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Cat Behavior - Does Your Cat Give Itself Jobs?

My oldest cat has a very definite sense of herself. She has rules of behavior - for herself and for me when dealing with her. She takes herself quite seriously.

When she was about 2 years old, just getting totally past the kitten stage, she started assigning herself duties.

At the time, I was working a midnight to 7 am shift. I got up at 10 pm. After a while I noticed that if I wasn't up within 10 minutes of my alarm going off, Luna would be there working at waking me up. She started nicely, licking my eyelids and if that didn't work she progressed up the pain ladder - a few slaps across the face - up to the one that always worked - a claw inserted into my nostril and pressed down.

When I left that job and started working 2 part-time day jobs - with different starting times, within a week she had my schedule down pat.

She knew what time I usually went to bed and if I didn't make any moves, she would start patting me on the leg, meowing and trying to lead me to the bedroom.

She knew what times I got up on different days, and once again I got 10 minutes leeway from the time the alarm went off to get up. After a while I didn't need an alarm, she knew the time and got me up. I was never late for work.

The only unfortunate part of this is that cats don't know about statutory holidays, and I was always woken up even when I could legitimately sleep in.

I never get sick - have never had the flu, can't remember the last time I had a cold, so this came as a surprise to me. One evening I ate something that was off - spent most of the night with my head in the toilet. During the whole sorry episode Luna was with me. When I was hanging over the toilet, she was there. When I staggered back to bed between episodes she stretched out on the bed beside me. And when I was running to the bathroom, she was running with me. She never slept or left my side the whole time. It was very sweet and totally unexpected.

My other cat is still too young to feel the need to do anything but eat and play, but I'm wondering if eventually he too will decide to give himself a job, or whether Luna is unique in this way.

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