Our morning routine
Recording the simple things I want to remember forever
I have to write this down so I’ll remember it forever. I know things will change this year, I know a new chapter of my life is coming down the pike, but today let me savour the sweetness of our morning routine.
I’ve never been a good sleeper, something I’ve learned is down to my marvellous neurodivergent brain. I skim the surface of sleep, racing through episodic dreams like living a second life at night. For the last five years I’ve woken up with one thought drowning out the rest: Baba.
It didn’t take long to realise co-sleeping with a cat wouldn’t work. She likes to sleep in the middle of the bed, of course, and the slightest movement irritates. I have to contort my body around her, which means I’ll get a crappy night, so now my days typically start with a meowing cat outside the closed bedroom door.
Today she was in the office/guest bedroom, curled up on the orange wool blanket, patiently waiting for me to find her. I sat at my desk to check my phone and as I listened to voice notes she jumped into my lap for a cuddle. Baba doesn’t like to be carried, but curled in my lap I get to cradle her like a baby. It’s the absolute bloody best.
When she’d had enough she flounced downstairs and sat beside her toy box — this manoeuvre indicates Play Time Has Begun so I dutifully get on the floor and bring the feather waggler to life. Baba loves sleep, Dreamies and playtime equally, so within minutes she’s jumping for the “bird” and chasing it around my slippers. She always plays at 100% — feather wagglers don’t last long in this house. Next she’s up on the sofa arm, surveying the terrain before parkouring off the coffee table and bouncing to the front door.
Since her cancer diagnosis I’ve kept her in at night — there are too many tomcats in this neighbourhood and I sleep better knowing she’s safe indoors. But in the morning she’s allowed out and prowls the street while I feed the fox. Foxes have been a constant presence since I moved into this house. In 2021 we had seven babies living with mama under the shed, but after vociferous complaints from the neighbours, my landlord had the den deactivated. Now the garden is a haven for solitary visitors. The current fox is a boy and he sleeps curled up on the edge of the lawn. He’ll stir when he hears me in the kitchen and waits attentively for me to bring food out. He jumps over the back fence when I open the door — he still keeps his distance from me, as he should, but by the time I’m back inside he’s at the bowl. I feed him cat food — and not the cheap stuff! — and keep a large bowl of water always topped up. His quiet presence has been such a balm these last few months.
I hear a clunk and a meow — Baba is back inside through the cat flap. I give her breakfast which she may or may not eat — she’s more of a night-time eater — and then, finally, it’s my turn for breakfast. While I eat my eggs my girl takes herself upstairs to find a spot to snooze. Right now the radiator bed in the box room is her favourite. She’ll sleep in there till lunchtime then come find me at my desk for another cuddle.
These last two weeks I’ve been down with my first bout of Covid (paid subscribers! You remember I said I was “feeling ropey” in the first podcast episode? This is why!). Having a furry companion has improved my life a thousand fold, but holy cats, does it make it easier when you’re feeling bad. My taste and smell still haven’t come back but my energy is slowly returning. And all the while my girl is by my side, my forever friend, my little love. So grateful for every day we have left together. ❤️