Friday, October 26, 2007

The Evolving Human/Feline Morning Ritual

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.


Anonymous said...

Cute! And a great punchline.
I am scratching my head wondering how to tie what follows to your article, umm got it - checking what Muffy has posted forms a part of MY after-work routine. And this is an article I read today that I wanted to share

Anonymous said...

And just for you, another nice article in his blog that rings true

Hilda said...

See, I hear these cat stories and am amused, but I'm just not a cat person. If I'm going to have a pet I want abject, unconditional adoration from it. When I call it I want it to come, not look at me with disgust (if at all) and walk away.

I know that there are many cats like that, and some cats that think they're dogs, only smarter - but you can never tell when they're kittens how they'll turn out.

VanillaJ said...

Whatever. I have a perfect example of how Zsa-zsa behaves in the morning:

If I'm lie'n, I'm die'n.

Anonymous said...

Vanilla - I live that film every day.

I live with five cats. My SO's away for a few days, and so is one of our two housemates - the one who usually takes care of morning feeding. The yelling of five cats sure gets you up in the morning.

Not to mention Sean's little angel biting me awake at 2:30 the other morning.

Adam Thornton said...

Vanilla says your articles are A-1, jj, but I haven't looked at them yet...soon!

Adam Thornton said...

Hilda, it's amazing; I can't understand what's NOT to like about a cat, but I know enough people who don't like them that I have to take their word for it. :)

Most cats seem more like roomates or companions than like devoted pets. My cat makes it very clear that she loves me, but she also makes it clear that she'll only take a certain amount of guff at any given time. I like that!

Adam Thornton said...

That video is perfect! And it even portrays the most bizarre of all cat-moments: waking up to the sight of your cat's anus only inches away from your face.

I pity you, Eli. And is that a picture of the wobbly one? He LOOKS wobbly...