The Rousing

He begins the Rousing every day in the early morning gloom. Most days he uses his new-found voice, but other times he opts for a bag, a box, or possibly a simple piece of paper lying on the floor. No matter which option, he knows it will succeed. Yes, he most certainly knows. He is hungry, he is restless, and he is determined. The humans must be awoken and breakfast must be served so that, he, our black cat Pippin, and his fellow felines can fill their bellies and start their day, beginning with the post-breakfast nap.

Resistance is futile. Through many weeks and months of repetition, he knows this now. Oh the humans may try to resist, sometimes with great resilience, but they will fail. He is keenly aware of the power of sound. Sustained noise generation always wears down their will to ignore him. It is inevitable.

On occasion the humans opt for more determined forms of disruption to delay the Rousing, such as deploying a tall, rectangular piece of wood attached to the wall to block entry to their room. Indeed, they may even reinforce the barrier by placing a colorful foam bedroll — a yoga mat — in front of it. Pippin is unfazed by such efforts.

“Foolish humans,” he thinks. “Do you not understand that I have allies?”

And thus he calls upon the skills of his greatest ally, Oscar, who cannot stand to be parted from his human friends. With a tenacity that belies his kind, gentle nature, Oscar assails the yoga mat and the door with his claws and his voice. The humans may not hear the scratching and crying at first, but eventually they will. And once they do, Pippin knows there is only one way the humans can end Oscar’s pathetic entreaties for attention. The door must be opened. When this happens, Pippin strides into the bedroom and begins the Rousing once again. He will not be deterred. He WILL have his breakfast!

Sooner or later, one of the two humans, Lisa or Rob, succumb to the Rousing. Stumbling out of bed and across the bedroom floor, the hapless human finally reaches the doorway. At this point, Pippin and his cohorts race out of the bedroom, into the hallway, and then assemble at the top of the stairs. Three pairs of eyes quickly glance back to ensure the groggy human is still in compliance. No one must be allowed to turn tail and go back to bed before breakfast has been dispensed.

Once obedience is confirmed, all three dash downstairs and into the kitchen. Each then goes to their appointed station, that is to say their designated food bowl, to await distribution of breakfast. Victorious meows are exchanged and contented eating begins!

Though the Rousing causes daily groans and grumbles, we humans are very grateful for our feline friends. Medicines help make us feel well, but the best palliative is sharing a home with three wonderful pets.

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