It’s the weekend. Early morning. My partner has had a long five-day stretch of getting up early and staying up late for his multiple jobs. He has to work late morning today too. (And so do I.)
But if he plays his cards right, he can sleep in an hour or two longer than usual. And he really needs it.
Our cats, however, don’t know this. They don’t know his schedule. He’s usually the one who feeds the on the weekday mornings bright and early. So they’re up with the first sign of light, looking for food.
If I feed them, I think, he can catch a few more winks.
I stumble out of bed and lead them into the living room away from my sleeping partner, closing the door behind me. They start yowling for food, but at least it’s after the door is shut, which does help deaden the sound.
I meticulously prepare their breakfast dishes and make sure the right cat has the right food. They both eat different things because one of our cats has diabetes. Their individual dishes are RFID locked. And I get the medicine ready for one of our cats (who needs medicine twice a day; both our cats are elderly and one has a lot of health issues, but we love them dearly).
After the cats are fed, I decide to shower, because it’ll let him sleep a bit longer if only he needs to shower once he gets up instead of having to wait for me too. I creep like a cat burglar back towards the bedroom and into the bathroom, taking great care to be as quiet as I can be each step of the way.
The shower is great. Once it’s over, I sneak back into the bedroom, still sneaking around when it happens.
I stub my toe on a random box.
“SHIT!” I say in an angry whisper. The pain is incredible. My vision fills with stars.
Oh well, I think. I tried.
I skulk into the living room, closing the door behind me again. Hang out with the cats read. Try not to obsess over the toe-stubbing thing.
And when my partner rises, I apologize profusely for it, recounting the event. He laughs. “It’s okay,” he says. “I was half-awake at that point anyway.” A slow wake up. The one where you gain consciousness at a leisurely pace, in a stepwise fashion. He thanks me for my efforts.
In that moment, I know that people say that trying is leagues away from actually doing it, but it’s nice to get credit for trying.