I was driving in to work this morning, and though about all the habits and rituals in my life.  Think about it — we’re all creatures of habit and we tend to resist change because we like our rituals even if they’re unhealthy or bad in some way.

My alarm goes off at 6:00 each morning — the clock is set 13 minutes fast.  It’s a psychological thing for me but I think it’s also to ensure that my brain begins the function upon awakening…you know, having to do the math.  I hit the snooze button and roll over and snuggle up against Lisa.  At 6:10 it goes off again and I hit the snooze button again, and settle back in.  This goes on every 10 minutes until 6:50 when I know the alarm will not go off again.  At 6:50 I turn on the clock radio and we semi-snooze and semi-listen to the radio.

When the clock shows 7:00 I get up, pause for a few moments to pet Idgie who is almost always curled up against Lisa’s legs and go into the bathroom, usually stepping over Simba who is typically splayed out on his back, spread-eagle, snoozing away.

As I sit on the toilet, Simba comes in and I softly talk to him and pet him.  Flush the toilet, put the lid down, turn on the shower, watch Simba jump onto the toilet and settle down.  Shower.  Open shower curtain to get my towel, and there sits Simba, still “guarding” me.

As I dry off, he bats at the towel, sometimes snagging it.  I giggle, rough him up a bit on the head, fold my towel and replace it.  Over to the sink, pour some plaque remover into a cup and then into my mouth.  As I swish, I fill a tiny paper cup with water and turn to Simba who drinks, gulping loudly, from the cup.  When he’s done, I spit and then brush my teeth.  Take my meds, put on deoderant, go back into the bedroom and turn on a light after covering Lisa’s face with blanket (if she’s still in bed).

Open the dresser, get out socks and underwear, put them on.  Sit on the bed and pet Idgie some more.  Put on jeans and sneakers, go across the hall to the “closet room” and select a shirt for the day.  Iron the shirt, put it on, dry my hair, run the curling iron through it.

Go to the kitchen stepping over Simba at every step — he’s weaving in and out through my feet.  By now, there are three cats crouched in various spots of the kitchen.  Simba by the food dishes, Cedar by the refrigerator, and Idgie near the dishwasher (far away from Cedar).  Put food into the dishes and Simba dives in.  Milk on a saucer near the fridge for Cedar and on another one farther away from Cedar for Idgie.  Rinse out my travel mug and pour coffee into it, get something out of the freezer or cupboard for lunch and pack it into my backpack, search the living room for my keys and cell phone, then head toward the door where, by now, Simba waits to be let out at the sliding patio door that goes out back, and Cedar waits to go out the front door with me.  Stoop down and pet Cedar, reminding her that she’s loved and that Mommy would really appreciate it if she’d make the effort to come home because I don’t want to have to worry about her.  We exit stage front and our days begin.

It seems my routine, is all about cats.  A couple of years ago, before we lost Tigga, I used to sit on the stairs that led to the front door to put my shoes on.  Put on a sock, love on Tigga.  Put on a shoe, love on Tigga.  Tie one shoe, love on Tigga.  Repeat for other foot.  After we lost Tigga, I was lost myself.  Just that one little thing missing in the moring screwed up my entire day it seemed.

It really makes you wonder who has who trained, doesn’t it?