Friday, January 7, 2011

Harbinger of a Good Day

This is Cuillean, a shy and delicate girl, suffering, as many of us do, from an excess of weight. (We're working on that.) She's my cat, as opposed to hubby's. And she's skittish. In fact, to this day, when DH walks in or makes a sudden move, she runs. This in no way should reflect on the gentle, caring person he is - the DH adores his felines, too. It came as some surprise, then, when a few years ago as DH was packing his gym bag, as he does every morning in an effort to manage his health, Cuillean climbed atop his gym bag and settled down. He turned around to put his work shirt into the bag and stopped. He blinked. "Cuillean," he said. "That's my bag." She murped and jumped down.

You can see this coming, can't you? She did it again the next morning. Only, she declined to get off the bag when spoken to. DH did the only thing he could do. "I'll just have to pet that cat on my bag," he said. Cuillean had successfully conditioned the human. Thus began the ritual of 'Morning Pets'. It no longer involves the gym bag. Now the alarm goes off, DH shuts off the alarm, rolls to his back and turns the covers down. I roll to my side facing him. He pats the mattress five times. Cuillean jumps up on the bed, strolls into that spot between us and gets her ration of chin and butt scratches. Then she flops over on her side and kneads my husband's armpit. This is unbearably cute when Cuillean isn't in need of a claw clip. This goes on until something startles the girl or until the second alarm goes off. Yes. We now set the alarm a half an hour early just to accommodate Cuillean.

DH has mentioned that there's a direct correlation between quality morning pets and the quality of his day. No morning pets, crappy day. Good morning pets, much better days. I can't help noticing how something so small, so inconsequential - a cat sitting on a bag - grew into a meaningful, emotionally fulfilling ritual. I'm taking an online course wherein I'm encouraged to write in fifteen minute increments. Starting with something small. Think I'll go set my timer.


  1. Awww! How precious. I agree with the DH, there's something about morning beastie affection that provides portents for the day.

  2. David and I were just talking today about how we know that people must be able to change behavior, because we see our pets do it. Great example!