Saturday, September 15, 2007

Gracie declares an emergency

Shortly after five this morning, our cat Gracie reached up and started moving things around on my bedside table. Sometimes she moves things around to amuse herself and sometimes she moves things around on the 'any attention is good attention' principle.

I tried to ignore her, on the principle that 'any attention is good attention' is a very bad idea to encourage. Especially at five in the morning.

I'll spare you the details of the escalation, but suffice it to say that wobbling stuff around was just an opening salvo. She soon made it clear that no amount of ignoring her or begging her to go away was going to do any good. If she had to destroy everything in the room she was going to get me out of bed. This was an emergency.

It hadn't been a good night. My husband suffers from bouts of serious and debilitating pain, and he'd had several bad sessions during the night. Neither of us had had much sleep. But an emergency is an emergency, and sometimes, after all, animals know when to be worried, so I dragged out of bed.

Gracie, upon seeing me start to sit up, had set herself up at the foot of the bed like a runner in the starting blocks at a race. When my feet hit the floor she was off like a shot, making rather remarkable speed for a cat of her age (not young) and athletic ability (not stellar). Definitely, she saw this as an emergency.

She galloped into the far side of the house, which was both a puzzle and a relief. This is not a cat known for bravery. She wasn't going to lead a charge into perilous conditions. But leading a charge she was, no question.

I got to the laundry room and found her stationed at her food dish. Her food dish had, oh, a couple or three rounded tablespoons left of dry food. About half of the bottom of the dish was visible.

"This is it?" I ask. "Your food is low? This is the emergency?"

Yep. No question. I added food to her dish and she fell to eating with a relief that was unmistakable. She ate, at a guess, about what had been left in her dish before I got there. Perhaps a bit less. But she was profoundly grateful that I had come to her rescue, all the same.

Our cat has apparently discovered the concept of a rainy day fund, which must not be touched if there is any way possible to tap into other sources of supply. Even, alas, at five in the morning.

Good thing I have a good sense of humor, that's all I can say. I'm hoping she doesn't do this again, but I had a good laugh over it all the same.

Our cat is, by the way, named for the comedienne Gracie Allen. Our Gracie doesn't provide the same sort of humor or laughs as her namesake, but she does crack me up regularly - usually during daylight hours, though, or, at least, when I'm awake, and up.

She and I need to have a bit of a chat about timing. I know all comedians struggle with timing at least from time to time, but this was ridiculous. The performance itself was pitch perfect, but it was definitely the sort of show for a matinee, I'd say... (with a yawn)...


Bookworm said...

One of the things I love best about my dog is that she likes to sleep in every morning. My past dogs, used to awakening early on weekdays, had no sense of weekends or holidays. No matter the day, they had me up at 6. My current dog, though, sees it as a real inconvenience when I try to get her going in the morning. She wags the tip of her tail a little, just so I know she still likes me, then curls into a tight, warm, sleepy ball. Smart dog.

Kathryn Judson said...

Bookworm, It's always so nice when a pet and owner agree on schedules. I don't think it happens very often, though. Count yourself lucky.