Ah, Summer…

I am a Summer Person

I wasn’t always a summer person. I grew up in Connecticut and spent 4 years in New Hampshire.  Humidity is not my friend.  Humidity sucks the life out of me.  I can’t say much for New England winters either.  Which is exactly why I live in Colorado.

Despite owning all the proper gear to fully survive and even enjoy outdoor winter sports in Colorado, somewhere along the line of getting older I became more heat tolerant than cold tolerant.  I. Love. Summer.

And summer is upon us!  I know this not because the heat is sticking around for good (because it’s not, and am wearing a hoodie and socks right now, and it’s threatening to hail again) but because the sun rises at 5:30 a.m.  An really it starts getting light much earlier than that.  I shouldn’t know this.  I should be sleeping like a normal human being. But I’m not.

Enter: Simba

Simba is the guilty one in this affair.  (Tigger is responsible for all the hucked up hairballs, so I guess this makes it even.)  Simba enters hunting mode about 1.5 hours before the sun actually rises.  Every day.  So, in the winter, it’s not too bad, because that’s the time I should probably be getting up for work anyway.  But around the summer solstice… 4 a.m. is just TOO early.

Simba on the right: Guilty.

Simba on the right: Guilty.

Being an indoor cat, with no actual hunting experience to my knowledge, Simba’s early morning hunting ritual consists of this:

  1. Leap over mom (that’s me).  Leaping may entail ricocheting.  Think Mary Lou Retton on the vault.  Simba’s favorite launching points are: soft part of my stomach, kidney, bladder, and breasts.  I think he thinks he gets bonus points if it’s actually the nipple.
  2. Land next to mom, facing away, with butthole as close to her head as possible.
  3. Flick tail in mom’s face, at irregular intervals.
  4. Repeat.

Needless to say, this is hard to sleep through.

Discipline

Over the last several weeks, as the summer solstice approaches, Simba’s morning routing has started earlier and earlier.  I just cannot handle this.  I really don’t need to get up before 7:00 a.m.  6:00 a.m would be okay, but 4:00 a.m. is not.  I reached my breaking point.

Enter: the Water Pistol.  This week, I tried becoming a responsible parent, capable of discipline and tough love, and actually tried training my cat to not pounce in, on, or around me.  I rule my life, not my cats. (Go ahead and laugh.  I know. Keep laughing.)

But, it worked!  For three days straight, I slept late, with only Tigger by my feet.  (Tigger is also guilty of “what annoying behavior can I do to get mom out of bed to feed me” syndrome, but I’ll save that for later.)

Tigger at the foot of the bed. Cuteness.

Tigger at the foot of the bed. Cuteness. Life is good.

Unexpected Results

So this is what the problem is.  I missed Simba. I missed his furry little behind in my face and tail tickling my cheeks.  I missed the game of trying to anticipate which body part I needed to protect.  And he wasn’t just avoiding me in the mornings – he was hiding out all day.  No longer sleeping in my office, and only coming out once mid-day to beg for a mid-day snack.  I missed him.

Truce

Technically I am back at square one. I am not spraying Simba and he is being only slightly annoying in the mornings, and hiding out only about half the day.  I believe the whole point of having a cat is that they are cuddly and affectionate, and if I had a cat that only hid under the bed or in closets, well, what’s the point. Simba was very shy when I adopted him as a kitten and I’ve worked very hard at trying to turn him into an affectionate cat.  Even if his idea of affection is sticking his butt in my face. I don’t want to screw that up now just because I need a little beauty sleep.

The solstice will come and go in a few short weeks, the blessed heat will be upon us, the days will start getting shorter again, and I’ll be able to sleep till at least 5:00 a.m.

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