She Who Has Been Trained

There are times that I tell stories about my cat.

She seriously has learned some commands. If I say “sit”, she sits. If I say “paw”, she lets me shake her paw. (This is a major accomplishment, since up until we mastered this command she had perfected the “I-will-shred-your-hands-and-set-the-world-ablaze” response whenever I tried to touch her feet. This made claw trimming a two person job.) If I say “up”, she sits up. If I hold out my index finger and say “kiss”, she touches her nose to my finger, and then rubs her face along my finger and into my hand for scritches.

But she is a cat. And therefore she is planning to take over the world. And she is starting by bending me to her will.

I am the Keeper of the Food and the Treats. I am also the Keeper of the Dreaded Claw-Trimmer and the Dastardly Grooming Brush. She hates them both, but will put up with them for the aforementioned Food and Treats. That also means putting up with my Stupid Human Tricks and Requests for Training.

Despite this, she wants a rigorous schedule. And when I say schedule, I mean mealtimes. She gets two meals a day; one in the morning, and one in the evening. She wants them on HER terms.

Which means that she wakes me up at unearthly hours of the morning for breakfast. And demands it until I get up and provide it.

And if I walk in the door at night and do not immediately give her attention and dinner, she cries and whines until she is fed. You’d think I was starving her (one look at my fourteen pound terror will abuse you of that notion, but if you hear her crying you would think she was wasting away).

So I had started trying not to feed her right away when I got home; the hope was that if I waited a little later in the evening, that she’d let me sleep a little longer in the morning.

Oh, she whined.

And she cried.

And she became obnoxious.

And began doing things that got her in trouble for the sole purpose of getting my attention until I finally caved and fed her, just in the interest of getting her to calm the heck down so I could get other things done without a perpetual whiny trip hazard under my feet.

Even so, I’d been able to wait an extra hour and a half in the evening before feeding her. I rejoiced, hoping that meant I could sleep in a little long this morning since she’d eaten later the night before.

I was wrong.

She woke me up this morning at five a.m. A good hour earlier than I try to start becoming coherent. I tried to roll over and ignore it, but she got louder.

Finally, I put out some treats on the bedspread for her, hoping against hope that getting something in her stomach would shut her up long enough for me to get another hour of sleep. Or five minutes. I’d have settled for five minutes.

She gobbled them up, and whined louder.

After a few more tries of the same pattern, I stumbled downstairs, put food in the bowl, and collapsed under a blanket on the couch.

When Brother came downstairs this morning (he’s temporarily living at my house), he found me half-asleep, face-down on the couch. The Fuzzy Minion was curled up, with a self-satisfied glare, in full purr, on the small of my back, sated and happy at her victory.

Apparently, I have been trained.