When you have as many critters as I do, there is no need for an alarm clock.  They will usually wake you at around the same time everyday, regardless of what time you went to bed.

Meet my alarm clocks.

Sontar and Draco
Sontar and Draco

As much as I, or my husband, or the dogs, would like to believe otherwise, these three rule the roost.  Every morning, usually between 6:30 and 7:30, these three begin singing the songs of their people outside the bedroom door, reminding us that an unacceptable number of hours have passed since their food bowls have been refilled.

Their other skills include cuddling, thinking they want outside until they actually get there (and realize it’s scary), and eating any people food that you might be misguided enough to leave on the counter.

But…we love them.

Truth be known, my husband is far more of a cat person than he is a dog person.   While dogs being dogs sometimes tries his patience, the cats endlessly amuse him.  Also, Draco has decided to be a “one person cat,” and that person is Jeremiah.  He tolerates me when Jeremiah is gone, as I serve a function (replacer of eaten kibble and cleaner of poop), but when Jeremiah is home, I have little value to him, so he passes time attacking my feet when I prepare to shower and yelling at me when I displease his highness.

As with all animals, especially ours, each of them has a story.

Dobby was the first pet we got together.  We got Dobby a few months before we got married (literally, a week before Jeremiah moved from his studio apartment to our two bedroom).  We had discussed getting a cat for a while.  Jeremiah still worked at the fire department, and I knew that being a firefighter’s wife meant being alone a lot.  And I wanted company.

I had been having a bad day, thoroughly stressed out and sad.  (I’m not entirely sure what about anymore…) But Jeremiah decided to take matters into his own hands to make me feel better.  He spirited me off to Petsmart (where they team with local shelters to get homes for shelter kitties), “just to look.”  A half hour later, I was in love with the most pathetic cat in the place.  He was too skinny.  His fur was patchy.  He was obviously blind in one eye.  Part of his ear was missing.  He was standing in the back of his cage with a look on his face that said, “I’m scared, and no one wants me.”

I wanted that one.

My husband says that I have a weakness for trying to rescue the sad and pathetic.  He sometimes wonders aloud what exactly that says about him.  (He was pretty heartbroken when I first found him, but not pathetic…)

A few days later, he carted my pathetic orange kitty home in a box.  Jeremiah named him Dobby after Harry Potter’s house elf when he found him hiding behind his boots trying to look very small.  He used to run and hide anytime anyone came home.  Then he warmed up to me.  Then to Jeremiah and Katie.  Now, he’s pretty much our greeter, saying hello to guests who happen to come by.

You’d never know what awful shape he was in now.  His fur became pretty and soft with good nutrition.  He gained weight.  Most people don’t notice the eye or the ear anymore.  (They aren’t as obvious now that he looks healthy overall.)  He’s just Dobby.