The New Routine

On an overcast, chilly morning, the boyz do the same as they've always done, but it's the little things that make it very different.

As the TV news pops on at 4:05 am and I turn on my back and feel the movement of sheets and blankets underneath, a weight on my right shoulder and damp but rough rubbing at my chin. In my left ear, I can avoid the temptation of drifting back to sleep due to the loud and garbled "MAUO."  A couple of deep breaths and a quick prayer at rising and my morning ritual is off and running.

In the kitchen as I cut up pills and draw water into a syringe, I remember what was missing from my waking; the gentle touch of a paw on my lips and weight so slight I barely noticed the small cat that once was on my chest.

Hopping up on the kitchen counter, Jake willingly takes his anti-acid pill and fresh water chaser.  What is missing is the walk I took to the living room to seek the tiny cat, hiding under chairs to avoid her medications. It was never that much of a chase and though she wiggled a bit it was never too hard getting her to take the pill and water.  It always ended with a kiss on her head and a rhetorical head-butt in return to say all was right and forgiven.

The bathroom turns on.  The boyz assume their places as I prepare the shower for entry.  Moshe Moshi is on the shelf over the commode; Jake is atop the sink light. As I enter the shower I note what is missing; a tiny cat, staring at me from the light, intensely interested in this thing I do with the water.  The boyz are there for the company and the warmth.  She was there to make sure I would be okay.

Back to the kitchen to prepare their breakfast: PetKind Dog Food, Almo Nature Legend and Fancy Feast (I will explain in a future post why they eat this way). Bowls warmed the boyz talk to me with eagerness as I place their dishes by the TV.  I didn't always feed them in front of the TV. It was necessary to prevent them from eating from the bowl they were not supposed to eat from, hers.  The tiny cat was a slow and dainty eater; never too fast but cleaned her bowl completely.  The boyz tended to gobble their meals down quickly and then would move over to eat hers.  I would place her bowl directly under foot, so I could drink my coffee and listen to the morning news and guard her territory.  I guess now they can go back out into the dining room and we can eat like we once did.

I leave my home earlier than usual.  Our morning rituals use to take the full three hours.  Now I don't need as much time.  I stop for a moment to kiss and rub the boyz, telling them to be good naked cats until I get home. Out the door quickly and I remember to look down.  Then I remember what is different; I don't have to do that anymore.  The tiny cat would always follow me to the door, and when the weather is nice like today, she will try to come outside and sit on the steps and ponders the life. When my spirit sank because I was leaving home without her reassurance, Moshe Moshi comes up and puts his head against my leg...for a long moment, then gives me a look that says it will be okay, go and do what you must do today.  We will be here when you come home.

Out I go.

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