It is chilly in the room as I open my eyes. My nose feels cold as it sticks out of the covers. I feel his warmth beside me as I turn to the left and rest my head against him. He purrs in his sleep and inches closer to my face. I don't want to get up. Can't I just lie here awhile longer? The alarm goes off and the annoying sound pulls me out of bed, toward the TV table across the room to shut it off. It is time to begin my day. I do my salute to the sunrise, arms raised over my head, like Ruth Gordon in the movie "Harold and Maude." Then I sit back down on the sleeping bag covering the bed. Sam comes over and sits beside me. He nibbles on my fingers. His wise green eyes look in to mine, as his black fur blends in with the half-light in the room. He is waiting for me to lie back down for our final cuddle before breakfast.
I carefully descend the second story stairs to my kitchen, looking for my cold cup of Folgers's coffee in the refrigerator. I take a sip and go to pour Grain Free dry food for Sam in his bowl. The pungent smell of cat food mixes with the dark smell of coffee. If I am lucky Sam will eat his expensive food. He has a sensitive stomach and I am trying too be helpful, but I don't think he sees it that way. As I drop his bowl upstairs in the bedroom, he looks at me out of the corner of his eyes. "Really? Where is the good stuff?" he seems to say. I talk to him out loud, "This food is better for you." He meows. His cat voice is raspy. He turns his back on his healthy food. I give in and go downstairs again for Meow Mix. "Ok then. Here you are." He looks up as if to say, "Thank you." He eats his breakfast and I drink my coffee. We all have our habits and this one is ours. We have done this ritual for seventeen years so far. As with all good relationships, I want more time to enjoy each other.
I am a retired teacher and longtime Richmond resident.