Recently a fellow bloggist posted a comment on my last post which read as follows: "How can you leave housepets off your list? I swear my cat saves all her grooming time for late at night. Not to mention the occasional snoring. The morning routine is no less pleasant. If you don't spring out of bed to freshen the kibble or let the beast out, there will be yowling at 5 minute intervals."
Gack, don't get me started. Our cranky Elder Cat and our fun-loving (obnoxious) Fluffy Butt Cat are constantly at it, and the early morning hours are the preferred time for skirmishing. Cat hygiene is not nearly the problem as dog hygiene, which thankfully for us is mainly limited to knuckle-chewing by one of the dogs. (I mean as far as noise goes; they do engage in hygiene, just not generally noisy hygiene.) Even noisier: dog water bowl action, especially by the larger dog who has a bit of an impairment. SLUPSLUPSLUPSLUPSLUP!
Oh, and if anyone rings the door bell, approaches the house, walks past the house, looks at the house, breathes near the house, or thinks about the house in any way, the dogs go completely apeshit berserk and bark their fool heads off until we confine them to the bedroom. They still bark there but it's muffled by the door and therefore less annoying. (But I must admit that I do feel slightly safer knowing that if any criminal types ever try to gain access to our house while we are in it, our dogs will keep them at bay for at least an extra three to four seconds, during which time we will call 911 but they won't be able to hear us for all the barking.)
Let us not forget the chickens, both hens, who occasionally go off (bock bock bock bock bock bock bock bock BA-KAWK!!!!) for no apparent reason in the early hours of the morning. Throwing them food doesn't stop them but letting the dogs out does. Must be why we own dogs. I can't think of any other reason.