Butterfly Kisses

Remember that song? It was a hit a few years ago, a very sappy but kinda catchy tune about a dad mourning his little girl having grown up. I suspect most kids at the time thought it was a gag-me sort of song, and most adults thought it was sweet. I liked it (didn’t love it), but I always wondered… how freakishly long were the eyelashes on that little girl? If she was hugging her dad and he could feel her eyelashes fluttering against his cheek, she either had mutant lashes or he was holding so tight her eyes were popping out and the poor kid couldn’t breath. It’s amazing she survived long enough for him to write the song and smother the airwaves with it.

I thought about that song yesterday morning as I was climbing out of bed. I wake up every morning – a lot earlier that I would actually like – to whisker kisses. They start at about 4 in the morning; Max jumps up on the bed and very quietly creeps up to my face, sniffing my nose, checking to see if my eyes are open. I can feel his whiskers tickle my face, but I know better than to open my eyes. Once he’s satisfied that I’m still asleep, he crawls over me and either plops down on the bed to sleep, curling up and jamming his furry little body as close to me as he can (what is it about my ass? Is he trying to flatten it or what?), or he jumps onto the nice, soft window perch that the Spouse Thingy hung for him.

Like clockwork, he’s back at 8:30. During those 4½ hours that he lets me sleep he snoozes a while, then gets up when the Spouse Thingy does and helps him get ready for work (because, after all, we all know that the Spouse Thingy could not get ready properly without his help), and then he waits. Sometimes patiently, sometimes not. Once in a while I hear him, standing out in the hall by his dish, meowing his little head off, but for the most part he waits until the time he knows I should be getting up. He jumps on the bed and starts to sniff, his whiskers tickling my face.

He’s not so willing to let me stay asleep by then. If my eyes don’t open, the whiskers on my face become his head butting into my nose (which is still pretty tender from the surgery almost 3 months ago), and he starts nagging me. I don’t need to speak Kitty to understand what he’s saying.

“Get up. I’m hungry. Get up, I want food. Get up, dammit, get up get up get up!”

I either roll over – which does no good because he crawls over my body and starts the whole thing up all over again – or I open my eyes and let him know I know he’s there. That’s all he needs, to just know that I’m awake, and that I’ll get up soon to feed him. As soon as my eyes are open I get another healthy dose of whisker kisses, and he drops down onto his side to cuddle up against me, squirming and twisting, trying to get me to pet and adore him.

It used to annoy me, the clockwork precision way he’d check me out at 4 in the morning, every morning, and how he pushes me to get up before I really want to. But I thought about that corny little song, and realized that if he stopped doing it, I’d miss it.

At least I don’t have to squish his little head that close to feel his whiskers. I still wonder about that kid in the song, and if her head is all squarshed out of shape…

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