A good thirty minutes before I have achieved my eight hours and I am in a light sleep. I hear the the rigorous scratching of the sisal covered post in the sitting room. MasterB is up and doing his morning exercises. A brief silence where I hope he has hopped onto the window sill to review the street, then from the region of the bedroom door an imperious miaow. The call for breakfast.
Despite my most obstinate non-responses to these morning interruptions to my slumbers, MasterB has tumbled to the fact that brutish, brattish and bullying behaviour often reaps results. Either he compares notes more effectively with the neighbouring felines than I think, or he has been following political posturing on both sides of the pond when I sit down to watch Channel 4 news.
Next he jumps onto the bed, lands heavily on part of my body. A whiskery face investigates my non-whiskered one. Toes are sought but I have cunningly moved into the foetal position. I am prodded, and none too gently. For the sake of appearances and my dignity, and then only in the effort to convince myself I am in the one in charge, I refuse to budge for five minutes. When I open my eyes, masterB is observing me. The moment I move he is beside me, purring, cajoling, telling me as clearly as he can that he needs his breakfast and that I am the most important person in the world while I hold the post of sachet opener in chief.
He prances, he dances. He demands access to the shared landing for his aperitif, some cat grass that grows there in a pot. I put the porridge that has soaked overnight on to cook, fill the kettle, empty a capsule of his meds into a bowl and cover them with the gloopy mess of meat and gravy he will eat. He sashays into the kitchen, tail up, eye bright, vocal, confident, and sets to eat his meal while the coffee filters.
He heads for the sitting room and biscuits, but I haven’t weighed them yet. He returns to chivvy me. However unassertive and nervous he is with other cats, another side of his character is evident when voicing his expectations of me, letting me know my shortcomings. As I sit down to eat my own breakfast he wants to play. He bounces and pounces.
For forty-five minutes each morning MasterB is a demanding beast. Then he goes back to bed while I get on with my day.