Beep! I slowly emerge from a deep sleep. Beep! What! Oh no the alarm on my watch is going off. I need to shut it off-now!
Beep! I fumble with it. Beep! Crap! My hand is asleep, I can't get my fingers to work the alarm button-I am starting to panic.
The watch is seconds from shifting into a high-pitched "Get up! Get up! Get up now you lazy slug!" beep when I finally manage to slap-squeeze enough random buttons to make it shut up.
I lay there for a moment listening-nothing stirs. There are no sounds from the rest of the house. Good maybe they didn't hear the alarm.
The covers rustle slightly as I shift position; I nestle back into the pillows and close my eyes. All of a sudden, I hear a jingling noise from the living room. I curse this creaky old bed!
Faintly at first, then louder a sound echoes down the hall-tap, tap, tap. Something is barreling down the hallway, towards my room.
Oh, crap! I lay perfectly still because I know if I give him any indication that I am awake he will attack. The sound of jingling pauses outside the bedroom door, after a moment a dark shape enters the bedroom.
Damn that dog, he heard the alarm and now he assumes I am awake and if I am not awake, he is going to make enough noise to wake me.
His methods are crude but effective. He will dance around, jump on and off the bed and generally make such a nuisance of himself that I get out of bed and feed him.
He slides to a halt at the foot of the bed and stands there shifting his weight from foot to foot. After a minute, he realizes I am not moving. Not easily deterred he does a slow lap around the bed; tap, tap, tap.
I silently curse the hardwood floors and once more vow to tape the dog's license & ID tag together, to muffle the noise. I promise myself this every morning.
The dog pauses next to the bed. I feel him staring at me but I continue to pretend to be asleep. With a doggy harrumph, he turns away from the bed and click clacks his way out of the bedroom and down the hallway into the living room.
Victory is mine! I smile and close my eyes. I am moments from drifting off into blissful post alarm sleep when a heavy weight thumps down onto my midsection.
I let out a near silent oooph as 10 pounds of shiny black fur lands on me. Apparently, we are in phase two, of operation get up the cat.
The cat proceeds to step purposefully from my stomach to my chest. How can cats move so gracefully yet put down so much pressure? I am awfully sure a paw shaped bruise is forming on my abdomen.
Stopping inches from my face, he plants himself squarely in the middle of my chest. He arranges his tail around his paws leans forward and meows right in my face.
I turn my head to the side and try to pretend he isn't there. This is rather hard because he is a substantially built cat; okay he's fat and his bulk is slowly forcing all the air from my lungs.
Near suffocation, I push him off me and draw a deep breath and rollover pulling the covers over my head.
Parachuting in from nowhere, two smaller furry kitty missiles land on the bed. It's the auxiliary cat alarm (needed in case primary cat alarm fails). One immediately jumps on my toes and begins biting them. The other jumps on my side and walks up to my ear. Once there he begins to meow-loudly.
Alerted by the escalating noise level, the dog leaps from the couch in the living room and races into the bedroom. He slides to a stop right beside the bed and proceeds to wag his tail, in a move of pure genius the dog has positioned himself so that with each swish his tail bangs into the wall-hard.
Sigh; there is no more pretending I am definitely up. Drat those animals!
They are worse than the kids. At least, I can convince the kids to go back to bed for a few minutes. Well, at least the older kids, they recently discovered the bliss that is sleeping in; they would do it more often except the animals make so much noise.
The littlest kid, well he is still an early bird, but we have convinced him to play quietly or at the very least menace his sisters quietly.
Since they are safely behind a closed door, I can ignore them and remain abed. Not with the animals though, if I even crack an eyelid open they are on me for breakfast.
Oh well, at least I will never be late for work.
Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.
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