Tuesday, July 10, 2012


You know you are in a rut when your pets can tell time.

It is dark, I am on the tail end of a cool dream and it is almost time to join the awake world when it happens.  The incessant yowling starts up from just beyond my bedroom door.

Minnie is exercising her vocal cords. I always marvel that she doesn't seem to need to breathe. There is seldom a  pause, just a rolling yowl.

I have tried to record the sound  but as soon as she senses my being awake, the yowl stops. It is just  Minnie letting me know I was in danger of getting a good night's sleep.  

Once she hears me stirring, she goes silent and will wait for the door to open. It is not food she wants for that is always available free choice.  She just wants me up and for the door to open. She is as effective as a bugle call.  

I am not sure how this started but now it is a locked in habit.   I never have to look at my clock. Minnie keeps perfect time.  At 4 AM every single day her only job kicks in. The atomic clock would be jealous of her accuracy. Oddly she even adjusts seamlessly to the time changes. How does she do that? 

Mighty also comes to life then. He is at the end of the bed wanting off.  He is quite torn. He really needs to pee but he also knows I have to prepare his dry  food to soak in warm water while we are outside. The little guy has bad teeth and his food must be softened.

He also gets his arthritis pain pill at this time which is wrapped in cheese. That he seems to feel is worth putting the bladder on hold.  With those things accomplished,  out we go. Yes it is still dark. 

After the walk comes breakfast followed by my time on the computer and everyone claims a spot on my bed. The two cats are allowed on the bed as long as I am not in it. Otherwise, they tend to drape all over my head, pinning me to the pillow making rest impossible.  Now all is quiet except for an occasional cat snore.

At 7 AM, give or take a minute, Mighty begins his stare that I call the "look". It is a physically penetrating thing that I can feel. He wants out again. This time  to finish what he didn't do at 4. If I somehow miss the "look", he will moan. His bowels can tell time also.  

So out he goes again. That is OK for that is when I do my outside chores while it is still coolish.  We stay out till the heat chases us back inside a couple of hours later.

Now my day can vary quite a bit during the middle part.  All my pets tend to sleep then so time is not important to them.  We are rut-less and my time is pretty much my own with only occasional pee breaks for Mighty. Ahhh.   But then the rut returns in the late afternoon. 

I usually eat my evening meal around 4 PM.  Remember I had breakfast 11 hours earlier.  Mighty lets me know it is 3:30 for he asks to go out. He knows if he doesn't go then, he will have to wait till after supper. We try to avoid delay as he is old and his sphincters are weaker these days.  I can relate.

Ok, all chores done, faces fed, bladders empty and it is time for my Marlin's ball game at 6.  At 7 PM I get the "look" once more from Mighty . This is when he goes out unattended for a long period. I am just grateful for this outing that he doesn't feel the need for an attendee.  

When he comes in this time, it is his bed time. He marches into the bedroom and waits patiently for me to arrive and lift him  onto the bed to his comforter. I wish him good night, shut the door and go back to my ball game. 

This will all be repeated the next day, almost to the minute.  Funny but now that I have written all this down, I realize I am completely trained by my pets. My daily life is built around their schedule and bodily functions, not mine. OK, the baseball part is my contribution.

I know I would not do these things on this rigid a schedule with out the nudge from my pets. I am  by nature laid back, dislike time tables and am a born procrastinator. 

Whether it is their rut or my rut, I am not positive. I just know that my life has more structure than I would chose.  But you know, strangely, I am OK with that.

Are you well trained,  either by person or beast, or are you the trainer and they follow your schedule? Just curious.


  1. We have no pets here, but my daughter's time schedules dominate my timetable and because I'm a dj and work in the evenings I'm left to do the school and club runs. I don't mind because if I didn't have that I think I'd sit on my butt all day and spend too much time on the internet. :D

  2. Before Rufus crossed, he would let me know when he wanted his dinner. At 3pm he would start whinning and yipping at me, until the food dish was filled. In my next life I want to come back as a dog, to a family/person without children. It has to be the life!!

