#AtoZChallenge: X-cellent, furry alarm clock

ollie for web
Oliver, (aka Ollie), my persistent alarm-clock cat! © Photo by Diane Weidenbenner, 2014.

Throwback Thursday post from 2016:

The alarm clock feature on the iPhone is quite dependable. Unless you are a consistent “snoozer” like I am. I like to wake up and hit the snooze button a few more times before doing my leg exercises and getting out of bed.

My orange, 12-year-old Manx cat, Oliver, (aka Ollie), has other ideas.

He enjoys snuggling in bed in the mornings but once the alarm goes off, he’s ready for breakfast. At first, he patiently waits for me to wake up and turn the alarm off (or “snooze it,” as I usually do). He quickly learns that if I go back to sleep, that things don’t move along as quickly as he’d like.

His first course of action is to head-butt me, to see if I rouse. If that doesn’t do the trick, Ollie then begins to nip/pinch me, through the back of my t-shirt. He then waits to see if the message has been received and if action will be taken.

The nipping becomes more frequent the more I hit the snooze button and return to slumber.

There are times like this morning when I begin my exercises and fall asleep in-between sets. This is especially annoying to him. I can almost hear him say, “For Pete’s sake, just when I had you going…” And, the nipping begins again.

If I’m facing him while doing the exercises, he sees no reason why he can’t receive chin scratches or back rubs as well. Of course, if I lose periodic consciousness, that doesn’t happen either, resulting in more nipping on extremities like my arms or cheek. Oh, the joys of parenting!

Does your pet have any morning routines that you’d like to share?


  1. Reply

    Great description. I almost felt like I was there, although I’m glad I missed the nipping. I’m an early riser and don’t have a pet at this time, but I still get up early. I try not to nip at my spouse who prefers to sleep in. 😉

    1. Reply

      Spouse-nipping? Good thing my husband doesn’t know about this early-morning, medieval torture! I think you need a pet, Linda!

  2. Reply

    my pets are little fish in a little aquarium, they don’t bother


    1. Reply

      Thank you for visiting my blog. Fish are nice and peaceful. But, don’t count on them to help you get up in the morning!

  3. Reply

    Thanks for stopping by. Returning the favour. We don’t have any cats at the moment (my son’s back home and he’s become allergic to them) but when we did one of them would just come and sit and cry by my bed until I provided food.

    Wendy’s Waffle

    1. Reply

      Yes, they can be quite vocal. Thanks for visiting! I can’t believe April is almost over.

  4. Reply

    Hi, Diane, I’ve just found your blog through the a-z challenge. Love your cat and morning description!

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    1. Reply

      Thanks for the visit and for the encouraging words.

  5. Reply

    My cat doesn’t wake me up but my dog is up for the challenge. Fortunately, his only technique is to stare me down which I don’t notice when sleeping although I do sometimes “sense” his eyes on me.

    Weekends in Maine

    1. Reply

      Yes, the proverbial “stare down” at your back. I get that too from our dog, and cats. Thank you for visiting!

  6. Reply

    I like the snooze button myself. The “boys” do not. Their dishes are empty in the morning and that is unacceptable. I know all about nipping and the occasional paw swipe.

    1. Reply

      Our dog won’t even eat his hard, crunchy food in the bowl. I’ve told him it’s “self-serve” but he still wants me to stand by and keep him company while he eats! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  7. Reply

    Due to allergy issues, our four furkids do not get to sleep with us at night, but they pile up at the bedroom door early in the morning and wait eagerly for any sign of life moving within. They know what time the alarm clocks go off, and on weekends let us know quite loudly that we have overslept and they are “starving” by being kept waiting so long for breakfast treats. If it goes too far past their tolerance limit, they will turn their backs when I come out, and if they sense I am awake but stalling by reading on my phone, they will shove paws and toys under the door to get my attention… who can resist flailing paws?!

  8. Reply

    Our yellow Lab slept with us (all 60 pounds of her), so when she was ready to get up, it was hard to ignore the racket she made clambering down off the bed. If we didn’t respond in a timely manner, she shook her head to flap her ears and show her annoyance. We learned early on it was just easier to get up and feed her, then come back to bed.

    1. Reply

      Isn’t it amazing how they figure out a way to get what they want? If they weren’t so darn cute 😉 Thanks for visiting my blog – I appreciate it.

  9. Reply

    My cat Orson doesn’t always sleep on my bed, but he’ll jump on it when he’s hungry for breakfast, expecting me to know that’s what he wants. If I even move slightly, he assumes I’;m getting up for him, and he runs into the kitchen to wait.

    Thanks for checking out my blog.

    1. Reply

      What a great name – Orson! Sometimes they look at us like we’re mind readers, right?! Kitties and pups are awesome. Thank you for the visit.

