Mornings in my house look like this:
Both of my cats love to be loved, but usually Munky is the bigger cuddler. I’d like to say that Isabel is much more refined in her tastes, but that would only be half of the story. The truth is that Izzy is a complete weirdo. She only cuddles in the morning. She’s seldom happy or cute or in any way sweet. She shies away from people she doesn’t know, and even if she does know you, unless you’re me you only have about a 20% shot that she’ll let you pick her up or touch her for any extended period.
Then the rest of the time there’s the bitching.
I don’t know how else to describe the bitching, really. It is what it is. Isabel loves to complain before, while and after you’re petting her. She has a uniquely rusty sounding voice, and she loves to use it – loudly. Most people see her talking as a one-sided affair, but she and I frequently have little conversations (or shouting matches, as the case may be).
It goes something like this. Imagine me on the couch in the living room, and Isabel quietly hanging out in the bedroom. She wakes up, and realizes she’s bored.
Izzy: “MROW!” “MROWMROWMROW!!!!” “MROW!” (from a distance – it’s obvious that she’s still on or under the bed)
Me: “Come ‘ere!”
Izzy: “MROW?” “MROOOOW!” (getting closer) “mrow?” (definitely in the room, but I can’t see her)
Me: (silence – I’m not going to cater to her madness)
Izzy: “MROOOOWWWW!” (from at my feet, with a little bit of malice since I made her actually walk to find me and we all know that baby girl doesn’t DO work. I jump. I always jump.)
At this point I realize that she’s just lonely, the poor wittle bitty, so I bend down to pick her up. Her eyes light up and she scuttles away slightly, then stops to face me expectantly. Thinking that maybe she’ll want to play, I find her mousey and toss it across the room. She walks away. I find a string on a stick and dangle it for her. She openly scoffs as her brother comes running over just begging to be taunted with dangly things. Then she glowers at me while I amuse Munky, until I finally pass the dangly string on a stick to The Man and go to pick up the lady cat for cuddles.
At which point the little monster walks away. Ooooh, that bitch.
I follow her into the bedroom to try to pick her up. She runs around the bed and peers around the corner: “mrow?” Ah, I see that it’s time for a kitty massage session. “Well, get up on the bed.” She responds to tongue clicking sounds, like a horse, so I pat the bed and click twice. She’s up and ready to be petted.
Isabel stands on all fours while being petted, even if she’s on a soft surface. She makes a complain-y sound every time you touch her. She walks away from your caress, but if you stop she’ll turn and glare at you accusingly, typically issuing a stern “MAOW” to get you moving again. That’s for the normal person. When it’s me, she makes complain-y sounds, then soft little rusty murmurs. I respond in kind, answering her “mregh” and “grumph” sounds with my closest copies. The Man says it sounds like we’re having a conversation, and most of the time it feels that way.
She lets me know when she’s tired of me by jumping off of the bed and going to get a little bite to eat at her food dish. After that, a long nap on the couch, maybe followed by some rough housing with her brother. Nighttimes are spent sleeping on or near me, and if I’m lucky, my morning will start off with a sleepy, sweet Izzy all over again. If I’m lucky. Otherwise, it’s bitchy, complain-y Izzy – but really I adore her just as much.