4 am. Stretch out on my sheepskin on the ottoman at the foot of the bed. Emit mid-level meow to alert human beans to the upcoming arrival of breakfast time. I love how my sweet voice pierces the dark silence before dawn.
4:20 am. Emit slightly louder and more urgent cry to rouse a sleeping bean and inspire them to use their opposable thumbs on a can lid. It’s not working. I must step up my alert system.
4:40 am. Let loose with a frustrated string of howls from directly under Father’s sleeping face at the edge of the bed. Launch staring contest when his eyes finally open. Win contest, again! Watch him slowly get up and dress. Food is coming! Food! Food! Food! Follow him downstairs.
4:55 am. Prance happily toward freshly filled food bowl and chow down, being sure to drag chunks of wet food onto the placemat to destroy them there. Leave sticky crumbs behind when finished. Lick lips for several minutes. Wash paws. Consider hindquarters. Remember that I can’t reach hindquarters. Choose not to linger on this thought.
5:05 am. Join Father in the living room where he is drinking a dark beverage out of a Harley Davidson mug and looking at his black rectangle. Stare at him until he moves his feet from the footstool. Jump on board and assume the petting position. Look adoringly at his smiling face as he looks adoringly back at me.
5:15 am. I’m enjoying the attention from Father when I suddenly remember the fresh food! Venture back to the kitchen for more. Drag kibble out of bowl and crunch loudly, being sure to leave shrapnel on placemat. Paw at water bowl and slop onto kibble shards. My work here is done.
5:20 am. Visit Father briefly one more time for a few scritches. Pad upstairs. Notice Mother still sleeping in my favourite part of the bed. Push my way into hall closet to nap on Father’s duffel bag.
7:45 am. Wake up. Assume Mother is on with her day and bed is now fully available. Go to bedroom and claim my rightful stake to mattress.
9 am. Someone is in the room. Open one eye to ascertain that it’s a friendly person and not a filthy dog. Mother is looking at me adoringly. Roll onto back to hint at belly rub. Receive belly rub with gratitude. Fall back to sleep.
10:20 am. Attract attention with loud gagging sounds, causing human beans to rush to the room, look around and say to each other, “I don’t see anything, do you”? “I don’t see anything!”
11:45 am. Lunchtime! Hustle downstairs to find fresh food in my bowl once again. Magic! Enjoy some pate, a few kibbles, and water. Yell at human beans as they eat their lunch. They refuse to abandon their own food in order to pet me. Their selfishness sometimes knows no bounds.
Noon: Return to bed and fall into a deep sleep, dreaming of butterflies, birds and gentle hands on my back.
1:30 pm. Father joins me for a nap. You’d think he wasn’t getting enough sleep, or perhaps being woken too early. Slacker! Another belly rub follows before we drift off, snoring in unison.
2:45 pm. Father decides his nap is over while mine has only just begun. Reposition myself under sunbeam. Return to deep sleep.
5 pm. Notice gentle scraping of forks on plates and murmurs of appreciation. Human bean dinner is underway. Roll over and fall back to sleep.
7:30 pm. Venture downstairs for snack. Quietly enter living room where human beans are engrossed in movements on large rectangle. Stare at Father until he moves feet from ottoman. Receive more compliments and light massage. Leap from footstool to sectional arm where Mother takes the hint and brushes my coat. Purr loudly.
Somewhere between 9:30-11 pm: Humans darken large rectangle and announce it’s “time for a nap in the bedroom”. This is code to get me to come upstairs for the night. I play coy and wait until they are under the covers before I join them. Their happiness at my arrival has not diminished in the years I’ve been with them. I take my spot between them as they each stare at yet another type of rectangle.
*Alternate: Disinterested in the rectangle’s noises and colours, I retreat to Mother’s favourite chair at the top of the staircase. I lean into the white cushion that reads “BE HAPPY” and doze until they decide to come to bed. Once they settle, I take my place between them.
Father closes his rectangle first and bids us goodnight. This is my cue to take my place on the sheepskin. Mother rolls over and eventually turns off her rectangle as well. We’re together, a family, and happy. I dream of flying birds and catnip and my beautiful life without worries or filthy dogs. Our breathing falls into a rhythm and we sleep.