Sunday, January 29, 2017

Diurnal I Am, But Not By Choice...

So you're going to feed us now, right?
Yes, yes I am. Now stop poking me.

Which is how most mornings here at Chez Sarge start. The feline staff drops gentle hints that it's about time perhaps for Your Humble Scribe to drag his tired carcass out of the sack and provide the kitties with food. Because, dontcha know, breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day.

Saturday was no exception, well, with one exception. The felines have learned over the past decade that their human servants like to "sleep in" every six days or so. Believe me, they really do begrudge me that extra time on Saturday, but every once in a great while they won't start prodding me, chirping at me, sticking their butts in my face, and, from time to time, grooming me with those sand paper tongues until after sunrise.

Yesterday after a perfunctory chirp and a sniff from the Alpha furry being I awoke and checked the time. 'Twas 0800, 8 AM of the clock, sure enough, Micky's big hand was on the twelve and his little one upon the eight. Sasha sat next to my head, waiting patiently (well, sort of patiently) for me to awaken and feed her and her sister. (Though truth be told, Sasha could give a fig if I fed her sister, Anya. Sasha is the Alpha and what Sasha wants, Sasha gets. After thirteen years Anya has learned to tolerate her sister's bossiness. As have we all)

So I got up, fed the cats and went back to bed. 'Tis a glorious feeling being able to go back to bed when the sun has already been up over the horizon for a while. Feels like decadence and insane luxury.

Now before all of you "morning people" (said with a sneer) start going on about how I'm wasting the day (yada, yada, yada), and extolling the glories of the morning, stop, just stop.

I, much like the feline race, am nocturnal in many respects. I like stepping outside in the dark and perusing the stars wheeling through the heavens. Listening to the creatures of the night off in the small wood nearby engaged in their life and death struggles.

During my time in Uncle Sam's Aerial Follies, many was the night that I downed tools and stepped out of a hangar to behold the slight, nearly imperceptible glow on the eastern horizon which is a portent of the coming day. While many bemoan that whole "darkest hour before the dawn," I used to revel in it. However, the coming of daylight, to me, meant the coming of the day shift which was populated mostly by strap hangars, important people, and folks who spent their lives demanding status and progress reports. My binary answers of "Done" or "Not Done" seldom satisfied those minions. Believing that I could predict the future, they would want to know when I would be done. Oddly enough, in that respect, I could actually predict the future. Without studying goat entrails or tea leaves. (Calibrate enough F-4 radars and you get a feel for the process.  After a while, you actually learn the vagaries of the individual aircraft as well. No, really, each bird is the same, yet different in some ways.)

So night shift was a place to escape and to get work done while the staff pukes lay slumbering in their beds with dreams of spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides dancing in their heads.

So yeah, not a morning person. Sleeping in is awesome on a Saturday, especially when one averages only five to six hours of sleep during the week. Having to get up early is anathema to me, but I do it to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.

So once a week, the cats let me sleep "late," late to them being any time after sunrise. The rest of the week they know I'll be up at 0530 (0600 at the latest) to feed them. They begrudge me that extra hour or so on Saturday, but in their feline magnanimity they will accede to their human's desire to not get up early.

Which I appreciate.

What do the cats do once they've been fed? Why they go back to sleep of course. They assure me that they have been up all night ridding the palace of mice and that's hard work, dontcha know?

"What mice?" I will ask.

"Exactly." They will answer.

Alrighty then.

Is breakfast ready?
Okay, okay! I'm on it...

Yeah, I volunteered for this. It's okay, they're great companions and the last time I checked, there were zero mice in the house.

Yes, that's right.

Zero.




38 comments:

  1. LOL! That was great.

    Paul L. Quandt

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always knew you were a "stand up" guy, Sarge, but two of them in your house? Oh wait "Diurnal" not.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I might have been a cat at one time.

      As for having two, hhmm, there's a story there...

      Delete
    2. I got it Juvat, sadly, I got it. I imagine OAFS got it too but wisely ignored it. regards, Alemaster

      Delete
    3. [Whistling as he walks away...]

      Delete
  3. We go through a similar morning ritual, but with dogs. On weekends we hope they let us sleep an hour or two longer, but they are creatures of habit also. So this morning the Old Man got me up at 5:00. I let both dogs out, but only one came back. As soon as I fell asleep, The Girl dog wanted back in. About the time we all settled back to bed, my hubby woke up and decided to put the dogs out - not realizing I had already done the ritual. Once again the Old Man came back in, but the Girl stayed out. Later, when she was good and ready, she barked and barked. At that point, I decided to just give up and get up. Since I am a morning person, it really wasn't so bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha!

      Good story Lou. I've had the cats convince me that they haven't been fed yet, so I get up, stagger downstairs to see that they HAVE been fed. Back upstairs to find them sleeping in my spot on the bed.

      Can't win some days.

