Sunday, July 24, 2011

Four AM and the Four of Four

It was 4am but I didn't know it at the time. My bedroom dark and I was sleeping soundly. My perfect rest was disturbed by a tiny sound, a tiny meow. As I tried to stay in that perfect sleeping place, that place where I am not me and not in this body of mine, where my spirit gets to roam where ever it wants, that tiny meow continued. Meow, meow, meow.

Now, I have several cats and not unlike my children, I know the sound, the feel and even the purr of each. I can pet one in the dark and know which is which. Sasha, my little bed buddy is soft, like 1600 thread count sheets soft. She is usually on my bed and she sleeps for 23 out of 24 hours each day. She is a big tall cat and she knows it. Sasha has never taken a good picture and could care less. No one speaks kindly of Sasha but I love her for her bad attitude and consistency.  I will see if I can find a flattering picture of Sash, but I doubt one exists.

Baby Kahn, my Bengal, is my old man. Smaller and thinner than the mighty Sasha, he is my billy badass. You have to be careful when playing with him as his claws are more like a wild animal than a cat. He is also very loving but thinks he is in charge of his world. BK is the welcome wagon to anyone that enters the house be it human or animal and has a wonderful disposition. Baby Kahn and Sasha are best friends. They are the original two and serve as the monarchy of the herd.

Baby Kahn

Derby is simple. Derby lays on your shoes and loves to have his stomach scratched. Derby found his way to us from an animal shelter. His mousy face complete with pointy nose heads a body that is small and compact. He is my do no evil cat. His love is simple and pure, just like him.


Pepper came to us on his way to the shelter. A neighbor and fellow cat person had agreed to take him so he would not end up homeless and without a family waiting for death in a shelter. He was with us until the neighbor got home from work. Pepper never made it to the neighbor and quickly became part of my herd. A soft black coat with a little bit of white on his face and paws, Pepper was declawed when he came to us. I'd never seen a declawed cat before until Pepper came along. Its obvious that its not a simple procedure and people should remember that it is an amputation. Pepper has no defense and as a result, when involved in a dispute with a cat family member, he is one loud and noisy cat. What he lacks in slash, he makes up for with volume. He has become good friends with Derby but being younger than the Derbimeister, he is full of play and spends most of his time ambushing Derby from one place or another.


Within my home there is a balance as far as the cats go and an order to things. Sasha stays in my room 99% of the time and only leaves to terrorize Pepper. She is only awake an hour a day but really tries to make it a full hour. Baby Kahn goes anywhere he pleases but doesn't really like to spend time near Pepper. Pepper has the kitchen and hallway patrol. Derby has another room but can freely enter my room if he can get past Pepper's ninja style attacks. There is order and it works and slowly Pepper, the new kid on the block without the cool song to make him popular, is being tolerated if not accepted.

Then there is little Liz. Liz has a long story with us but for the sake of time and relevance, lets just say that she was once a stray that became our outside cat. When the weather is too cold or too hot, she comes in the house, into my room and sleeps in the very chair in which I am currently seated. She is a good little cat that prefers the life of freedom to the many feline faces in my home. I'm respectful of that.

Miss Liz

The tiny meow I heard, the little call that jostled me from my slumber, was Liz. Meow, Meow, Meow. So tiny and sweet. I knew it was her before I ever turned on a light. My brain was struggling to validate what I knew to be a truth. Liz is never in at night unless its too cold. In the heat and drought of this year there was no chance it was cold. So what was she doing in the house? What time was it? Whats going on?

I got out of bed and from the soft light in the hallway I could see Lizzie actively moving in front of me. Still groggy from my spirit travels while sleeping, I said "come on Liz" and proceeded to the back door. How in the world did she get in? As I turned to see the back door, my fear was realized. There sat the back door, open. Unlocked.

I let Liz back outside and noticed Pepper sitting at the edge of the porch so I hustled him back inside. He growled at Liz and she hissed at him as they passed. Now I'm waking up fast. Priorities first, where are my cats. I saw Derby posted on a pair of shoes and I had just brought in the Pepster, two of four accounted for.

I came to my bedroom and turned on the light. Sasha and Baby Kahn were laying on my bed looking at me. Four of four safe and sound. Lizzie outside. I looked at the clock on the wall. Four o'clock in the morning, my Lord and I wanted to sleep in today after traveling yesterday.

Now I turned my attention to the door. How did this happen? How is it that in the middle of the night, my back door is open and how long had it been that way.

I checked the beds, everyone was asleep. I knew if the back door had been opened long, BK would have been outside. He has tried his whole life to escape and live the dream but I love him too much to make him that happy. So it hadn't been too long that the door was open. I checked the house to make sure I was the only human awake in it that actually belonged and then summoned up some courage and walked out the back door.

Normally there are the sounds of the night at 4 am. As I exited the back door, I was greeted with silence. There was a thickness to the night air. The silence was uncomfortable and I proceeded slowly and cautiously. I checked the screen door to the porch and it was locked. If anyone had entered, it would not be secured. I have learned to listen to my senses and that uncomfortable feeling so I headed back in the house and checked all cats and sleeping people again. Everything was fine.

It is almost 6am now and there is still that silence outside. I don't like it and I will be glad when the world wakes up just a little. It seems to be slumbering a bit too hard and a bit too deeply for some odd reason. Since I adhere to the rule that everything happens for a reason, I'm waiting to see why it was so important that I be awake at 4am.

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