Every night, at bedtime, I gather Seven into my arms, and we wander towards Younger sprawled on the sofa.
“Tell the brother ‘good night,’ ” I instruct both of them.
“Night,” Younger obediently replies.
Seven doesn’t actually speak, as he is a cat, but he tolerates me lowering him towards Younger and he allows Younger swiping a hand over his black fur. Then the two of us disappear up the stairs and into the bedroom, where, once I make it into bed, Seven sprawls across my chest, just beneath my chin, and dares my husband to protest.
But in the mornings, recently, Seven has veered from our routine and has decided not to follow me into the bathroom to calmly — or not so calmly — wait until I finish my shower before I release him from the house. Now, once I hit the bathroom door, he focuses on my husband.
Instead, he pounces on my husband’s feet. Mom is up. Time to get up. My husband then scoots across the bed in a bid for a few more minutes of sleep, but undeterred Seven paws at my husband’s face and hair. Mom is up. Time to get up. Come on, come on. Time to get up. Mom is up. He will then add claws to his urging. Come on, come on. Mom is up.
And usually about two minutes after I have stumbled from the bed, I hear my husband’s grumpy footsteps as he staggers towards the door to award Seven’s behavior with early release.
Which is probably why Seven veered from our morning routine. Because my husband is the easier mark.
Then Monday morning . . .
I stumbled out of bed a little early for a quick trip to the bathroom. Apparently, Seven mistook my visit for my usual morning stay. When I hobbled back through the bedroom door, I discovered the outline of the black cat bouncing determinedly and incessantly on my husband — Mom is up. Time to get up. Come on, come on. Time to get up.
But then, hearing my footsteps, Seven suddenly stopped in mid-bounce, his head swinging towards me as I crossed the room to fall back into the bed.
Oh. Mom is not up. He jumped from my husband’s back onto my stomach where he immediately sprawled into his usual position. Never mind. We’re going to sleep some more.
And so we did.
My husband does not find Seven nearly as entertaining as I do.
That’s a shame.
Except it isn’t.