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Life in a Cat house

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Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House

Kitty alarm clock

My wife, Vivian, normally gets up in the morning before I do. She says if she forgets to set her alarm it’s no big deal because she has two cat alarms that are sure to rouse her from sleep. They keep better time than the clock does and they know exactly when it’s time to be out of bed.

That wasn’t the case last Wednesday morning. Vivian forgot to set her alarm and when I woke up I saw it past her usual time to be up and about. Not only had the clock failed her, so had both cats.

The cats not getting up may have been due to the morning before when a big time thunderstorm hit right when the cats are normally ready to start their day. For Skittles, that was not much of a problem. It was for Ozrow because he wants to go outside as soon as he is awake. He really dislikes using the litter box, so a trip outdoors is essential for him.

He doesn’t, however, want to get wet. He managed to hold out until the storm blew through, but it was not easy for him. As soon as the rain stopped he was out the door. Skittles doesn’t want out early for the same reasons. She just likes to spend as much time outside as she can during the summer. If she can’t go out, she’ll just go back to bed. Still, the storm disrupted her morning, too.

Missing alarm clock duty the following morning may have been brought on by disgust at the rain the previous day. The cats figured if it’s going to rain early in the day, there is no sense in rushing around in the morning. Even though it wasn’t raining Wednesday morning, it might have been.

The early morning is the most active time of day for the cats. That’s when they like to chase each other through the house, go outdoors if the weather is suitable, and just generally bounce around for a while. As the day goes on, they slow down. Afternoons are for cat naps as far as they are concerned. This time of year, they can be found dozing on the deck from mid-morning on through the rest of the day.

Not all cats are early risers. We’ve had some that didn’t start moving until the people in the house had been up for several hours. During the cold months of winter, Skittles likes to sleep late. She is only a part time early riser.

They can sleep through thunder during the night, but sometimes it makes them jumpy during the day. Early in the day, they are usually more interested in following the usual routine than anything else. They never seem to realize there is a storm in the morning until they go to the door and stick their noses out.

Wednesday, after failing at being a morning alarm, Skittles only got up long enough to eat, then she went right back to bed. Later, when Vivian was into bed making, Skittles would not give up her spot. The bed had to be made up around her. That is a sign she is going to settle in and sleep until later in the day.

Vivian now says she doesn’t know if she can trust the cats to give her a wake up call or not. She might have to become more careful about setting the real clock if she can’t depend on the back up system.