      Delete
  4. I believe you have described correctly a great many "morning people." For many years I was like you, a night person trapped in a morning person world. Now retired and with a lady who prefers the evening, life is great. It has always been good, even with two morning person wives, but now it is great.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Being ranch raised, not being a morning person was not an option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cattle are early risers. Had a friend who's Dad was a dairy farmer, when the cows need milking, well, they can't wait.

      Probably why I avoided becoming a dairy farmer.

      Delete
  6. Just when I think Sebastian is settling into a morning routine, he changes it, usually at my disadvantage.
    Fortunately, for him, I am a relatively early riser.
    That wasn't always the case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you get comfortable with a cat's routine, they change it.

      Delete
  7. Don't fall for that "We've been up all night chasing mice!" schtick. Most housecats are crepuscular. Just because they're awake when you go to sleep and awake when you wake up, doesn't mean they were awake in the interim. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stumping the dummy isn't too hard with me. Had to look up "crepuscular" (Do you use that in much in Regular conversation?) "Hi Doc, lately I've been acting a bit crepuscular, should I take anything for that?" "Yes, 2 ounces of Scotch and call me in the morning."

      Since, evidently, my humor setting is set to way more subtle than needed, given my prior comment....
      "Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (i.e., the period immediately after dawn and that immediately before dusk). It is thus to be distinguished from diurnal and nocturnal behavior where an animal is active during the hours of daylight or the hours of darkness respectively. The term is not precise, however, as some crepuscular animals may also be active on a moonlit night or during an overcast day. The term matutinal is used for animals that are only active before dawn, and vespertine for those only active after sunset." Source

      Delete
    2. @a bear - so they've been conning me all these years.

      Ah ha!

      Delete
    3. @Juvat - hahaha.

      Well, a bear would know these things, the source you cite also says this:

      Many familiar mammal species are crepuscular, including some bats, hamsters, housecats, stray dogs, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and rats. Other crepuscular mammals include jaguars, ocelots, strepsirrhines, red pandas, bears, deer, moose, chinchillas, the common mouse, skunks, Australian wombats, wallabies, quolls, possums and marsupial gliders, spotted hyenas, bobcats, tenrecidae, capybaras, African wild dogs and sitatunga. Crepuscular birds include the common nighthawk, owlet-nightjar, chimney swift, American woodcock and spotted crake.

      Delete
    4. Well, I HAVE been known to use it as an excuse when caught napping at work, so.

      Delete
    5. I have it on good authority that I'm mostly despicular.

      Delete
    6. The Google can't even explain that. But you aren't the only one ever to have used that term.

      ???

      Delete
    7. Combination of despicable and peculiar. Who am I to argue with good authority?

      Delete
  8. I worked night check so much in the navy. Nothing like fresh, warm doughnuts at 0400, courtesy of the squadron cook who doesn't have to wait in line at sick call because he delivers fresh doughnuts to the BDS. Also nothing like heading home at the end of the day when the sun is on the rise and all the other poor saps are dragging in to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do remember coming down initial one time at Holloman at sunrise, pitching out over the main gate and seeing the long line of cars waiting to come on base and begin their day. It was a nice feeling to know that my day was almost over, but then I remembered, it relied on the ability of a 2LT to land the jet. Back to work!

      Delete
    2. Watching the day shifters stagger in as you head off to the rack.

      Priceless.

      Delete
    3. Sounds like Juvat had the best view of the day shifters heading in!

      Delete
    4. There are some compensations, Shaun.
      I was night check for most of my naval service. As you know, on a carrier working nights, if your duties don't require your presence on a weather deck, you can go for a looong time without seeing the sun, if you're really busy. If I had the time, I spent some off-duty time outside anyway. I loved watching the ocean. Never got tired of it, right up to my EAOS.
      Then again, I was weird. I knew a ton of sailors who couldn't wait to rotate to shore duty (never understood why they joined the USN; it's not like Navy hid the fact that we were sorta associated with ships & water). I preferred being at sea to on the beach: I was single, a loner, & not an alcoholic, so I was different from some anyhow.
      --Tennessee Budd

      Delete
    5. I have spent many hours on land, and on a ship at sea, just watching the ocean. It never gets old.

      Delete
  9. Then you should appreciate my day - I woke up around eight and began to contemplate the day, when I was suddenly seized by a ginormous rack monster who threw me down, and I was not able to escape until noon. I had to opt for "brunch".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha!

      I have wrestled that beast myself. I always "lose."

      Delete
  10. And all this time I thought diurnal meant two bathrooms! Amazingly I didn't need to use one of mine until 0800- a full night's sleep for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, see Juvat's and Alemaster's comments above.

      (And yes, I hear you Tuna, I really do.)

      Delete
    2. Must be an Aviator thing. Or, perhaps the TransPac tale was weighing heavily on my.....mind.

      Delete
    3. Hahaha!

      (Yes, on your mind, that's it.)

      Delete
  11. It just gets better and better.

    Paul

    ReplyDelete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)