  3. I wish my life were a bit more structured sometimes, but not if it means getting up in the dark!! Our cat (late, sadly) would occasionally pull my hair to wake me up, but he always slept on Mike's feet at night. When we were away for a weekend, we left him Mike's stinkly socks on the bed so Jaxon wouldn't feel so lonely.

  4. This household is totally dominated by the cat and her timetable. In the morning if I'm not up by 5:30 she claws the covers away from me. At 4 PM she stretches on the cat post that sits beside the refrigerator to remind me that it's dinner time. Of course all of that is subject to change to an earlier time frame if her food dish is emptied sooner. Or she's bored. Or wants the windows open to look out. Or....

  5. Mighty's "look" is very penetrating. I can see why you wouldn't be able to avoid being trained. I have a schedule but it's me who makes it. I like how well your companions have trained you; I'm sure I would slip right into their schedule and leave my own behind.

  6. Good morning Patti, I always enjoy your stories about your pets. They are well loved...and love you back.

  7. BF & I are both dominated by our Sophie. We are well trained. I get the stare at food time and during the day. The minute BF comes home, she runs him. She even wakes him in the middle of the night to accompany her to the kitchen for a sip of water. I've been awake and seen her on top of him, pouncing. I've tried to get her to go with me, since I'm awake, but am ignored as she only wants him to go with her. Aren't they amazing???

  8. I'd say I'm pretty well trained by pets. Stormy pats me on the face to wake me up in the mornings and now the new kitten will just dive bomb and bite my toes playfully to get my attention. If the door is closed, Stormy will raise the biggest ruckus until it's opened so she can come in so there's no sleeping without an animal around at some point during the night. Cute story!

  9. What a great post ...with the cats we start as trainers but most of them gang up to train us.
    Because there are so many we have to have 2 meal times rather than 'eat when you want' bowls and because of temprement 4 places to eat ....mornings are fine, although if you have a lie in you may stumble over the gang as you make your way to the loo. The evenings are strangely different ... as feeding time grows close you see more cats about and those that go out are sometimes found peering in as though staring at goldfish in a bowl.If it goes past ... you know ...there is an eiry silence and a very long line of penetrating stares....as though sizing one up for dinner.
    As for cats on the bed ...there are 3 allowed in my bedroom ...Smudge tucks in to the crook of my knees ....Mika finds my feet ...and Honey Pot tries to tuck into my arms and ends up with her head on my shoulder ....needless to say I dont move much during the night. lol Thanks for your prayers for Jake xx

  10. Sorry, I'm confused, who is Minnie? I don'tt recall hearing about her. We're up by 6 every morning, trained by our dog, but 4 is a little early for me. Some structure is good at our age, otherwise we become slobs. I've disciplined myself to dress for the day the minute my feet touch the floor in the morning. Otherwise, I'm still in my robe at 3 pm.

  11. Our two newest animals are the time keepers here at the Cuckoos Nest. Ellie Mae Scootles (I think it's a little dog thing) has trained us to do her bidding nicely in two years last 4th of July.
    And the new cat Cybella is mistress of all she surveys and the commoners must do her bidding. I've had pushy cats before but never this arrogant. Good thing she's cute and GK's. But yes, animals always rule the roost around here. Oma Linda

  12. Our dogs don't wake us up. In fact, my husband (the early riser) wakes THEM up. They would definitely prefer to sleep in. But in most of our activities our dogs do control our lives. When planning anything we first have to ponder, "what about the dogs?"

  13. Patti, I was chuckling all the way through this. The howling at 4:00 would drive me crazy, but it is funny how he knows what time it is even with the time changes.

    Yes, I certainly am trained by Dana. I don't have to take her on walks early in the morning though, I just open the door so that she can go out in the backyard.

