Phase 1 (the “busy” phase) – First he just clambers around the room in a busy fashion, circling around, jumping on cupboards, knocking things over, general “busy-ness”. There’s the slight, niggling concern that he’s chewing up my one and only pair of glasses that I’ve left exposed on the bedside table, but I’m so ridiculously tired at this point I’d happily go blind for a year if I could get one more hour of shuteye. At this stage Smudge has yet to make physical contact.
Phase 2 (the “kneady” phase) – Smudge begins doing this kneading thing with his paws against my chest. It’s really quite harmless and cute. However, the cuteness of this technique completely belies his diabolical intentions and does little to prepare me for the pure horror to follow.
Phase 3 (the “Machiavellan” phase) – Smudge starts becoming aggressively affectionate. This by itself would be OK, if a tad annoying, but he sprinkles this behaviour with little nibbles and one-two jabs of his paw against my face. Although I’ve properly awoken at this point, I’m still quite sluggish and absolutely powerless to do anything about this. Needless to say, it’s hell.
Phase 4 (the “final” phase) – Any pretenses of niceness have dropped at this point and in addition to the bites and punches to the face, he starts headbutting me as well. Yep, he’s pretty much charging like a bull … and headbutting me in the face. This usually does the trick and with a loud, resigned cry of “ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT” I go feed Smudge his breakfast.
Of course, I could always close the door the night before to prevent this torture, but it’s actually a pretty good way of getting out of bed.