Saturday, September 24, 2005

Another Early Morning

It was another early morning around here. I’m not quite sure the order of events, but in the end all the CREEtures were awake by about 4:40 AM. I was the last one conscious. My guess is that Low Rider is to blame. He’s our early riser. Fat Boy is much more compliant. He keeps the rules on this one these days.

Saturday is often the one chance I have to sleep in. Today I have to drive down to Jacksonville for a job, so it wouldn’t have been an option anyway. But I still want to know why we even need sleep in the first place.

The “getting up” rule is pretty simple. The boys are not to get up before the alarm goes off. If they do, the rule is that I scoop the violator up by the scruff of their neck. A cool feature of cats is that they go stiff and stop all resistance when you pick them up properly by the scruff of their neck. Gorgeous taught me that and she would know, having been a Veterinary Technician in a past life. Then I drag off the offender to a penalty box, either a bathroom or bedroom at the other end of the house. That way we can’t hear the door shaking as they paw at it while we go back to sleep.

Once the alarm goes off all bets are off. I figure it’s not their fault if I choose not to get up after the alarm goes off. So I don’t penalize them for jumping on me once the alarm sounds. It does add a physical element to the waking up process. Somehow they know exactly when that alarm is going to sound because the moment the radio starts, Pounce, usually right on the bladder. It helps expedite the waking up process.

When we first got Fat Boy he quickly developed a routine. Once the alarm went off He would jump on me, head butt my chin and then jump back off. He did this twice. Somehow a 10 pound cat can exert about 70 pounds of force when jumping on or off a snoozing human. I am sure there is a law of physics that explains this but I’m not studied up on it. If he hits your bladder I think the force goes up by a factor of approximately 1.3 (the bladder coefficient being 30% higher and all).

If I didn’t get up after the second time, he’d go over to the spring door stop, pull it back and let it go with a very loud “Boioioirrng” sound. That got me up every time. I knew what to expect and there was a gradual escalation which I could turn off at any time by simply getting up and feeding him. It was a good system.

These days Fat Boy lets Low Rider do his dirty work for him. He seems to just lay back and watch. I get the feeling he’s thinking, “Knock yourself out pal.” He knows he’ll get fed just the same so why risk being dragged off to the penalty box? Low Rider is smarter and less compliant. Not to mention he is skinnier, faster, and black so he’s harder to catch in the dark to haul off to the other end of house.

Anyway we’re all up now. And I’m going to head off to Jacksonville for work.


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