Milking the Cats

Growing up on a farm and then moving to an old farm house in Maine keeps you thinking in farmers' terms. "Milking the cats" is one of them. Now, before you get a bizarre image in your heads of tiny milk pails and scratching cats, let me explain.

Years ago we discovered our cats love half & half. I don't remember how we discovered this exactly, but it must have started with Abigail and her love of milk in the bottom of a cereal bowl. The other cats would try it and walk away in disgust. We must have run out one day and tried them on half & half. Life has never been the same for us.

So, once they got the taste for the richer things in life, they began demanding it. I'm the early riser in the family, and the first thing I have to do is "milk the cats." Let me set the picture for you.

It's dark this time of year, so I stumble out of bed and into the kitchen groping for a light switch and trying to dance with six swirling cats at my feet. All before I've had a drop of coffee.

Somehow I make it to the fridge and grab the half & half. That just sends one of the cats (Emmy) into a frenzy, standing up against the counter and pushing back against me while I pour out the tablespoon portions on plastic divided plates. Luckily for me the remaining five cats all wait patiently at my feet until I put the plates out for them.

Then there's the king of the cat pride, Nickolas. When the plates of milky goodness are being distributed, he walks off to the next room. I have to follow with his plate, and when I set it before him he dismisses me while he begins to slurp it up and I bow slowly backwards out of the room. My morning chores done, I head back to the kitchen where I can turn to the important work of making my own coffee.

Of course, Emmy over the years has taken it upon herself to be the official cat representative for the pride, and her one job is to make sure I don't sleep in. There are many mysteries in life for me, and the greatest one is the fact that Emmy nearly always finds a way to get me up just before my alarm goes at 5 a.m. Whether it's purring in my ear, sitting on my chest (trust me, you wake up when a 12-pound cat sits on your chest), or knocking things off my nightstand, she's usually spot on 5 a.m.

Of course, the return to Standard Time in the fall messes her up, but she figures it out in a few days. The problem is, I never seem to gain back that hour of sleep everyone else gets. You see, when it's 5 a.m for Emmy that day, it's 4 a.m for me. Not that she cares. After a few days she figures it out, and she's adjusted to that wacky human concept of time.

I spent last week in a hotel room in Boston for my work, going to meetings in the office. No cats to trip over getting out of bed. Coffee made first thing when I got to the kitchenette. Half & half removed from the fridge while I remained unfettered and free to pour it only in my coffee. It was the loneliest week I've ever spent... Oh, yeah, I missed my wife too...

The King (Nicky) asleep on the library table...

For more photos of our cats:

Cat Pages


What a lovely heartwarming story..........Thank you for sharing. Linda Federman, Kennebunkport, ME

wOw, as for..i do love cats and this move me so much...yah, its true that you misses someone when you're far away...good story of yours...

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This page contains a single entry by JeffAdminist published on January 21, 2009 12:44 AM.

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