The other day I saw a sticker that said, “Dogs come when called, cats take a message”.
Yes, cats are smart, but just exactly how smart are they? Very smart, let me assure you.
Mom and Dieter set an alarm clock every night, to wake them up in the morning, but this is completely unnecessary. After years of watching the comings and goings in this house, I know that Dieter has to get up at 6:00 a.m. and he really doesn’t need an alarm to wake him. He’s got me.
Every morning, around the time that he has to start his day, I start singing to him. Sometimes that's enough to wake him, sometimes my voice brings little or no reaction. He grunts, but he doesn’t move and keeps his eyes tight shut. Of course, I don’t give up.
If singing to him doesn’t help, I switch to plan B ... trampling all over him. I walk up his legs, across his back, even over his head. The result ... more grunting and on occasion irritated “Cha-nel!” No movement though, so now it time for the heavy artillery.
I position myself next to his head, stick me cold wet nose in his ear and go “Krrr, krrr, krrr.” That does it. He rises and mumbling makes his way to the bathroom. Mission accomplished.
Speaking of which, years ago I had a brother called Floppy who had a wake-up call technique of his own. He would position himself on top of mom and start with “Krrr, krrr, krrr”. If she ignored him he would ever so softly touch her nose with one of his front paws. If that didn’t work he would lick her nose. If that still didn’t have the required result he would, as a last resort, lean over and bite her nose. That would bring on an irritated “Aaaauw!”. The bad news ... her nose would be sore; the good news ... she would be awake.
Floppy performed this ritual every day, but on the sixth day the result was quite different. Mom would get upset and tell Floppy to leave her alone, that it was weekend and that she wanted to sleep in. Well, all she had to do was say so.
From then on, every Friday night, mom would say to Floppy “Flop, don’t wake me tomorrow hu. Tomorrow is Saturday and the day after it’s Sunday and I don’t have to get up.” Floppy understood and slept in too.
So if you’re ever wondering if we cats can tell time or understand you ... you bet we can, we’re smarter than you think.