I have a unique morning routine: I wake up by fighting with my cat, Toby. See, I struggle to find the motivation to leave the comfort of my bed on days I have obligations to be anywhere in the morning. I set several alarms on my phone: 9:00 a.m., 9:01 a.m., 9:02 a.m., 9:03 a.m. and so on. However, I am well-versed in the art of laziness and doing nothing. 

I used to keep my phone under my pillow, but that stopped working after half-asleep me realized I could just deactivate my alarms and return to my dreams. I adapted by placing my phone at the other side of the room before falling asleep, but this stopped working after about a week when half-asleep me realized I could leave bed, walk over to my phone, deactivate my alarms, climb back into bed and return to my dreams. I felt this couldn’t go on, so I constructed a plan. One that I’m proud to say has worked brilliantly so far. 

I knew from experience that Toby gets hungry around 7:00 a.m., and will stop at nothing to be fed. I started leaving my door open at night. Every morning around seven, Toby crosses that threshold. He whines for a bit before attacking the cardboard I keep in my room for his entertainment. 

I then wake up, annoyed by all the commotion he is making. Eventually I get irritated enough to leave my bed, kick him out and close the door on him. I call this little scenario my pre-morning routine. It is an important step in the plan because the next time I wake up, I’m always a little less disoriented.

I fall back asleep for two more hours before my phone goes off on the other side of my room. I’m forced to get up and snooze the alarms. On my way back, I take the crucial step of reopening my door so that Toby is able to annoy me out of bed once more. This step is key! If I forget to open the door, I will sleep the day away! 

Within thirty seconds, Toby re-enters my room and repeats the whining and cardboard destroying. Despite the overwhelming power that laziness has over my life, I’m emotionally incapable of kicking Toby out of the room for a second time because I’m afraid that he will hate me and cease cuddling with me.

Once Toby realizes that his typical tactics have no effect on me, he resorts to attacking my books. I keep my favorite books on a ground-level shelf a couple feet away from my bed. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have jumped out of bed just a moment before Toby destroys one of my books. 

What can I say: the destruction of my personal property spurs me to action. After I rescue my books from the jaws of that little monster, I feel energized enough to get dressed and feed him.

Now I’m no biologist, but I believe Toby and I have what they call a symbiotic relationship. He exorcizes the laziness from my body: I feed him. It’s a win-win.