I spoke at the beginning of the year about how inspired I had been by Monty Don’s Nigel to be a better writer as well as a gardener and one particular chapter, about how Nigel the Golden Retriever goes about getting his breakfast, resonated with me even more than the rest, reminding me of our own Calamity Cat and her morning routine.
The Princess and I are not morning people, especially at this time of year, when it is cold and miserable. Every morning when the alarm goes off in the dark bedroom, she and I both curl up tighter and pretend still to be asleep. D and the Calamity Cat, on the other hand, see each new day as an adventure waiting to be had, springing from the bed wide awake and chatting to each other about the first excitement of the day, which is, (at least for Calamity) – breakfast.
If D dares to stop off in the bathroom for a shower or a shave first, she sits on the edge of the bath and tells him off. Occasionally, she even comes back to the bedroom to complain to me that he isn’t moving fast enough and she is quite hungry now please. The Princess and I react exactly as we do to the alarm – we pretend we are still asleep – so, in the end she goes back to D and continues to protest to him until he is ready.
I hear the clatter on the stairs as she bounds ahead of him, her legs almost going too fast for her, often getting under D’s feet on her way past. Once down, she has a quick check of any bowls left down overnight to make sure she hasn’t left anything and finishes anything still there as a quick starter before her main course.
While she eats, D usually takes the Princess’s breakfast up to the landing and tries to tempt her with it (a hangover from when she was ill a few years ago and we would have done anything to encourage her to eat). In the summer, she is up and waiting for it, her usual regal “You may serve me here” expression on her face. However, the winter is another story and she is just as likely to decide not to bother. She snuggles yet further into a ball as I drag myself out of bed and stumble downstairs, bleary-eyed. If she comes down at all, it isn’t usually for long – just long enough to confirm that the weather really is as bad as she feared and she really shouldn’t have made the effort to get up. Within minutes, she takes herself back to bed, grumbling about being woken up in the first place.
Meanwhile, Calamity has usually cleared her plate (and sometimes her sister’s) and decided that is enough hard work for a while. She leaps on to the radiator bed and settles down for a morning snooze. I watch all this, as a cup of tea slowly brings me round to face the day and I increasingly find myself wishing I was a cat too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to look at the weather and think “Hmm, maybe I’ll just stay here in bed”. I admire and envy D’s attitude, embracing the day with a new energy and enthusiasm, but I can’t do it – I have tried.
However, until my next incarnation (I am definitely coming back as a well-loved feline companion), I must continue to get up with the alarm and face the day as best I can. It will get better as the mornings get lighter and as we start to put our 2017 plans into action. We have made a start already – more on that next week – and I can’t wait for spring to arrive.