From where I lie, I can hear scampering nearby. Paws pounding against the floor. Bodies coming up against walls and furniture. I take note of the time; 5:24am. I readjust myself – moving pillows and limbs – with the hopes that the sound will no longer reach me in this new submerged starfish like position. Either that works or the chaos slows to a quiet crawl, but my closed eyes take me to another land where I am walking through a market in Spain chatting up the various vendors and trying to fill my enormous Santa Sack sized tote bag in a style most reminiscent of Super Market Sweep. Life is good.

From where I lie, I can hear a deep, throaty growl. I can hear it approaching. I brace myself for what I know is coming. Within seconds a weight lands squarely on my middle, using it as children use trampolines to launch themselves high up into the clouds. And just as the weight landed, it is again gone. I can hear the growl receding. I groan. I curse. I curse the culprit. I roll over. I plead to go back to that market in Spain because I am hungry and I can smell the ocean from the produce stall at the end, though the longer I yearn, the more faint the smells. I take note of the time; 7:32am. Today that is close enough to 8:00am. I give in to the mayhem, swing my legs over the side of the bed and immediately my girls emerge from the depths of my bed and weave their way around my ankles. “Oh! How lovely. You’re up.” their meows say.

I slip my feet into my slippers and grope for my glasses. Jackpot. I slip them on and the world suddenly comes alive. I hoist myself up, am painfully reminded of the 12,362 steps I walked at work less than 12 hours before and I shuffle myself forward. Tarra leads the charge with Digi hot on her tail. Tarra suddenly looks back over her shoulder, does a spin move as if she’s a barrel racer going backwards and meows to communicate her needs. We are currently next to her breakfast bowl and it is my turn to fetch as she often does with her beloved shrimp toy. I scoop to retrieve both bowls and this propels us all forward. Into the dining room we advance, taking a sharp left towards the kitchen pausing at the pole wrapped in sisal. Tarra scratches, Digi pauses and I take the meow free moment to tend to my still half closed eyes. Before much progress can be made, the troop is already out of sight meowing from the next room. I join them and the dance around my ankles resumes.

The fridge opens. The cats climb in. The cats are asked to get out. The cats abide. Soon, the meat is in the bowl, the water and salmon oil have been added and everything is mixed together to resemble just that; soggy meat with drops of salmon oil dispersed throughout.

The crowd goes wild.
The feast begins.
And now, this kitty mama has quiet.