Having lived with cats all my life I was quite surprised to learn how much dogs love routine. Cats love routine as well of course but they're usually the ones to create it and then cause you, with mind control, to perform it. Unless of course they don't like it anymore and stop suddenly, leaving you to feel like the fool they know you to be.
But dogs' routine is practically choreographed; they can literally trip you up if you change the sequence of the food and the water bowl in the morning. They might even spend a second or two looking confused, perhaps staring at you compassionately to see what is wrong with you.
The last few mornings in the Sullicake household there was big clinging from both pets. We couldn't figure it out. Had there been a loud explosion while we were gone? Had we been neglectful in our hourly ministrations throughout the day? Was it perhaps an impending disaster only they could sense?
Nothing so dramatic but nonetheless disturbing.
One of us had been having trouble sleeping, and so was lying abed while the other got up and did the morning ritual alone.
But it was not the same! It was different! It was bad!
And so, to mitigate the disaster, we began re-enacting the morning ritual when the other person got up.
Part of me says oh good lord. Another is secretly pleased that our ritual means so much to them.
So here it is, our morning ritual.
Morning alarm. A stirring from all beings but Elder Cat.
Second alarm. Bodie sits up, listening for stirring. There is none. He lies back down.
Humans lie in bed talking. If this goes on too long Bodie puts his front paws on the bed, which we think is cute but try to discourage. Wonder why he keeps doing it.
Finally one of us says "Ready?" and all creatures move into motion to the Staging Area.
This is where the humans sit down on the rug and pet and pet and pet the animals. You're probably beginning to see why clinginess happens if this step is skipped.
Bodie does Paw and Dimitri does drive-by head-butts and if Bodie is particularly happy, such as after Ann has been gone on a long trip, he will do roo-roo-roo to the ceiling and then we all get up and move to the kitchen where the exact same meal as yesterday is prepared and served into one large bowl and one tiny bowl respectively.
If only one of us does all this and then the other finally gets up, even if the pets have had breakfast, we must return to the Staging Area for petting.
There is one alteration that is welcome, however, which is new treats. Change is good!
How about you, what are your morning rituals and who created them?