the new normal

kittens  001Every morning – sometimes at 3am, sometimes at 6am or any time in between – I am gently and (we’ll say) lovingly woken up. I slowly come to when I feel a light weight cross my body (usually my back because I sleep on my stomach), and I feel a hard, wet, increasingly persistent little pressure nudging to get under my arm that is hiding my face and hands.

And then I get a swat and a meow right in the face.

Fang has decided if she’s awake, I need to be awake.

Not Khaleesi (that little angel who is now my favorite). And not Andrew. But just Fang and me.

Fang is our troublemaker. Our please-don’t-hold-me-and-I’ll-move-away-from-you-if-you-try-to-pet-me neurotic little girl. My co-worker calls her special needs. So, when Khaleesi is melting into a puddle of intensely loud purring in your lap, Fang is sitting *just* out of your reach studiously ignoring you.

Khaleesi purrs like a friggin jackhammer if you bring her fresh water. Fang complains if you pet her.

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Over the last couple months that we’ve had the kittens I’ve made it my goal to try to figure out how to get Fang to just relax already. Turns out the only way to hold her where she doesn’t squirm is to basically brace her in, using your arm like a seatbelt. Khaleesi, in contrast, loves to be held like a baby, will let herself be held as long as you want to hold her, and will run from the other room if she notices your lap is free.

My next discovery was that there are tiny little periods of every day when Fang DOES want attention. But only then and only on her terms.

If you ever come over to Schubert HQ and want a little love from Fang here are the stages:

  • Stage 1 : Wait for her to fall asleep
  • Stage 2: Once you are sure she’s asleep start petting her around her neck and shoulders. Scratching. She likes it rough.
  • Stage 3: At this point, she will likely wake up enough to recognize being pet isn’t half bad and get up to move closer to you or even (!!) get on your lap.
    This may be all you get.
    Like I said, her terms only.
    However, there are times that she will enjoy the petting so much you’ll get to stage 4
  • Stage 4: Crazy intense purring and incessantly rubbing her face against your hands no matter where they are. She does not sit down at all but instead paces back and forth for optimal face rubbing.
    And she drools.
    If you’re fortunate enough to get to stage 4 you’ll have to put up with the drool dripping from her mouth because she is so delirious with the joy of the attention that she can’t be responsible for her bodily functions.

And THIS my friends is what I wake up to EVERY.SINGLE.MORNING.

Fang has somehow woken herself up in the middle of the night and decided that she needs attention right that very second. Stage 4. Every morning. So she finds me, finds my hands to rub her face against (even if they’re under the pillow) and drools.

Sometimes I try to pet her and wait it out – time seems excruciatingly long at 430a. Sometimes I try to hide my hands or feign sleeping  hoping she’ll go away.

andrew  025

And then she bats me in the face.

Leave a Comment

  • Jenae October 4, 2012, 9:49 am


    I like her.

  • Julie Schubert October 4, 2012, 10:52 am

    This is the BEST story.

  • Nancy October 6, 2012, 12:21 pm

    Funny! Great cat stories. I seem to remember someone else who only wanted attention on her own terms.

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