Did I ever mention that I have a living alarm clock (LAC)? Yes, it is true. Somehow, I can never get it set to the appropriate time for my roll out. It has a mind of its own and it has decided that any time between 5:30 and 6 a.m. is a perfectly fantastic time to go off every single morning.

Even on the weekend, it refuses to let me use the snooze button. On the rare occasion that is doesn’t try to rouse me at the aforementioned time, somewhere in my (obviously, messed up) subconscious I get concerned that the LAC is broken. I then wake up at its “set” time anyway, just to check. The LAC knows how to “set” me, not the other way around.

Given that it is of the feline persuasion, I guess that is to be expected. Someone fed the LAC once, maybe twice, at 6 a.m. and now that is de facto breakfast time; no excuses. There are no “snoozes” without being bothered constantly. The torture can go on for hours. Trust me; I have tested various ways to shut my LAC off, to gain those few, extra, precious hours one might get to sleep in on the weekend, with no luck.

The LAC has a step-by-step procedure that ensures its success (a full tummy) and my grumbling first thing in the morning, every morning. It begins with the sweet “stare at mom intently right near her face” bit, then the famous “whiskers are for tickling mom’s face to wake her up” trick. Now, you have to give LAC credit for being gentle with me at first. That is a very kind gesture, but the torture progresses.

The previous actions are followed by the infamous “I’ll just give her a light tap on her nose, maybe her eyelid” and then (if the alarm clock is feeling extra-fancy) “If I add just a little claw to that pat thing, she will stir, I know it.”; both LAC patented moves. Lately, “Let’s nip at her fingers that gets her stirring.” has been added to the repertoire. Good one, LAC. Good one.

Sleeping with the covers over my head doesn’t work, as I can’t breathe under there and the LAC loves getting under the covers. Also, bumping (ahem,I meant gently nudging) her off the bed and saying (well, really, whinging) “Nooooo…Go awaaaay….I am trying to sleep.” never works. (Note to self: Yeah, like that’s ever going to work.) She just snuggles under the covers to continue the bothering or jumps back up and resumes her step-by-step attack at point one. Now, I may be complaining, but I wouldn’t give up my LAC for the world. I would feel lost without my living alarm clock. Even as I am composing this post, she is repeatedly begging me for a few of the treats “hidden” in the night stand drawer. Her name is Pandora and she has been my “baby” for sixteen years.

Her “little brother” Sam (Seamus) is another story. Where Pandora is a little diva; a black domestic medium hair, weighing all of six-pounds, Sam is a laid-back, very independent but loving, big boy; sixteen-pounds of Blue Seal Point Siamese, the size of a large, small-sized dog. Truly a tom cat, I would hate to be any medium-size creature, or smaller, that would have to fend him off, as he is all teeth and talons. But still, there is calmness about him. Sam is a Jedi. Sam is Zen. My husband calls him Seamus Skywalker Roberts.

He is not a scrapper, just an adept and precise hunter. I have seen him in action. He is a cat, so I won’t make any excuses for his behavior. Let’s just say, you don’t want to be a mole, bird or bunny in our backyard. The squirrels seem to have him dialed in though, so that’s a relief.

This calm, seemingly always happy, giant of a cat wandered into my backyard, and my heart, one stormy November afternoon and he just never left. He was too beautiful to be a stray, I thought, so I checked to see if he was missing from a home where they were probably frantic about his disappearance; Nope. I had him checked for a microchip; nada. He wasn’t even neutered. I waited it out, didn’t feed him or give him too much attention – so he wouldn’t get attached to the house – but he just stayed and stayed.

Finally, on Christmas Eve, 2006, I officially let him into my heart and home. My Christmas angel. He proceeded to thank me with a few big rubs on my legs, a deep purr, a bit of Siamese meow-talk and then later that evening by spraying the Christmas tree. Gee, thanks. He was neutered the next week, needless to say.

He is polite and announces himself when he enters a room; never pushy about set eating times; and he loves the rain, like I do. “Sam Sam” begs to go outside, even if it is pouring down. When he comes inside afterward, he walks to me and meows, telling me to get a towel and dry him off. I have never seen a cat love that bit so much.

He even loves to be cradled upside-down and “walk” along walls, quirky boy that he is.

He is gorgeous, with eyes the color of a bright, spring sky; fastidiously clean (except when he is eating – little piggy) and NOT a LAC. He is just the opposite, reminding me when I stay up too late, preventing him from curling up next to me so we can snuggle a bit. My husband thinks that Sam is in love with me, and he may be a tad jealous; my husband, that is.

Pandora and Sam (aka Flirt and Fang) are not the best of pals but they can now tolerate each other after three years. Let me rephrase that, she can now tolerate him. He’s cool; always has been and always will be, I think. She was Queen of the house for twelve years before this “oh, so charming” interloper arrived unannounced. They manage, though; even sleep within a few feet of each other most of the time; they just don’t play the usual cat games and curl up together, as I had hoped they would. So be it.

I like to think the Universe sent me a balance with these two; like two children that are day and night but both loved equally and (as I tell them) with all my heart.


All Photography ©Carol A. Bourns

If you have a LAC you want to get “revenge on, have a look at the following link.
It is pretty funny:Five Ways to Effectively Annoy Your Cat.
They missed one though: Scotch tape on the paws…seemingly cruel, harmless really, but funny as he*l to watch.