Most mornings I stumble out of bed when the alarm goes off at 5am. Kitty PoP, who has almost always spent the last few hours hanging out outside on our screened in lanai, also hears the alarm and greets me at the sliding glass doors. I let him in. After he circles my legs a few times, I pick him up and nuzzle his little face and (unless he’s feeling particularly ornery – read “bite-y”) give him some belly kisses as he stretches across my arms. When he starts to squirm, I set him down and after grabbing a glass of water meander over to the couch to decompress and try to wake up.
Once I’m seated comfortably on the couch, Kitty PoP walks over and eyes me. He tilts his head and surveys the landscape of the couch. A moment later he’s jumped up and is climbing onto my chest and lap where he starts nuzzling my face and kneading my chest and stomach. If I knock him off (not always being ready for hard core face nuzzling at 5:02am), he waits a few seconds and then hops back up to nuzzle and cuddle some more.
We dance like this for a few minutes before I gently nudge him off my lap and go to his food dish to give him his morning scoop of kibble, thereby completing my wake-up process.
Logically, I know Kitty PoP has learned to manipulate me. After much trial and error in his younger years, he has discovered that cuddling and nuzzling is far more likely to result in food and treats than biting, swatting, or excessive meow-ing. But in those half-asleep moments every morning, it feels like love and is an absolutely amazing way to wake up.
So this Friday, and really most days, I am happy because I spent a few minutes and cuddled a kitty. If you have one (or a dog will probably do as well), give it a cuddle today (or adopt one from a local shelter!) and have a Happy Friday. And if you don’t have a kitty (or even if you do), click through and read this wonderful Modern Love column from the New York Times last week on how a kitten cured a man’s depression.
Is there a pet that’s giving you a Happy Friday?