Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Clocks change at the weekend in Cyprus

I read, somewhere, that most cats have autistic traits. Perhaps this refers to their aloofness, at times, and their refusal to deviate from whatever is holding their attention at the time, whether sleeping, washing or hunting. Moreover, cats tend to be more attached to places than people, and resent newcomers in their territory. And they don't like changes to their routine.

Sophia takes this one stage further. She doesn't just have her own routine, she organises our routines too. When Daniel used to have a weekly schedule of town band, youth group, drama classes, clarinet lessons, and so on, she knew what time he went out each day of the week, and what time to expect him home. If he was more than about ten minutes late, she would lie in wait for him outside, and complain bitterly when he finally arrived home.

She also knows when Richard is expected home for lunch each day. If he's not back by about 1.15pm she makes a great deal of fuss until he returns.

All of which is actually somewhat amusing.

Less amusing, for me, is that she wakes me up each morning. This isn't a problem in the winter; I'm an early bird and like to get up about 6.30am, so I have plenty of time to myself before the others surface. Unfortunately, Sophia's internal clock isn't too accurate in the mornings. She seems to decide that my time-to-get-up is when the sun rises. So since about early February, she has been waking me slightly earlier each day.

I can cope with 6am. In the summer, that's a better time to get up, since Cyprus is very hot by around 9am. I can get a lot done in those three hours before I estivate in the air conditioning.

But I really don't like being awoken at 5.30am. Or, as has been the case the last few days, 5.20am. You might think we could just shut her out of the bedroom, but that would be no good. She has a very loud voice, and would waken the entire household, howling and banging on the door.

You might also think that I could at least lie in bed until 6am, even if she is stalking around and miaowing. You would be wrong. If I don't get up at the first mews, she jumps on me, and starts patting at the bedclothes. If that doesn't work, she starts tapping at my arms, with just a hint of claws.

If I manage to snuggle right inside the duvet, with nothing showing, she starts pulling tissues out of the box and playing with them. Or knocking books out of the bookcase. Or patting at the bedside lamp to knock it over. All the time, complaining bitterly that I am being very lazy, and should get out of bed right away.

So I get out... Sophia then goes into the bathroom and waits for me, before ushering me downstairs.

I have been very, very tired the last few days. Yesterday I slept for two hours in the afternoon, and still fell asleep before 10pm at night. This morning, when Sophia appeared at 5.20am, Richard (who is not an early bird at all) got up and went downstairs with her. He gave her the crunchies she likes, and some water, then got back into bed again. Half an hour later, she was back... I did at least get to sleep a little longer, but no way would she allow me to stay in bed beyond 6am.

So I am very much looking forward to the weekend, when European clocks go forward an hour, for Summer Time (or daylight savings, as they call it in some places). Usually I don't like losing an hour, but the great advantage is that the sun will not rise until after six o'clock. At least for the next month or so. And I'm quite sure Sophia doesn't understand about clock changes....


Phil said...

Those aren't autistic traits - cats are Zen masters and in every moment practice mindfulness.

Kila said...

Well, my autistic son does love cats!

I'm not a morning person! You have my sympathies! Hopefully you get more sleep with the time change!

itsboopchile said...

I have to admit I am stupid about cats.
I have never liked them, except in pictures, but I never knew they could be so intelligent and so stubborn about their bossiness!!
I think I have just gotten a new respect for cats.
Betty G

Sue said...

Phil - LOL, I don't know that Sophia ever practises mindfulness. She just likes to be in charge of the entire household.

Kila - I did get slightly more sleep last night; I actually asked Sophia to let me sleep until 6, the night before, and she waited until 5.45 this morning, so not quite so bad!

Boopchile - cats are intriguing animals. So much personality - although one wouldn't know, unless there was one in the household. They keep themselves to themselves, on the whole. But they are very, very intelligent!