I went to bed that Saturday, determined to get up later than usual (since it was Mother’s Day) and then try enjoy a leisurely day.
With both kids grown and out of the house, I figured it was a good morning to lie abed, then get up to leisurely drink coffee and enjoy the cool morning temperature at whatever pace I chose. Charles would go get the Sunday paper and we would read until one of us got hungry.
But the best laid plans … you know how that goes. I swear, I love my pets, but sometimes they couldn’t be more like children if they tried.
I knew I was in for it when our dogs started “tap-dancing” around the bed about 6:30, the time I usually get up. Thºey don’t whine, they don’t jump up on the bed or anything, they simply “tap, tap, tap” with their little (and highly annoying) nails around my side of the bed until they hear me roll over, or moan, or sigh, signifying they have my attention. At which time they begin a more rigorous routine designed to raise me from slumber. (They don’t bother to tap dance around Charles’ side of the bed – that would be pointless.)
After I staggered to the door and let them out, all the while saying very unloving things to my pooches, I climbed back into bed and shut my eyes. It was exactly then that old and crochety Tinkerbell, our 13-year old cat, strolled in with perfect timing to rattle the mini-blinds on the window by the bed. This is Tinkerbell’s polite but pointed signal that she would like to go out, please. I moaned again but decided to play dead – a pointless gesture, because that always causes Tinkerbell to step it up a notch. After waiting politely for a few moments, she rattled again. Still no response. This caused Tinkerbell to launch Phase II, in which a few items are strategically lined up and slid, one by one off the bedside stand onto the floor. She knows this will do it – and she is an expert at it.
She has, over the years, hurled glasses of water, picture frames, figurines, even the alarm clock to the floor before going to sit wide-eyed and innocently beside the door to be let out.
It worked again, and I stumbled, again, to the door to let her out. And there, waiting beside the door, as if he knew what was in progress, was my old beloved white tom, who took that moment to come inside and lie on my head.
Tom or “Tom Doody” as he is called (don’t ask me why) often prefers to spend warm nights out on our back deck, but being colder than usual that morning, he decided that since I was up anyway, sharing my pillow was a better deal. As soon as my head hit the pillow Tom inched up until his big white body covered the crown of my head, drowning out any attempt at dreaming with his loud purrs.
Then Salty Dog scratched at the door and Crickett began her short staccato “wuffs” that signify she wants back in “now.”
The gig was up, and I knew it, so I got up. Charles slept peacefully on.
As soon as I put the coffee on and sat down to turn on the news all the animals so eager for me to get my day started settled into peaceful slumber at my feet. Like I said, just like kids.
But I did manage to enjoy the day anyway.
My daughter Miranda and her best friend Jami called to wish me a happy Mother’s Day, my son Zack came over to grill some steaks for lunch and Charles went to the store for my favorite ice cream.
Oh yeah, and I finished the afternoon with a nice long nap.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.