  10. Reply

    Hahaha! Pets make excellent alarm clocks. Loved your story. Ollie sure is insistant. 🙂 I’ve had dogs pawing me or barking at me to wake up. Others, if they’re on the bed sometimes lick my face. Everybody wants breakfast

    1. Reply

      They will find a way to communicate with us, no matter what. Thanks for visiting! I can’t believe it’s already the end of April.

  11. Reply

    Super cute. My X-cellent alarm clock is about 70 lbs. Jax – will sit on the bed and just stare at me every morning between 7-7:30a He just pants a few feet away from my head until I open my eyes. Gotta tell you, no matter how tired I am, I can’t help but smile because I feel so blessed to have him/them. Nice website – glad you found me… Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Reply

      I feel blessed to have Hershey, our dog, too. He’s 82 lbs. of pure love. When we adopted him, the shelter estimated he’d be 45 lbs. We actually got a California King-size bed so there would be room for him! I’m with you – I can have a bad day at work and come home and see his smiling face and everything is good. Joe, my husband, and I joke that he makes us feel like rock stars when he sees us. He’s always so happy to see us. He’s the pupparozzi. Thanks for visiting my blog and your comment.

  12. Reply

    OMG completely adorable!!! <3 I'm going to follow your blog 🙂 Found you through A Kinder Way's Meet and Greet

    1. Reply

      Thank you for visiting my blog and your comment! So glad for the Kinder Way’s Meet and Greet. Suffering from the post A2Z blog blues. https://akinderway.com/

  13. Reply

    Hey – you got there before me! I could have used our cat for the final, X post; though it’s usually DH he wakes. Remembering in particular one time he woke him in the small hours. We only found out later what he was trying to tell us, when DH put his slippers on in the morning, to find a dead mouse inside one of them! Thanks for visiting my A-Z.

    1. Reply

      So your kitty left you or DH a present – that’s an honor, you know?! Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Have a great weekend and I hope you find time to visit again.

  14. Reply

    My partner is dreadful at getting up in the morning and I’m always up long before he is. He can’t stay in bed for too long, though, because our cat starts to lick his nose! Came very late to your blog via the A to Z Challenge. I wish I’d found it before! However, I will be back.
    That’s Purrfect
    Around My Kitchen Table

    1. Reply

      Thanks for visiting my blog and your encouraging comment. I’ll be following you, for sure!

  15. Reply

    My cat is only unhappy when the bowl is empty. We try to remember to fill it at night just before coming to bed. I always know when it isn’t done…around 4:30 am…
    He has recently learned the trick to wake me AND get the dog in trouble! He gets the dog going by scratching on his cardboard, or in fact just going up to the dog, nipping her or batting her face while she sleeps. That causes the dog to bark or whimper (big Yellow Lab… large-ish white cat) and waken me.
    I come out half asleep and yell at the dog. Cat comes running up to me all meowy like he’s dying of starvation and the dog was bothering him.
    Animals can make strange events seem normal after a bit.
    Donna Smith
    Mainely Write

    1. Reply

      Thanks for sharing such endearing habits. I many times feel like my husband and I are the “staff” and the pets rule the house. Life sure would be boring with them! Have a good weekend and thanks for visiting.

  16. Reply

    My cat has started just standing outside the door and crying in the morning. I think he’s been lonely since our dog passed away.

    X – Brother XII, Canada’s Own Crazy Cultist!

    1. Reply

      Cats and dogs can form very strong bonds. Maybe kitty needs another kitty friend? Thanks for visiting my blog. I can’t believe that April is almost over.

  17. Reply

    My meow, her name is Maggie, follows me from room to room. She settles on the couch before I leave for work to begin her routine of the day. The guinea pigs, Lennie and Kermie, talk to me as I move from room to room so I won’t forget their adorable faces are there. Like I could forget them. The dog, she hangs around in my boys room. That’s her hidey hole.

    Once Upon A Time

    1. Reply

      So, are the guinea pigs safe with the cat and dog? My friend has two cats, two dogs, one guinea pig, a bird and… I think that’s it. And, they all get along. Amazing! Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Reply

    I don’t have pets.
    I am not sure if I am responsible enough to handle them 😛
    Cute post

    A Peice Of My Life

    1. Reply

      Maybe you could start off with a fish or plants, although I can keep pets alive but my poor plants didn’t stand a chance. Thanks for visiting!

  19. Reply

    That’s adorable. The joys cat alarms! “Arise, human, for I desire your attention!” Ha ha. I love cats.
    J — Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference and Speculative Fiction Writer

  20. Reply

    I haven’t had a cat in 18 years, but she used to sleep at the foot of my bed and about 5:50 (10 minutes before the alarm) would come up by my head in order to get rubbed before getting out of bed. I didn’t need the alarm!

  21. Reply


    We set the alarm clock and my iPhone alarm during the week. There’s no time for snoozing. On the weekends, we sleep until we’re ready to get up unless we have something planned. Thankfully we do not have children at home or pets, so that leaves one of us to get the other going.

    Art Sketching Through the Alphabet “X” (X-ray & Xena)

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