I awake this morning thinking that it's maybe 7:30 or 8:00.
I'm surprised when my little alarm clock reads 10:00. So surprised that I get out of bed to check the clock in the kitchen.
Yup. 10:00 a.m.
How did I sleep so late?
And then it hits me...
No Grey Bullet to wake me.
Annabel kept us all on schedule. Her insistent "Mrow! Mrow! Mrow!" at 7:00 a.m.on Saturday and Sunday mornings got us out of bed. Now, more often than not we'd feed Annabel and the other cats and then head back to bed to catch a few more z's, but at least we were up and had the option of starting the day early.
Not so much anymore.
Our other kitties are content to wait until one of us rolls out of bed to feed them breakfast.
Cecil is, in fact, quite ecstatic most weekend mornings to have a long "lie in" with Chris. She snuggles under the covers with him and would be just thrilled to stay there all day if he chose not to get up out of bed.
Our Cecil is not what one would call "a morning person." She is more times than not quite grumpy about having to get out of her warm comfortable bed to have her breakfast. Her tail swishes violently back and forth to indicate her displeasure as she slowly makes her way from the bed to the chilly kitchen all the while casting me a baleful look with her intense blue eyes.
It really is amazing that Cecil is as chunky as she is with her attitude towards her morning feedings.
There are people who say that cats have no personalities.
"I like dogs. They have personalities. Cats just don't."
Obviously the people who make these kinds of statements have never lived with a cat.
I described Annabel's amazing personality in a previous post, but I'm ashamed to admit that I have not done Cecil and Forest any justice on the blog. They really are the most amazing - and totally weird - cats.
Forest is probably the weirdest little cat I've ever met. First of all - she's funny looking. Her blue eyes are sort of small and squinty and just slightly crossed. She generally looks like she's a little worried about something. She has a half-mask with one side of her face chocolate brown and the other white. She's skinny - something that we and the vet worry about and battle against constantly with medication and as much food as we can get her to eat. Her tail - unlike her sister's - is generally held straight up in the air. And she has a loud, penetrating and harsh cry. For the most part she's a pretty happy little thing who is not so much a "lap cat" as a "leaning cat." When you're laying on the couch watching tv she likes to hop up and lean against you while you pound on her side. The harder you pound the louder she purrs.
Forest also has the distinction of having perhaps the loudest purr on the planet.
It's astounding that such a small creature can make that kind of sound. When I'm on the phone with my mom and Forest is nearby in purr mode I'll say, "Hear, listen" and hold the phone up to Forest.
My mom will laugh and say, "Oh my God!"
Aside from her phenomenally and abnormally loud purr, one of Forest's other peculiar traits is her preference for sticking her head in Chris' armpit and sometimes mine. Why? It's a mystery.
Sometimes when she's in leaning mode, she'll fold her front legs under her and just kind of stand on her head with her butt held straight up in the air. All the while purring. There are times when she'll fall asleep like that. She also very much enjoys being cradled like you would a baby.
After her morning meal, Forest generally races into the bedroom to fling herself violently on the bed. She isn't one of those cats who settles into lying down either. She just falls over on her side. Hard. And lays there purring - all the while watching us as we get ready for work. Willing us to stop gathering clothes and jewellery and instead come over and pound on her side and rub the side of her face.
Which we do.
She is so weird and wonderful.
And then there is Cecil.
Cecil, unlike her sister Forest, is GORGEOUS. She has HUGE blue eyes that jump out from the dark chocolate mask that surrounds them. She has a large round face, very smooth fur and a black beauty mark in the white fur next to her nose.
Alas, while Cecil is most certainly the Greatest Beauty Among Felines, she is no scholar. In fact, she is Dumb as a Box of Rocks.
"Are you Dumb as a Box of Rocks?" I'll ask her while I'm petting her. This question is most often received with a blank look and a slightly louder purr.
We are certain that there is very little synaptic activity occurring in Cecil's brain. In fact, we're just as certain that she has just one active brain cell...and it ain't all that active.
Cecil's main goal in life is to be physically attached to Chris. In bed, on the couch, at the kitchen table, while he's at his computer. She doesn't care. She just wants to be in his lap.
It is when Chris is at his computer that Cecil is most miserable because the computer is getting all of his attention and Chris becomes rather annoyed with her and shoos her away. Many times she spends hours crying and doing everything possible to annoy him just to get him to pick her up again. Tearing up papers on my desk. Knocking things off of my desk and his desk. And other times she'll simply sit on my desk or in my chair if I am not occupying it staring at him with such utter longing it almost breaks your heart.
The thing that is most endearing about our Cecil is that she is so grumpy. It's become more pronounced over the years and gets funnier all of the time. Her grumpiness reveals itself in any number of ways including a myriad of Baleful Looks (she is the EXPERT at giving the Baleful Look), her incredibly expressive violently swishing tail, and her meow, which isn't so much a "meow" as a bleat. She sounds like a sheep.
And lately she has a newer sound..."Meh."
I'm not kidding.
Here's a conversation between Cecil and me:
ME [while petting her]: Are you a Grumpy Girl?
CECIL [purring]: Meh.
ME: Are you the Grumpiest Girl in the Whole World?
CECIL: Meh. [purr, purr] Meh.
ME: You are such a Grump! How did you get to be so Grumpy?
CECIL [purring more loudly]: Meh.
Cecil also gets the Kitty Crazies, which is pretty funny considering her normal state of total indolence.
Generally in the evenings after she has digested her evening meal the Kitty Crazies will come upon her and she will without warning: fly from the bedroom-down the hall-into the living room-up onto the chair using it as a springboard to the bay window-then turn quickly-jump back down from the chair-onto the floor-then-STOP-crouch-thrash tail-then- ZOOM back to the bedroom!!!!!
I may miss The Grey Bullet something awful, but I am so lucky that Cecil and Forest are here in my life and I can't wait to introduce the Schmoopie to the joys of cats...and eventually dogs.
Now where is that Grumpy Girl?