Light Notes

Our alarm cat

Most people have an alarm clock.

We have an alarm cat.

No batteries required. It runs by its own power.

Weekends, holidays, everyday -- our kitty automatically sets itself to rouse us at its designated time. We’ve tried to hit the snooze button, but it’s always just out of reach.

This is a smart alarm cat.

Oreo -- the breathing timepiece -- is like a ticking time bomb. One minute, she’s feigning sleep at the foot of the bed.

The next, she’s launching herself to the head -- mine.

It’s not easy being awakened by a rocket grenade, even if it does purr.

When this tactic doesn’t get my feet onto the cold floor, this feline switches to another mode. Buzzing past me, she heads to the other lump in the blankets -- a new task on her hands, which are half-past Bill’s good ear.

There, this traveling alarm nudges the overhead lampshade -- one that’s a bit loose.

Squeak . . . squeak . . . squeak . . . squeak.

The lump stirs.

Squeak . . . squeak . . . squeak. . . .

A hand emerges from the blanket. Empty space meets it.

I mentioned it’s a smart alarm cat, right?

The blinking face, hovering only seconds before, is now at the floor-length vertical blinds. In a New York minute, Oreo wedges her body in between the slats, effectively demonstrating how to “draw the drapes.”

By this time, we’ve seen the light. There’ll be no more Zs at this house.


Without a doubt, this alarm cat deserves a lump of coal in its stocking. In spite of this, I’ve wanted to surprise Oreo and put some cat toys under the tree.

But I’ve changed my mind.

I can’t bear the thought of getting up any earlier Christmas morning. After all, Oreo is a very smart cat.