I Don’t Do Mornings Well

Bryan is working out-of-state for a few days this week (he’s back tonight, thank goodness), so I’m on full-time pet parent duty. He always handles morning shift and last bedtime shift, and I take the rest of it, but I’m solo today. So, you know it will be just calm seas and smooth sailing, right?… Right.

We have a routine here. Mornings go like this: The dogs get the house up at 5:45 a.m. each day, mostly because they know breakfast follows at 6 a.m. This final wakeup happens after a few times of overnight jumping in and out of our bed, poking their noses out the cat door, chasing after the cats who have decided to run sprints all over the house at 3 a.m., gruffing at the noises beckoning from the woods, barking at the howls and yips of coyotes and whatnot.

Normally, I don’t budge an inch while all of this happens. If I pretend to be asleep, the dogs will settle back down and realize it’s not time for that nonsense yet. Also, if I fake sleep, Bryan will usually get up and deal with it. Shh… he probably won’t read this.

How Can It Already Be Morning?

On this morning, said routine behind us in the wee hours, 5:45 a.m. is upon us and it’s time to get outside with the dogs. They are such little stinkers, that they won’t do all of their business in the morning if someone doesn’t go out there and make them walk around and take time to do it. They’ll just quickly potty and run back to the door. Why? Oh, that’s because they fully know a meal awaits, and poop can happen later.

I truly don’t mind the occasional morning shift, since Bryan really does do it every day. He is Mister Morning, though. You know the singing one from Friends, “Morning’s here, the morning’s here. It’s morning time, it’s morning time.” I am not. However, this morning it’s not raining any more and not too terrible to be outside of the comfort of my bed. I look up and see that the moon and stars are still fully out. It is not morning yet. This can’t be morning. It’s too dark for morning if the moon and stars are still awake. I love stargazing at night. I’m a night owl. This is too early.

Once inside the garage, you must wrangle the dogs to wipe their wet and muddy places. This is a ten minute sweaty feat that looks like that scene from “A Christmas Story,” where the Mom is struggling to get the cold weather clothes on Randy in fast-forward. “I can’t put my arms down!” You know the scene. Only, it’s a 50 lb. child with four legs and a 15 lb. child with four legs at once, on top of each other and me, up and down on the steps to the door to get in for that food like possessed, hungry zombies with an insatiable appetite. I liken this exhausting task to the morning routines of Moms of two-legged children out there, struggling to get diapers and pants and coats and hats and gloves on their toddlers, as well as wipe the goo from their nose and faces (please do wipe their nose and faces. No one wants to see that).

Did I mention we have two cats?

We’re in. Now, you better move at lightning pace with the food, because not only do the dogs want it now, the cats are underfoot salivating, too. Once I’ve fed the dogs, I move on to the way more patient cats. Charlie has escaped death by the prancing feet of hungry dogs, so I feed him first. Grace thinks she is a dog, so she is sitting by their bowls waiting for hers. Grace is a picky little whisker. She only really eats pate, but prefers it be fish. If you’re going to give her another wet food, it better have sauce or gravy, because she won’t touch it, and when she does it will just be to lick all the gravy out and leave the real food behind. Charlie will never eat pate, and must be served room temperature grilled wet food of any flavor. If he’s not interested in the flavor you chose, well, you put another option out, because he is waiting. Sitting, staring, waiting until you realize he will not let you go back to sleep until you let him try something else.

Another challenge the morning routine throws at you around here, is trying to keep the ravenous dogs from eating the cat food, and the cat poop. I think my dogs, Gigi especially, eat more cat poop than dog food. This morning, we all had a real treat. Grace did her business and began running around the house. Both cats always do this right before or after a big bathroom visit. So, upon inspection, I have managed to arrive to the litter box before the dogs to scoop up Grace’s deposit! Wonderful! I am victorious! I have conquered the morning routine! I am… smug. And so wrong.

The dingleberry is on the move

Yes, I did get what she deposited, but she had what I’ll call a dingleberry. This dingleberry was dangling from her backside while she ran around the house. Her mad dash wasn’t in celebration of her morning poo, it was in a panicked frustration to free the last dingle dangling. Yes, my cat is flying around my house dragging and flinging her poo.

I sprang into action to quickly wipe the trail from the laundry room and my closet (yes, my closet) before the dogs licked it all up and ran upstairs to find Grace, wipes in hand. She was possessed. I closed the door to Bryan’s office, where I found her, and we played a really fun game of chase around the piles of Christmas boxes we never opened or put away after taking them out from storage. Did I mention I have pneumonia and a sinus infection right now? I am in no condition to play chase, or even get out of bed, really, but we all know Moms don’t get sick days. Somehow, I manage to grab Grace, but the dingleberry is gone. I wipe her up and send her fleeing while I inspect the house for more damage.

I didn’t find the dooty. I give up. I am sure the dogs will get it for me. I am going back to bed now.

Disclaimer: I love my dogs and cats more than people. They are my people. So, I really don’t mind all the above nonsense. It’s part of having kids, right? I know this has to sound familiar to some other pet parents, and probably to you parents of two-legged loves, too.

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