My cat, Lou, did not come home last night, but at 6:02 AM was meowing at our bedroom’s sliding glass door. Because my heart isn’t even close to cold enough to ignore the mews of my cat until 6:30, when I had programmed our alarm clock to wake my wife and me, I jumped out of bed, ran to the back door, let him in, poured a 1/3 cup of dried food into his dish, left the back door open so he could come and go as he liked, and hurried back to bed, all the while trying to keep my eyes half-closed so I could continue to entertain the fantasy that I would steal another half-hour of sleep. Five minutes later, Lou was meowing in the hallway outside my bedroom door. Had the back door closed somehow? I staggered out of bed. Lou meowed up at me, once, in greeting.

“What is it, Lou?” This was all bothersome enough that I felt I deserved an answer.

I got none.  Instead, Lou turned and trotted out the still-open back door.  Apparently, he had just wanted to say thanks.

I can’t say I didn’t appreciate the gesture. I like sleep, but I like a cat that will wake me up just to say, “Hey, there,” even more. Anyhow, I was up, so I made coffee and set to work. It was a good morning of writing. I always feel at home when the writing goes well. When the writing goes well, I am as content while waiting for the words to come as when they do. When the writing is going well, an extra 30 minutes of it is a gift.

When I was done I found Lou curled on the couch. An alert sleeper, he will look up when his name is called. Not this morning. It was too bad he was so exhausted from his night of catting. I would have liked to thank him for waking me early. It was only then that I remembered I hadn’t been sleeping at all when he meowed at the sliding glass door—I’d been lying awake with my eyes closed, waiting for something to tell me it was time to write.

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