Tap tap, tap tap… a gentle rhythmic tapping on my face wakes me slowly, groggily. It’s early, I can tell from the dim light filtering in. I can hear road noise, so it’s not insane O clock, that’s a good thing.
My eyes adjust to the darkness and I look up to see four sets of eyes staring intently down at me – I’m surrounded!
The Boy kitten resumes his gentle tapping just to make sure I don’t drift off again. The middle cat is on the pillow behind me stoops down and licks my eye ball for good measure. The big cat just continues to give me that long unwavering look that says “get up and feed me”; it’s been 18 years now and he never fails to greet me with this stare every morning.
I twitch my hand and the girl cat immediately jumps in the air and off the bed like a frightened gazelle, triggering a mass evacuation of cats from the bed trampling Crazy Cat Boy in the process and scaring him awake.
I haul myself out of bed and check the time (why I don’t know, it’s not like I can change it) and navigate the writhing sea of cats that are waiting to trip and kill as they triumphantly escort the food slave to the kitchen.
The boy kitten races ahead of me and jumps into the cupboard where the food is kept, waiting to help me select a tin that will meet his exacting tastes. As always I show him the label and he nods approval before racing off to the kitchen bench where he will taste test prior to serving while I try and find a clean spoon.
Four cats, four bowls, the girl cat first… she sniffs it disdainfully and wanders off (I’ll need to put it up on the bar before she’ll condescend to eat it), the boy kitten paws at my hand excitedly as I dish his up, while the middle cat howls pitifully, concerned as he is every morning that for the first time in thirteen years I’ll forget to feed him. The big guy just stands at his bowl waiting, he knows what’s coming and he’s happy to wait while his medication is added to it.
Suddenly there is only the “silence” of chewing; peace descends on the house once more. The chaos of the feeding procession complete I fall back into bed and contemplate the day….