    If I go to bed before Cary does, she will usually stay out in the living room with him (she is big and sleeps on the floor in our room at night.)

    We do the baseball thing too and schedule our evenings around games. It messes me up when baseball is over for the season. Tonight is the All-Star game, and that should be fun.

    Kathy M.

  14. I had a dog in New York until I had to leave her behind when I moved back to Hawaii in 1975. Since then, I had 2 outdoor cats until the last one died in 2011. Sadly, we won't be getting new pets since we like to travel. I would love to have a dog again, though.

  15. I am confused.. I am a bit of both. Stick to schedules for things I like doing and procrastinate for the stuff I dislike doing. I never eat meals on time. As I am not a food person at all. So lucky you are to have an on-call time-keeper.

  16. Yes---your pets are IN CHARGE... 4 a.m. is much too early for us. We get up about 7:30---and the only thing which wakes us up early are the birds singing out there --begging for their breakfast!!!!! ha

    We don't have pets now --but we do follow a routine most every day... Ours is governed by what we want to watch on TV most of the time.

    Outside work is from 10:30-noon and again from 2-4.... Lunch is at 12:30 and dinner about 5:30...

    I love baseball --but never see it much anymore. Baseball was my Dad's favorite sport...

    Have a great day. We are STILL waiting on RAIN. It went all around us last night.. Grrrrrr.

  17. You think YOU'RE a procrastinator? I didn't get a birthmark until I was 8 years old!!

  18. This is such a wonderfully funny post, Patti....And, indeed, you are trained by your animals, but good! And why not? They give so much and really, ask so little---well, sort of....lol!
    Anyone with pets reading this understands exactly what you are talking about and dealing with---to one degree or another. And the more pets, the more ones life is structured around them....Yours all sound quite wonderful even though you have to "serve" at they're pleasure. Mighty has such a darling face! Would love to see some pictures of Minnie....!

  19. This is such a funny post, Patti. I read some of it out loud to Roger, and we laughed! Our kitty cat Bonsai definitely controls my life. Roger can quite effectively ignore him, but I can't. He wakes me every morning just before sunrise (that's pretty early these days) and wants to go out. I let him out into the fenced backyard. Then, when he comes in, he gives me the "Mighty" stare until I get out of bed again just to pet him a little while he munches on some kibble. I think Bonsai was taken from his mom much too soon. He's not quite gotten over being a big needy baby.

  20. I'd like to think I'm pretty much in charge around here, but it's probably not the case.

  21. I am currently pet free. At one time, I did live with 2 other females, our combined 6 cats, 3 dogs and 2 ferrets. I lived at the back of the house and the cats trained me to get up no less than twice a night to open the door. Some entered, some exited and a few hours later I opened the door again.

  22. LL Cool Joe,
    You might have a good point there Joey.

    You are right. A nice retired couple that doesn't travel with out me would be perfect.

    Funny about Mike's socks. I always take a worn tee shirt if I have to leave my pet at the vets.

    RV Vagabonds,
    Had to laugh and could relate to your Or's. Yes, you are trained.

    Lucky you being your own boss. Sigh.

    Miss Dazey,
    Thank you so much.So glad you like them.

    How funny that she has BF trained to watch her drink. That is above and beyond the call of duty. What a guy.

    They really don't like the door being shut do they? Peanut sounds like a fun kitty.

    You must have the most nervous gold fish in the world. That is a lot of stalkers.
    Good thing you aren't a restless sleeper:))

    Minnie was the stray with the horrific gas. Only her extreme affectionate nature has made her bearable.

    Oma Linda,
    Arrogant cats set the bar high for being demanding. Being cute will get her into your heart long before her personalily turns you off. They are good at that.

    NCMountain Woman,
    At last, someone who is a trainer instead of a trainee, almost. I know what you mean about them dictating how plans are handled.

    Don't know about you but I am hurting with this All Star break. I am having withdrawal but the game tonight will help some. Our one All Star is getting surgery so there will be no Marlins on the team.

