The cats have not yet adjusted to the return to standard time.
Their boisterous morning rampages are now beginning anywhere between 4 and 5 A.M.--not an hour of the day when either of us wish to be up and about.
Charlie-cat often starts the ruckus by trolling up and down the hallway, in and out of the bedroom, complaining in his silly high-pitched voice.
If shut in the downstairs laundry room for the night with Willis, Willow, and now, Sadie, he is quite capable of throwing himself repeatedly at the door, punctuating his thumpings with pitiful and strident wails which resound up the stairwell.
His offspring, Mima and Chester, land on the bed, stomp heavily on me, plead with me to wake up and notice them.
Nellie's favorite trick is to smack at the window blinds, while Edward joins him to pull at the blind cords and set them swinging against the window frame.
Bobby lands on a dresser and pushes small items to the floor.
I have tried ushering the tribe out of the bedroom and firmly shutting the door.
This results in determined scrabblings and caterwauling.
So--I get out of bed.
Getting up early is preferable to waiting for Jim to lose patience with the cats and spring from bed to swat at them, while loudly deploring the disturbance to his cherished last hour of sleep before starting the day.
Since I am already awake, I might as well indulge the cats.
Its not as though they are starving--but they think they must have their dab of odiferous tinned food to launch their day.
Pulling on an assortment of warm garments, I hurry
to dish out the treat amid a clamour of ingratiating meows and loudly flattering purrs. After refereeing the meal [we have several greedy gobblers] I go downstairs to clean the litter boxes, stoke the wood stove, slip outside to feed the feral cats.
Back in the kitchen I pick up the cat dishes, wash them, wash my hands, measure coffee and water, press the 'on' button on the coffee maker.
On a 'good' morning, I may now be able to sit cradling a mug of coffee while looking out the back windows--or sitting at my desk--or retreating to my rocking chair with an undemanding
book or magazine.
My thinking processes are still muzzy, my body slow.
I am not a MORNING PERSON!
By the time Jim appears, fully dressed, the cats have polished their whiskers, visited the litter boxes, enthused over the birds and squirrels who are waking up in the back yard.
The boy cats put on a show of thumping and wrestling, gallop up and down the hall--they join Jim in the kitchen as he pours his coffee, suggesting that they have NOT had their breakfast and a bit of cream wouldn't go amiss.
By the time I start to prepare human breakfast, the cats decide that they are tired.
Edward stretches out on my dresser, his toes charmingly curled.
I prod at him, but he is too sleepy to respond.
Mima may choose my rocking chair for a snooze.
Ringleader Charlie and his cohort, Nellie, relax on the chest by the front window--here they can leap to attention if the feral cats rattle about on the porch.
Chester, his nerves rattled by the activities of the morning, finds a chair full of cushions.
Bobby reclines on the dining room table.
From here he can view the activities of the backyard squirrels.
Nellie may appropriate the armchair.
Teasel pads to the bedroom, joined by Mima.
It is only 8 A.M.--but I have been up for 2-3 hours!
I am mildly resentful that my mornings are structured by the demands of this tribe of felines!
I am also resigned that this is not likely to change--other than the darker days leading to the solstice may gain me a few precious moments of peace.
Cats--its a good thing I love them.