We have a scheduling problem at my house. I prefer breakfast to be served at 6 a.m., but my human doesn’t wake up until 7 and then she takes her time shuffling around the kitchen before dishing up my food. Can you give me some suggestions on how to get her up to speed?
Early to Rise
Judging by your attitude, I’m surprised that you haven’t already dealt with this problem on your own. An air of entitlement is always warranted in a cat, but you’ve refined yours to the sharpest of edges. I can only conclude that your human must be a hard case — one of those who wake up only reluctantly to those silly alarms they feel the need to set. We cats don’t need alarms, and your human should have figured out by now that with a cat in the house, she doesn’t need an alarm either, since with your help she’ll be up long before her alarm would have gone off.
I’m assuming that by now, you’ve made a variety of attempts to get your human out of bed at an acceptable hour, and failed. I wish you had given me more detail in your letter, so I’d know which methods haven’t been working, as each human responds to different stimuli. Some do best with an interactive approach — when you jump on the bed and generally make things uncomfortable for them. There are the passive-aggressive tactics, such as licking their faces or touching them with your paw — the type of things that they interpret as displays of affection instead of, “Get out of bed, you lazy slug, and get my breakfast!” Then there are the more assertive tactics, such as running across the bed, pulling off the covers and such. Other humans respond to vocalizations and will bolt out of bed when they hear you screaming (and once they are up, you have a better than 50-50 chance that they’ll stay up — and if they go back to bed, you can just go back to sounding off). If you’ve already tried these and they haven’t worked, then you need more extreme measures, such as knocking things off of shelves and tables in as noisy a manner as possible. If you try this in the bedroom, you can knock over items that have just a little heft, but you will probably have to do it repeatedly to keep your human from drifting back off to sleep. Sneakier, and often more effective, is going to another room and knocking over something that makes a good, loud crashing noise. That will get any human up and out of bed in a hurry.
What if your human has become wise to your tricks and shut the bedroom door? Then you’ll have to resort to the undignified ploy of throwing yourself against the door and yowling. No cat wants to look desperate, but extreme measures require extreme reactions. Never let a closed door come between you and breakfast.
Once you’re human is up and in the kitchen, the rest is easy. Stop her lollygagging by getting in the way and misbehaving as much as possible. Just be persistent and soon she will get in the habit of feeding you first thing so you will stop “bothering” her. Any self-respecting cat (and clearly you are one) can accomplish this with one paw tied behind her back.