    You are smart. If you like to travel, it is a real hassle and not really fair to the dog to be left behind.

    I think one could call you balanced.
    I really have no choice so I tend to welcome it.

    I sure hope you get some rain. We have had three small storms come through and the grass is all ready green again. Amazing how fast it recovers. I will have to mow for the first time in a month this evening.

    That is one of the funniest things I have ever heard in a while. Priceless and thanks for the belly laugh.

    Thank you so much Naomi and you are so right. I did post some pictures of Minnie. She was the cat with the bad gas. You can see her at--- http://thenewsixty.blogspot.com/2010/04/sometimes-its-hard-to-love.html

    Oh, I am so glad roger also enjoyed the post. Seems like Bonsai has you right where she wants you. And that is how it should be.

    Mom of 12,
    It can be deceptive. I thought I was till this post.

    Good to meet another trainee. I see you too can be molded.

  23. Oh I love ruts.

    My day begins with David creeping down the stairs to take our 17 year-old dog out for a walk. She cannot make it past 6 AM. Clare the 8 year-old goes with him.

    Although David thinks he is quiet as a mouse, the birds either hear him or the outside birds, because what wakes me up is their morning calls and whistles.

    Next I get up and dressed and then let Johnny out of his crate. He never whines he is so well behaved, but he does have a "look."

    We have no cats. I recall they can really wake you up with rough tongues.


  24. Patty, what a beautiful tale of our little ones. Pets are amazing, just amazing. One of my babies also has arthritis and takes arthritis medication. And the little girl also keeps time. Thank the heavens hers is at 6am not 4! And even better, she knows not to wake me up, 'cause it won't work (ear plugs), dad is the chosen one for that chore ;-)

  25. My cat has that same stare...it starts an hour or two before supper time and doesn't stop until she is fed.

  26. I don't have any pets. I guess that explains why I don't have a schedule except on Tuesdays when we go to the Farmer's Market at 6:15. I hate getting up that early. I would hate it even more getting up at 4:00. You are a pet saint. I can see why they love you so much!

  27. To avoid being waken up by our cats, we had a catflap in our backdoor. The result was that one of our cats took a strange cat into the house and our bedroom.
    You told me that your zodiac sign is Cancer.My Australian daughter is also a the same sign. She also likes to nurse people and animals.

  28. Good to hear of your daily routine with your pets, they are little humans after all. Ha.

  29. Miss Piggy used to wake us very early and we would let her out, then feed her. She got earlier and earlier until we realized she wasn't waking us because she needed to go out, but so that she could eat. Finally, we realized that if we simply let her out and back in without feeding her, she decided that she could wait until later after all.

    Now, MY bladder calls the shots.

  30. OH my what a look Mighty gives you. lol
    After reading this post I realized I too am the one that is trained. Tinkerbell still slaps my face at 3:30 every morning to be fed even though I have explained to her over and over I know longer have the work schedule of getting up that early.
    But you are right their inner clocks are so well timed it is spooky. She is never late and if I roll over to try and ignore her she jumps over to the other side and continues to slap me. haha
    Then later I have the outside kitties to take care of so yes I am well trained.
    I laughed reading this because you remind me of myself in so many ways.
    Love ya

  31. Patti honey when I commented tonight and hit send I realized to late that Tam's name came up and not mine. She spent most of the day here trying to learn how to do a blog and we had signed her in on my computer to her google account to work on setting up her blog and so you were the only one I visited tonight and did not realize I was not signed in but Tam was.
    She is a sweet lady that lives a few hours from here and over the phone for a while I have been trying to help her with setting up her blog. Not sure I am the one who should be doing it.
    Thanks honey and sorry for all this. Now I hope I am signed in.
    Love ya

  32. Introverted Art,
    Lucky you to have ear plugs and a fall guy. Enjoy your rest.

    It really is a powerful thing isn't it? It is like mental telepathy.

