As with most things, I have a love and hate relationship with routine. I like to claim that I’m unpredictable, but I’m so transparent that even my cat, who is known to be cute but dumb, sees me through.
The cat shares my predicament. I’m sure she is convinced that she’s being smart always when she makes a surprise jump on me from one of her three constant hiding places: behind the bathroom door, behind the fridge and behind the bed.
My morning routine is particularly fixed. The other day I went to pee before making my coffee, which is an utterly wrong order, and it threw me out of balance for the rest of the day. I couldn’t remember what the next item on the morning to-do list was.
Unlike me, the cat proved to be capable of learning new routines. I’ve been getting up in the middle of the night the last week for my commute, and the cat learned that when my alarm rings, it means I’m abandoning her. Today I took a little power nap, and so as not to get too powerful by sleeping until tomorrow, I set my alarm. When it rang, it set the cat into a hysterical fit because she thought I was going away. I wasn’t.
I’m rather surprised by the cat’s lack of appreciation of my absence, during which she is free to chew power cords, scratch the door insulation and mess with the blinds. I suspect she isn’t using her freedom wisely. On the note of cats and morning routines, below is a visual presentation of the routines I share with my cat. The sharing is partly involuntary on my part, but the cat never asks.