Walter doesn’t like night time very much, he likes bedtime with all its rituals and he sleeps for a few hours once the light goes off, but then he’s up and wandering about from room to room looking out of the windows through the night until either he or Jozef spots one of us with our eyes open and declares “Morning has broken”.
Because they want to get up so early Ruth and I have a system where we take turns of being the one to get up with them every other day, and on our lie in days we stay in bed until around 7.30 relishing our beds. My turn to get up early came at 5.20am today when I heard Jozef jump off Ruth’s bed and knowing Walter was already up and about I got up quickly to try and get down before them, but I was too late, by the time I was ready and downstairs Walter had put Jozef under the set of drawers in the corner – on dear here we go another day in the madhouse.
The first thing is to open the front door, as early as that it’s peaceful and quiet, no traffic to worry about and rarely any other cats about so Walter usually goes straight out, but Jozef waits to have his warmed chicken before he sets off, about 8 seconds in the microwave is just right and he sat down to it while I opened the curtains, put the saucer of cat biscuits for nibbling on in its normal place on the window sill and put a sachet of cat food in a jug of warm water to take the chill off it ready for breakfast number one, by which time Jozef was ready to go out by the back door, then put the heating on and balanced breakfast number two, a flat tin of Classic, on the radiator on a towel to warm.
I used to leave the back door open a little bit while I was busy in the kitchen but since the morning when Walter sneaked a live mouse in and took it upstairs (which rather spoiled Ruth’s lie in) I now just keep popping my head round the living room door to see if either of them are waiting at the window, we have to be careful because sometimes Jozef is sitting there innocently waiting and all of a sudden Walter jumps right onto him so it’s a case of looking every few minutes but today I managed to wash up and get my breakfast on a tray into the living room, sit in my armchair and raise the first spoonful of muesli mouthwards before Walter’s face popped up. So, I got the warm sachet and served half of it to him, in the corner by the TV where he likes it on a place mat, sat down and picked up my muesli again, but no….today he didn’t like it and he ate a little bit then went back on the chair and out of the window so I picked it up, chucked it out, thought about how many times I’ve threatened to give him shredded newspaper for his first breakfast because he wastes so much food, sat down and up popped Jozef’s tiny face.
Well today he was a good boy and had his breakfast out of the sachet that was already open then sat on the rug looking at the electric fire until I switched it on for him, up popped Walter and breakfast number two began. This went on for a while until finally they were both satisfied and then Walter got the armchair at about 7 and peace reigned so I had a bit of time on the downstairs computer and read the paper until Ruth got up, and after a little while got ready and away to work (for a rest)
Once he’s in the chair Walter often stays there until about 1pm then he has a trip out and is back before I get home from work, Jozef enjoys the mornings going out while he knows his brother is in the house and not lurking outside waiting to mug him, he comes home and settles at about the time that Walter is stirring. By the time Ruth and I have had lunch Jo is settled and Walter is ready to climb onto my chest for a power nap, then he comes upstairs with me and sits beside me in the computer chair while I (on a kitchen chair) catch up with my emails, POC and Facebook.
Peace reigns until about 6pm when they both start to stir so Ruth and I close our PC’s and start preparations for our evening meal, and their evening meals (plural), they pop in and out until about 8 then settle until about 9, Walter often goes upstairs and on to the top of Ruth’s wardrobe in the cat box at that time, sometimes if they don’t stir by about 9 for their last look out I sing in a loud voice, God Save the Queen or The Old Rugged Cross usually gets them up and out quickly LOL.
And then it’s time for bed, this is the part Walter loves, when we all go upstairs, me carrying a tray loaded with a teapot and 2 cups, three choices of supper/overnight snacks for each boy and my library book under my arm, Walter runs up and Jozef gets a “taxi” in Ruth’s arms, all the way upstairs while she is carrying him he looks up into the high reaches of the stairwell “checking for spiders”, he gets out of his taxi onto “Blue Mammy” on Ruth’s bed where he usually sleeps.
Walter, in my room, sits and looks pitiful for all the food is put on his mat on the floor he likes a plateful to be placed in front of him near his scratch sofa which he eats quickly while Ruth is getting ready for bed, meanwhile once ready I go in to say goodnight to Jozef and usually find him off the bed and scoffing all his plates of food one after the other. Back in my own room and now in bed Walter is finished eating but sits and waits for Ruth to come in and lift him onto my bed, when she does he is so happy, he speaks to her and purrs and walks between us and then throws himself onto his side in her arms, she calls it “trust” and says to him “are you going to do trust tonight?” and mostly he does.
When she finally gets away to her own bed where Jozef is waiting for his own goodnight ritual I pick up my book to read for a while, but oh no Walter doesn’t like it and he comes up the bed and nudges the book with his head until I drop it and the pages close, that is my signal to give up, put the light out and lie down with open arms and then he comes for a cuddle. Goodnight all…………… for a little while anyway.
Does anyone else, and their cats, have bedtime rituals?