    Ah yes, but I bet you get to stay awake much later than I do. Night people and day people are two different species:))

    Reader Wil,
    Goodness, that had to be interesting. Your daughter does sound like a kindred spirit.

    Linda Starr,
    Except, the human variety understands NO. Mine just get blank looks when I try to explain this in not a good thing.

    mary lee,
    Ah ha, you proved to be smarter than Miss Piggy. You are definitely the TRAINER.

    Tam aka Maggie,
    Aw gee, and here I thought I had a new follower:)) So glad a new blogger is budding. If she follows your lead, she will do well.
    We both need cats with later schedules.

  33. Dear Arkansas Patti, I am totally trained by the three cats with whom I live. TOTALLY! At 8:15 each morning two of them bop around on the bed, trying to wake me. I answer their summons and feed all three of them.

    In the afternoon, at 1:45, I'm usually at the computer, and all three settle on my desk or by the chair and stare at me, reminding me forcefully that they are to be fed again at 2 pm.

    Then at 7:45 each evening we have the same ritual. I feed them at 8 and that's it for the day.

    I know that three feedings seems excessive but they each get just 1/8 of a cup each time. So they seem to be doing well weight wise. Well Maggie and Matthew are. Ellie is overweight.

    Like you, I find myself appreciative of their schedule. That is, I like to sleep in and if they didn't wake me at 8:15, I don't know really when I would get up!


  34. I love your pet stories and I am so sorry I am so late. sandie

  35. Our grown kids gave us a cat plaque recently that says, "our cats are NOT spoiled, we are just well-trained". I guess that says it all.

  36. Dee,
    Always glad to hear from another trainee. They really do have us where they want us don't they? I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Chatty Crone,
    So glad you do and since I only post about once a week, you are in no way late.

    Thanks you for stopping by TNS and for following. I love that plaque, I need to get one too.

  37. We are so well trained and enslaved by 4 former German Shepherds, and now Luckie, we don't know any other life, except when we board 'em and take a vacation. The we discover there is a whole different world out there.

    However, it's strange how apprehensive we become when separated, that I make a long distance call daily to check on Luckie at the kennels.

  38. So relieved to know I'm not the only person trained by a cat. Larissa walks on my keyboard when she's hungry or wants me to lie on the couch so she can sit on my stomach. We bought 9 Lives cat food on sale and I put it in her bowl this morning. Half an hour later Larissa walked on my keyboard. I looked over. The 9 Lives hadn't been touched. I opened a can of Friskies - her usual brand - and replaced the 9 Lives in the bowl. She leaped down from the keyboard, ate her preferred breakfast, and is now asleep on the sofa.

  39. At first I thought - WOW - That's high maintenance and I thought a woman was bad :O. Then I got to the structure part…..We all need structure but that structure sure sounds like a lot of work. BTW- After reading this, I don’t think you need an exercise program.

  40. Patty told me she read that dogs do not have vocal chords so they can bark 24 hours a day without losing their voice. I know some people like that too.

  41. Nitwit,
    That is funny about the phone call but I so understand. I would do the same under those conditions. Do they let Luckie listen in to hear your voice?

    Linda Myers,
    Oh yes, you are certainly a trainee. Not a bad place to be is it?

    Ha, it is a lot like having a spouse only they don't help with the rent.

    Good to hear from you again. Guess my cat doesn't have vocal cords either. I have a cousin that I suspect that of also.

  42. Patti, Whatever new sleep arrangement you choose perhaps you could encourage the animals to use the old bed so you could get a good night's rest! Sounds like you're not only working the day shift but the night shift too. We don't have a special bed, but we do have a good firm mattress. My friend has memory foam and swears by it, but I'd worry about it being too hot (although she lives in the desert and hasn't found that to be the case).

  43. Oh yes our Ellie will start her meows and just because she wants someone to stir and pet her. Buddy is more apt to request a coffee if it's not ready when he is:)