By Jenny Kalahar
So, your Schnauzer isn’t allowed on your bed, and your cat gets shut behind the bedroom door the last thing every night, huh? Tibbles was last seen sleeping on his pillow by the fridge, and Rocky usually wanders around the dark house for an hour or two before settling down on the sofa, right? Well, then why is it that every morning you face one or more of these items before you’ve even completed your first yawn?
1. Snoot. Dogs, in particular, like to position their snoot on your pillow so that when you first crack open a bleary eye you will take in the full glory of their nostrils and that fine, parted fur atop their nose.
2. Eyeballs. Expectant, loving, let’s-get-in-a-super-long-walk-this-morning-‘cause-it’s-raining eyeballs. You know the ones I’m talking about.
3. Butt. Any pet will be glad to get comfy with their rump on your pillow or next to your shoulder. It’s friendly, and it’ll get your day started off with a sharp, upright bolt.
4. Tail. A flicking, wagging, swaying tail is your cat or dog’s way of gently wafting the morning’s fresh breezes into your soul.
5. Paws. Cats love to knead your neck first thing in the morning to get your blood flow going, and dogs like to take that special first moment of attention to maybe point out that a trim is in order.
6. Stuffie. There is no greater compliment from your pet than when they offer you the first chew of the day on Mr. Piggles or Squeaky Mouse. Because there it is: not yet slobbered on, free of drool, and with just a hint of lingering chunky chicken gravy on its little, half-masticated head. How can you resist?
7. Chew bone. A chew bone positioned on your pillow is meant to remind you of those lovely vacation days you spent in that pricey hotel last summer. Or, that you’ve bought the wrong brand again.
8. House-caught bug or varmint. Sort of the same philosophy as with stuffies, only a bit grosser.
9. Tennis ball. In case, you know, you should want to throw it around the bedroom a few times before everyone else wakes up.
10. The blankie. Waning in popularity in recent years, some old-time pooches, and even some elderly felines, still tote around a hunk of blankie as a pacifier. These are the same types who, were they human, would carry around a cloth handkerchief for emergency sneezes.
11. Pill. Nope. That pill you were so certain went down easily didn’t actually get swallowed the night before. The cat faked you out yet again.
12. Hairball. No time to ponder deeper meanings now—grab a clean pillowcase fast!
13. Smile. If your dog is sitting or lying beside you and the first thing you see in the morning is his happy, open-mouth, panting, loving smile, how could you possibly think of worrying what the day might bring? However, if your cat is sitting there smiling, I’d start looking for whatever she threw up on.
Jenny Kalahar, her husband Patrick, and their pets live in Indiana where she sells used and rare books and writes novels and poetry. Her two novels about fostering cats are Shelve Under C: A Tale of Used Books and Cats, and The Find of a Lifetime: Another Tale of Used Books and Cats. Her collection of nostalgic and humorous poetry is One Mile North of Normal and Other Poems. For more, visit her blog, Bookselling and Writing with Weegee.
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