It’s Saturday and I had glorious plans to sleep in and lie in bed for as long as I wanted this morning in even more glorious silence.

My husband and  youngest son are gone to a hockey tournament and I stayed home with our older son so he wouldn’t miss his hockey practice last night and game today. This means I had the bed to myself last night and I was excited. I love my husband but I am not one of those women who can’t sleep if her husband isn’t home. For one thing, for the first 10 years or so of marriage he worked shift work that had no rhyme or reason so it wasn’t unusual for him not to be home at night (railroader life is ridiculous). I am also one of those women who enjoys knowing she won’t be like a red rubber ball in a parachute in a game of ‘Popcorn’ being bounced around every time her big strapping lad of a spouse rolls over in bed. It also means that in the morning when I first awake it will be quiet. His snoring has improved but usually kicks in a little right at the same time my alarm goes off so even if I try to lie there and be lazy and maybe doze back off, I’ve got the gentle sounds of his nose symphony preventing me from really relaxing and enjoying a little lie in.

So today was the day.

I am writing this at 7:34 a.m.

I am not supposed to be even conscious never mind out of my bed.

Unfortunately the residents of my group home for the four legged didn’t get the f*cking memo.

First it was Callie. Callie is our 15 year old cat. She’s a bit of a cantankerous old soul who was once an elegant lady in her prime. However, now she struggles off and on with vertigo and so looks more like a bit of a confused, drunk, and perhaps even more cantankerous old lady. She has taken to meowing outside the bedroom door several mornings a week and when she first started doing it, I was worried because it was that low “something’s wrong” meow. Nope, nothing is wrong. Typically she comes in and tries to drink the water out of the glass on my nightstand. There can be water in the dishes downstairs, meant for her hydration and enjoyment, but she is still a lady after all and would prefer to drink out of a glass.

This morning, the meowing started and I begrudgingly got out of bed and opened the door and slid right back into bed willing my body to ignore that it had even moved. Oh – fun fact, I was also up in the middle of the night to let the younger cat outside because she prefers to wait to 2 or 3 am to go out – not 10 or anything when we’re still up and would happily oblige, but 3 in the morning. So at least three nights a week I do a stiff legged angry walk down the stairs to let her out while muttering about asshole cats.  This morning though, I opened the bedroom door and Callie continued to meow which led me to say: “Just drink the water in my glass.” I said this like I was talking to one of my children or any other human being. I did not even use a ‘voice’. What do I mean? Do I telepathically communicate with my cats? No. I was raised by a woman who spoke and still does speak to her pets in specific voices she makes up for them…now I do it too. Shut up. This morning though there was no special voice; just a pleading request for her to get what she needed and shut up.

It worked, kind of. Then the elderly dog came to the doorway. He’s not really allowed in our room because the shedding a Golden Retriever produces at the best of times is like nothing else I have ever seen and in his old age it seems to have gotten worse. Our house is covered in dog hair and it’s mainly his. We vacuum daily, sometimes twice a day, and it barely makes a dent. Anyway, I heard him and as much as I was fighting the good fight to just STAY IN BED, I wanted one thing even more: not to clean up any messes upon waking. This older kindly fellow has some issues with continence, due only to age because as a puppy he had a grand total of three accidents. Now he has that many in a month…so what I’m saying is, dog pee trumps sleeping in.

I got up. I wanted to let him out and GO BACK TO BED.

Clearly this did not happen. They all sprang into action as soon as I left the bedroom. Everyone made their way downstairs and happily pranced with joy that ‘mom’ was up (well Callie doesn’t prance but she was there, silently judging). I re-filled the water dishes and offered to let the dogs outside. They looked at me with anticipation and excitement for nothing more than food, forget going outside.

So I fed them and turned on the stupid coffee maker because the minute Chuy eats he needs to go outside and Toby still hadn’t gone outside and the point is I did not get to sleep in and lie in my bed in blessed silence because I have a house full of fur covered toddlers.

Again, I have to remind myself I chose this. I chose to house these four legged beings who I am nothing but a slave to and yet spent part of my evening Thursday night sending snap stories of myself and Chuy, to my daughter, of us (well me, he refuses to sing on camera) singing Christmas carols. I brush the big dog’s hair and tell him he’s a good boy and give him two treats after. I repeatedly refer to the younger cat as a baby and head butt her in a sign of feline affection and just about lost my mind when Callie had her first, and hopefully only, bad bout of vertigo and I thought she was dying. So I guess I’ve made my fur ridden bed and now must lie in it. If you need me I’ll be nursing 17 cups of coffee on the couch, catching up on my recorded shows most likely with a pet on my lap.



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