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Shaped by the way of things.   —   Cats!

I can't recall when specifically it began, this morning routine of ours, but I can't remember what my mornings were like before it started, so it's been a while.

Every morning at 6:30 AM, about ten minutes before my alarm sounds, I wake up to soft paws nudging and pulling at my arm. Upon opening my eyes I find Commodore sitting dutifully near my chest and shoulder area staring at my face with startling intensity, his large gray eyes boring holes through my head willing me to wake. Tsunami is likewise sitting near but at the side of the bed and on the floor. He too is staring up at me with a fierce interest though it's less intense than Commodore's stare and more a stare of overwhelming curiosity, as though Commodore made a bet with him that he could will me awake with the power of his thoughts and as Commodore concentrates on melting my brain, Tsunami stares wondering what will happen next.

I play the always fun game of shut-the-fuck-up with my alarm clock for thirty minutes and eventually force myself to become vertical around 7:00 AM, give or take. During this time Commodore sits, waiting, knowing these small acts of movement with which I hit the snooze button are just a way of teasing him, and he is no longer fooled with false hope. When I finally do wake and step out of bed the two of them run at full speed out of the bedroom, down the hall, through the living room, and into the kitchen, vibrating with anticipation. Barely awake myself, I manage to feed them and then somehow get myself into the shower without falling into a deep coma of sleep. I leave the bathroom door ajar.

About five minutes into my shower the bathroom door opens wider and through the fogging shower doors I see a shadow of a cat jump onto the toilet and sit. Through the remainder of my shower he will sit, Commodore, soaking up the heat of the room while cleaning himself after his recent breakfast. I sing to him, making up silly songs with frequent use of his name, and he stays with me until my shower is through. When I step out of the shower he rises and chirps, letting me know he is ready to be pet, and I pet him with wet hands and wet arms and he licks the water from my wrist as I scratch his neck.

Tsunami is afraid of the shower and will be waiting on the back of the couch, curled on top of a folded blanket and staring out the window across the room. When I come out of the bathroom wrapped in my thin cotton robe Tsunami chirps and begins to purr, turning himself upside down to reveal his soft underbelly, surrendering himself to the petting.

As I sit down at my desk to check the weather, my email, and CNN, the cats awake from their food-filled haze and playtime begins. To start off the fun Commodore goes into the closet and begins making noise as he steps on things and burrows into things and out of things. This drives Tsunami crazy with curiosity and Tsunami then goes over to the closet to sit outside of it, peaking around the open door trying to catch a glimpse of Commodore, sticking his paw under the door hoping for a reciprocated playful paw, all the while making deep chirps within his throat. I have never met a more vocal cat than Tsunami. The dude just doesn't shut the fuck up. This closet playtime will escalate into both of the cats in the closet, hiding among the vacuum cleaner and laundry bins, climbing the shelves and mussing my towels, playing hide and seek behind the tool box and mop. I sit in front of the closet, staring into the full length mirror and putting on my morning makeup, listening to the cats behind the looking glass. Eventually one of them will jump out first with the second one right on his tail and they will take off running into the War Room where they will wrestle and pounce on each other in a conspicuos effort to wake Adam.

At 8:15 AM I wake Adam. Commodore jumps onto the bed for a cat nap and Tsunami jumps on the dresser to watch me open drawers for pants and socks. While Adam is in the shower and I getting dressed, the cats settle into something of a calm. Tsunami will follow me from room to room with quiet chips and inquisitive eyes, he will watch me as I pack my satchel and lace up my boots, and as though anticipating my departure he goes behind the papasan chair in protest. Just before walking out the door for work I say goodbye to my husband and pet the slumbering Commodore. I go to the door and bend down and say, "Tsunami, come say goodbye", and Tsunami comes out from behind the papasan chair, walks over to me and rubs against my legs to be pet. We say our goodbyes and he sits and looks up at me with his big yellow eyes in a last ditch effort to get me to stay. As I walk out the door and slowly close it I see him crane his neck in an effort to see every last sliver of me before the door closes between us for the next ten hours.

These events may slightly vary from morning to morning but not by much. As a general rule I can count on this routine Monday through Friday. And let me tell you, it has yet to get old.

Posted 3.24.2006 10:57:03 AM

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