Peanut-the-Three-Legged-Wonder-Cat recently decided 4:00 a.m. is the ideal wake-up time. For everybody in the house.
That would be NO.
It’s not like she’s starving. There are always two–count ’em, two–bowls of dry chow available, one on each level of the house for her convenience. (A visible hole in the center of either bowl results in melodrama like you wouldn’t believe). We also give her canned food at breakfast and supper time. If it was just a matter of Judd or me stumbling bleary-eyed down the stairs to dump a can of food into her dish before stumbling back to bed, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. However, once she deems herself sufficiently well-fortified it’s time for Her Ladyship to patrol the parameters of our fenced-in back yard. (Judd refers to this as The Promenade.) Any attempt to skip The Promenade results in non-stop meowing and ostentatious attempts at leading a human to the back door. (“THIS way! THIS way! C’mon, you idiots, it ain’t rocket science!”)
The Promenade requires the company of at least one of us because
- even with her three-legged status and advanced age, Peanut is a consummate escape artist. Before we let her out for the first time after she recovered from losing a front leg six years ago, Judd meticulously searched the back yard and blocked any conceivable means of escape. Peanut (who could already move surprisingly well) took a quick look around and promptly sprang from the ground to the top of our 6-foot fence and took off down the driveway. On three legs.
- despite the aforementioned six-foot privacy fence, we sometimes get feline invaders, often of the quarrelsome male variety. Peanut’s a tiny little old lady now (not unlike myself). This makes for an uneven contest, so Judd and I take turns playing bodyguard.
- Peanut is a good hunter. She not infrequently catches “toys” such as field mice which she would dearly love to bring into the house, and which we would just as dearly love to have reach a ripe old age outside the house.
The Promenade makes the 4:00 wake-up call problematical because (a) the humans are still temporarily comatose at that hour and would like to remain that way for at least another hour or so and (b) it’s still dark outside. The yard’s pretty big, with lots of places for night-critters to skulk about (which I just realized might be part of the attraction.)
This morning I managed to stall The Promenade until a little after 5:00. It was still kind of dark out, so I took a flashlight to check out the far reaches of the yard. Peanut sniffed around the trash and recycle bins to see if any other felines had passed through. (We call it “checking her pee-mail.”)
I was startled by a rustling sound from a nearby tree. When I trained the flashlight towards it a huge flock of crows flew out, flapping their wings and cawing their beaks off. (My neighbors must have been ready to kill me.) Peanut shot to the back door like a bat out of hell (“Let me in! For the love of God, let me IN!”) while I limped along to open the door as fast as my stiff morning knees would allow.
It’s now 10:00. Judd’s mowing the lawn and taking care of various and sundry yard stuff. I’ve been doing household stuff (does it ever end?) and putting the finishing touches on this post. And where, you might ask, is the Alarm Cat while us busy bees are doing our things?
Take care, all!