Samstag, November 02, 2013

The Cat Alarm

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            I have joined the millions of people around the world who have a cat for an alarm clock.  I used to sleep in as long as I wanted on the weekend.  The cats have dry food available all the time, so in the morning they would go eat it.  It was actually a relief, because a cat that is away from the bed cannot continue pummeling its occupants into the most comfortable version of a sleep sack.

            Then Turbo got old.  Her doctor wanted her to eat special, canned cat food.  Of course this meant Che, also, wanted (different) special canned cat food.  Suddenly breakfast is this gourmet experience.  Look at it this way.  If you knew your choices for breakfast were either dry cereal or bacon, would you go eat the dry cereal?  No, you would hold out for bacon or go cook it yourself. 

            This doesn’t work for Turbo because she can’t open cans.  She can, however, open my eyes by clawing at my eyelids repeatedly until I can’t stand it any more.  So I get up in the dark and go around giving anyone who will eat it cat food or dog food or both, depending on who it is and how demanding they are.  Note that I cannot get back in bed after all this, because Turbo only likes her cat food to be served on my bed with a little Turbo plate and a little Turbo tablecloth.  She does not get little Turbo serviettes, but only because I haven’t got any her size.

            This is not the first time in my life that I have had to get up early for animals.  When I was in high school I set my alarm for 4:00 a.m. so that I had time to wash my hair before school after I milked the cow.  This was in the olden days before blow dryers.  I had longish, thick hair and my Sixties-style hair dryer—which I had because it was the Sixties—took about an hour to do the job.

            It could have been worse.  It was only one cow.  It was hand milking, not machine milking, but it gave me well-developed hands.  At 4:00 a.m. in winter the snow sparkled like ten million jewels.  In summer I saw the sunrise. 

I should add that it was my own fault I had to do it.  My dad was willing to milk the cow once a day, in the evening.  Once a day gave us enough milk for the family’s needs.  However, it didn’t give us enough milk to run some through the separator and get cream for our cereal or to cook with.  If we cranked the separator tight enough, it would produce cream so thick it set up in the fridge like butter, and we sometimes used it that way for cookies and cakes, but mostly our mom just made fudge.

Turbo does not produce anything tangibly useful like cream.  She does barf on the floor, but we have not figured out any use for that.  No, getting up while it’s still dark is the price I pay for having a warm, furry white noise machine to purr me to sleep any time I lie down on the bed, day or night.  She has been doing it for eighteen years.  That’s got to be worth a little sacrifice.

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