I was awakened this morning by the cat.

This is not all that unusual. If she decides I’ve been in bed too long, she will mowl at me, or play swat-the-toes, my least favorite game.* Generally, James gets up and starts making breakfast, I hit the snooze button a few times, and then more or less simultaneously, he’ll run the coffee grinder, the alarm will go off, and Athena will mowl at me, and I find myself in the bathroom without a clear memory of how I got there.

This morning, as I was drifting in the happy hinterland between sleep and wakefulness, maybe five or ten minutes left on the snooze, Athena mowled a few times. I ignored her. In the depths of my brain, still mulling over the dream I wasn’t quite having any more, the words “…stupid cat…” drifted. She mowled again. I continued to ignore her. Outraged, she pounced on my foot, in a full body-slam, all four feet, all four sets of claws out, and when I sat up with a yell, bounced away, stiff-legged, on the bed, chirping at me like some kind of demented mammalian songbird.

Grumbling, I got up, thinking that perhaps she was out of food. She ran with me to the bathroom, to her food dish, which was full, and began eating. I had been rudely catapulted into consciousness merely so that I could provide an audience while the cat dined.

I told her what an awful cat she was, but she chose to be selectively deaf, and I started the day, once again secure in the knowledge that I am the cat’s bitch.

*Attempts to break her of this habit by liberal use of the squirtgun were briefly successful, but unfortunately now simply mean that it’s a more challenging game of swat-the-toes-until-human-gropes-for-water-gun-then-run-like-hell.

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