For whatever reason, my boys slept in this morning. By “slept in” I mean they slept past 6:30 AM which is a blessing on the weekends but not during the work week when I rely on them as my alarm clock. No matter how early or late my wife Kate and I put our kids to sleep…they are up between 6 and 6:30 AM. Dodge (2) tends to wake up with a cry while Max (4) usually wakes up with a mad dash to the bathroom and a thunder-pee. This routine makes setting an alarm clock redundant because by 6:45 you can bet there are 2 stinky boys jumping up and down on the bed and breathing morning-breath directly into my nasal passage. Ahhhhhh…parenthood.
Recently Kate made a rule that no child was allowed to leave their room before 7 AM on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We placed a clock in their room, worked with Max on his numbers, and put Max in charge. Oddly…it worked. However, at 7:01, both boys are creepily standing next our bed staring wide-eyed at us as we sleep whispering things to us like, “We waited…we waaaaaaited!!!”
This morning, however, no child was bedside at 7 AM. Nor at 7:15. Not at 7:30. I am now late for work but have no idea because…I’m a parent of two little kids and I don’t know what sleeping in feels like! It’s like finding a $100 bill in your winter coat…then checking the other pocket and finding a satchel of rare jewels like in the final scene of the Goonies. Its glorious…except when it makes you late for work. Never fear! We have a 17 year-old cat named Luna who has discovered the trickiest way I have ever seen to wake us up. You see…when we sleep in, Luna doesn’t get fed at 6:45 and she gets pissed. She’s old. She’s a sack of bones draped with fur and topped with a set of vocal chords that have two settings: “Whine” and “Whine Loudly.” As the sun starts to pour in through the windows around 6 AM she starts whining softly.
Then she climbs up next to your face and whines in your ear.
Luna! Come on!
It is important to note that Luna’s bowl of food is an over-sized cereal bowl of dry food which has never been empty…but the idea that it might dip below 1/2 full causes her great anxiety. Sometimes we just scoop food out of the bowl and drop it back in…she needs to hear that sound of dry food going into that bowl. By now she is standing next to the bowl with a look of great concern as she crosses over from whine to howl.
Luna!!! Shut up!!!
This does not go over well with sack of bones and fur. Her ears drop and she shoots me a look of veteran cat-knowledge as if to say, “Oh yeah? I know how to get you out of bed.” Then she trots out to the hallway and howls in the echoes of the stairwell.
Luna! Don’t do it!
Then I hear it. The sound of her pushing open the door to the boys’ room, climbing up on Dodge’s bed, and in her loudest voice howling into Dodge’s face. Dodge wakes up crying instantly. Max runs to the bathroom narrowly avoiding peeing his pants. The house goes from a sunbeam sprinkled time capsule to a cacophony of sounds in less than a millisecond. Max and Dodge waste no time and immediately find something to argue over. The real world come crashing into our bedroom and in a matter of seconds…WE ARE AWAKE!
Then…only then…does Luna give the softest, kindest, most adorable and imploring “meow” as she stands next to her 80% full bowl of food. Kate drops in the remaining 20%. Luna is satisfied and the day has begun.
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