle of the night. But then there are half-a-dozen cats on the bed in the morning, as breakfast time approaches.

I am not an early riser (have I mentioned that?). Someone should warn you before you go to medical school that doctors go to work awfully early in the morning. As a natural night owl I spent nearly 3 decades trying to not do something stupid before 9am, but no more. I love retirement.

I do find I get up a little earlier when I have kittens in the bed, especially on the long summer days when it gets light so early. They don't pester (not tolerated) but what they do is nearly as exasperating - they keep checking to see if I'm awake yet. They perch themselves on the pillow beside my head and on my chest and stare intently at my face, searching for signs of alertness. And purr. Loudly, in stereophonic surround sound.

Not the worst alarm I've ever woken to.


Anonymous said...

I've just caught up with you and love these pictures even though, (and I whisper it) I am not really a kitty person! Dogs are my thing. Great Dane, Jack Russell, and Boxer..all, sadly, pushing up daisies now. However, my older son has just acquired a...'something' Griffin - sorry, can't remember the breed properly. Anyway, he (the pup) is completely captivating at 11 weeks and seems eager to please, which is a good sign.
By the way, I can't get up in the morning either until I've read the main news, done the crossword,Killer Sudoku, and Polygon in The Times. And now they've started a Codeword puzzle...! Lucky I get breakfast in bed! Spoiled rotten..

PeggyMac said...

A bed full of cats/kittens...priceless! That's what life is all about.

David E Maeda said...

I can relate to the sleep routine. I've had to learn to live with contorted sleep and if I should ever have to get up during the night then the sofa is often the best option. I've also learned to expect all three ofmy boys to check in with me during the nightband that's just with three cats. Can't imagine having more...

CelloGeek said...

I believe that our bed really belongs to our cats and they just let us sleep there so that they have someone to play with when they are awake.

Anonymous said...

Love that image of the cats starting at your sleeping face, purring. Now that's love. Or... strong desire for breakfast!

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

My Gracie has the softest velvet paw to touch my eyelids as I sleep.
Ummm, as I try to sleep :)

Sweet, sweet kittens!