1. Absolutely nothing.
2. Test out the stamina of your alarm clock. You’ve always wondered how many times you can hit the snooze button until it just stops working and you wake up the next day. (It explains all this in the manual, of course, but you haven’t seen the manual since you first opened the box.) Change the alarm setting to “radio”, then keep hitting the little bar every time an annoying pop starlet starts bellowing some pointless song about rainbows. When the little urchin is finally dead, write down how long it took for Lady Kesha Spears to pass on. You now have a guideline for future reference.
3. Train the cat to bring you the TV remote, even if the remote is sitting right there on the nightstand. Two feet is a lot of distance to cover when you’re not in the mood.
4. If the training goes well, reward the cat by listlessly moving your foot around under the covers, so kitty will be convinced that something is under there that must be killed.
5. Think about actually getting out of bed at some point. If the thought of such an activity brings a tear to your eye, you’re not ready. Baby steps, people.
6. Pick up the TV remote, brush off the cat hair, stare at the number buttons as you try to think of what channel might have something interesting on at the moment, then set the remote aside. Some people just aren’t very good at math in the morning, and you really don’t want to push yourself.
7. While shifting around to get more comfortable, because lying around on your ass is a very intricate process, you discover something cold, flat and hard under the demarcation pillow that is used to clearly distinguish your side of the bed from your partner’s side. You pull said object out into the light. It’s your phone. Why was it there? Did I really not think I could sleep without it? This is entirely too much to think about, so toss the phone on the bed beside you so Kitty can pounce on it like Jesus just dropped a brick of catnip.
8. Sigh and turn on the TV anyway. Flip through the hundreds of channels, not stopping on anything because, even though several programs sound interesting, you don’t know if you can go on living if you missed something more important on one of the higher channels. When you hit the music-only channels, sigh again and throw the remote next to the your phone on the bed while Juice Newton wails about us calling her an angel and Kitty has a small catgasm over a new playtoy.
9. Ponder for a while about how much fun it would be if you were a cat. You sleep, you play, you eat. Every day is full of the wonder of sleeping and playing and eating. Then again, you have to go boo in a gritty box of pellets that manage to stick to your claws until you can successfully fling them down a random hallway for Daddy to stomp on in the middle of the night. Hmmm.
10. Stare at the ceiling and realize that it really needs to be painted. (What the hell happened in the corner over there, with the odd brown spots? Did somebody have a mustard fight? Why do I not know about this?) Then remember that the last time you and your partner decided to paint anything, there was a colossal disagreement on everything from the color to the texture to the way one should properly hold their brush whilst perched atop a rickety ladder and wearing poor-choice painting couture of cut-offs and flip-flops. The fallout from that extravaganza meant nobody had any sex for at least a month. Nope, we won’t be painting today.
11. Congratulate yourself on having marked ten activities off your list, even though you didn’t even know you had a list when you first woke up. As celebration for your hard work, take a small nap. Or three.
12. You awaken to an odd, insistent sound. You glance at the alarm clock. Nope, not that. You look at the cat, who is forcefully licking at a private part with a determination equal to a Tea Party member refusing to read a book. No, probably not that either. Then the sound comes again, and you realize that somebody is ringing your doorbell. Aw, hell no. It should be against the law to ring someone’s doorbell at eight o’clock in the morning. Then you glance at the alarm clock again. It’s after ten. Oh. Well, maybe they’ll just go away.
13. The doorbell rings again. The cat pauses in mid-hygiene routine, with one leg perfectly hoisted straight in the air, which is both an envious and an annoying ability. Dude, you gonna do something about that? I’m kinda busy.
14. You sigh again, which is what you’re always doing at work, so you might as well be there. You throw back the covers, a move that sends Kitty tumbling and is sure to become a plot point when Kitty files papers about child abuse, and stagger to your feet. You approach the front bedroom window that reveals that least amount of your body, because you haven’t worked out since 1982, and, well, you’re sort of naked, and cautiously peer out a one-inch gap in the window treatment. (We’ll ignore the fact that there’s a half-inch layer of dust on said treatment. We all have different priorities.)
15. Your stunned eyes discover that there are several cars parked in the street, still running, as chaperoning moms wait while a horde of pre-teen girls are stomping all over the neighborhood, lugging boxes of cookies. Oh. My. God. Is it cookie time again? Didn’t we just do that? Why are they so insistent? If this country could just harness our financial engine to the backs of little girls who really, really, really want to go to camp next summer, we would never have a financial deficit again.
16. The doorbell rings again. Okay, seriously? Why is that little Honey Boo Boo not giving up? Why isn’t one of the perfectly-coiffed, committee-attending moms not marching up to Honey and explaining to her that if you ring a doorbell 47 times, the inhabitants of the house are either not home or they are dead. Neither situation will help you reach your goal. Let go and let God.
17. Amazingly, one of the Stepford Wives honks. Oh, happy joy. There’s the sound of something happening on my front porch, and then Little Trixie suddenly appears in my line of vision, racing up to an SUV that cost more than my house. It seems that Trixie is a bellower, and I can catch every word of her status report: “Mommy, there’s somebody home. I can hear them.” (My eyes widen. Hear me? What can you hear? My nudity? The incessant licking of a cat that really, really wants to be clean?)
18. June Cleaver smiles at her willful child. “Honey, maybe they just left the TV on for their kitty or doggy, like we do when Mommy has to go to an appointment with her divorce lawyer. It helps keep the kitties and puppies calm and happy so they don’t slice people open with their claws in the middle of the night.” Little Trixie nodded sagely, as if recalling a recent event wherein an animal thought domesticated and gone all ghetto and shifty. “Yeah, TV’s should be on for kitties.”
19. My own cat, Scotch, stopped in mid-lick, leg still hoisted, glaring at me. “What is this about entertainment when my daddies are not here? Why am I not aware of this? I must know more.” He leapt to his paws and did that odd shake cats have when they are trying to rid themselves of things that no one else can see. I felt a tingle of panic. “Scotch, my pretty kitty” I said soothingly, “don’t listen to the little urchin with the big mouth. She’s in a different tax bracket than we are, and they lead different lives.” Scotch studied me momentarily, his cryptic and possibly sociopathic mind contemplating his next move.
20. Then he raced up beside me, leapt up to the window sill in that stunning way cats have of leaping forty times their own height, snagged a drape with one of his weapon-like claws, and whisked the material aside, exposing my anatomy to the world. Before I could even engage my mind to react, June and Trixie both turned toward the window and suddenly had a whole lot to talk about in their next therapy session.
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