Plink! Plank! Plunk! My wife adds a small amount of dry cat food to three bowls that sit on the floor in a row; the deposits play three distinct notes in descending order.
Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. The morning feast begins. In my stupor I dream of rats gnawing on the bones of a long – forgotten prisoner within the hull of a pirate’s ship. I scan the ship’s bowels for any aid in my escape, lest I suffer the same horrible ending. The fate of all mankind, I am assuming, is contingent upon my success.
Scritch. Scritch. Scritch. I become vaguely aware of my true surroundings as Rosie, having excorcised some intestinal demon, now attempts to cover the offense.
“Ohhhhhh…” I pull covers over my head and desperately resort to mouth breathing, through both sheet and blanket, as the fog of stench descends upon me. No good. An eight pound cat has managed the transformation of sustenance into a weapon of mass destruction. If somehow engineered into a practical delivery system, entire legions of Taliban fighters could be routed from their caves( “Save us, Allah, the infidels assail us with the poo of kitties!” ).
“Unnnhhhh!..What the…” Rosie, seemingly overjoyed at having dispensed with twenty percent of her body weight, races across the bed and, employing the apparent( and heretofore unbeknownst ) catapultive properties of my scrotum, launches herself onto the dresser.
“Mrrowrr! Pffft!” The other two furrballs, Roy and Rufus, tussle over control of the windowsill; an avalance of books and papers from the table below it crash to the floor. I call to them, hand extended, as an offer of mediation via petting. Both regard me impassively, as though if sufficient litter were available, they would do well to cover such an offending turd.
“Aaarrgghh! Son of a…” Rosie, only too happy to accept the offer of pets, leaps from the dresser, this time testing the reliability of my umbilical hernia as a landing pad.
It is morning at the Peddy home. My alarm clock is distinctly my own, unfailingly reliable, and clearly that of a man whose life is not his own. Time to get up; it’s going to be a beautiful day.