When the alarm goes off, Zsa Zsa is already waiting at my bedside, sitting down and staring at me. If I get up, she will run to the top of the stairs in anticipation of being fed; otherwise she will alternate between “yowling” and “running away/coming back” behaviour until I finally get up.
Next, when I leave the bedroom to go into the bathroom, Zsa Zsa is waiting at the top of the stairs. When I subsequently walk out of the bathroom, she runs excitedly down the stairs with what can only be described as a “prance” or a “trot.”
Downstairs, in the kitchen, she meows until I put fresh food and water in her dishes. She sniffs the dishes to make sure all is well, then walks into the living room without actually eating anything, as though all along she just wanted to be reassured that I wouldn’t FORGET to feed her this morning.
With my own breakfast prepared I walk past her and go upstairs into the computer room. I sit and eat my breakfast while reading The New Yorker. At some point she joins me and sits at a respectful distance, snooping around and keeping an eye on me. She is feigning nonchalance.
When my spoon hits the bottom of the bowl, she begins to approach. Sometimes she meows, but not usually. I put the bowl on the floor and tilt it so the last spoonful of sweet milk is puddled up, and she gingerly tests its quality before lapping it up. This is her second favourite time of the morning.
I return to the bathroom and bedroom to groom and dress. Meanwhile Zsa Zsa descends the stairs again, this time in a calm and leisurely way. She is preparing herself for the Morning Petting Ritual.
At last ready to leave, I turn off the upstairs lights and go down into the living room. As soon as I turn the corner and enter the room, Zsa Zsa collapses onto the carpet and lets out an outrageous squeak, the sound of a meow expelled by a forcible flop to the floor. I have to put my stuff down and get onto the carpet to pet her as she kicks her feet wildly, rolling, squeaking, occasionally drooling. If I pat her bum she gets REALLY excited. Needless to say this is the morning's REAL highlight for her.
After a few minutes I stand up, and that’s her cue to stop being cute. We both go into the kitchen, where I put on my shoes and whatever outerwear is necessary. She wanders to her food dish and begins to eat, though sometimes she’ll politely request a treat, which I’ll refuse unless she opens the cupboard and gets the treats out herself, which she occasionally does.
When I’m walking out the door she’ll stand in the middle of the kitchen and watch me. I’ll say “bye!” and she’ll just stare. I never know if she’s sad to see me go or if she’s planning a huge cat party once I’m gone.