It took me a while this morning to do some morning things. It was very damp this morning outside. Before I did anything at all (except my bathroom trip, which she patiently puts up with), I wished her a Good Morning. I fed her. I cleaned her overnight litter issues. I propped open the back door for her. She ate, took a little walk outside to check our lot. When she came back in, she gave me that look which said: "Okay. It's damp out there. I ate. I walked. Please sit on the lift chair, raise your legs, and make me a lap so I can get all warmy on your plump, puffy body!"
I couldn't do that right at that moment. I had to gather the trash from various baskets in each room and then bag it and take it to the curb. I had to make my coffee and my oatmeal. I had to check my emails and my Etsy shop (in case there was an overnight order, which there rarely is). I checked the weather forecast, traffic and area incidents on the morning tv news.
Along the way, she asked me again to let her sit on me, and I told her mommy was very, very, very sorry but mommy still had to finish her oatmeal and either soak or wash the dishes, and do one or two more things.
Eventually, she heaved a cat-sigh, trudged into the back bedroom, and got up at the top of my bed. After I get up each morning, I pull up my covers nice and neat, and quickly put an old flannel sheet, folded, across the top of my bed. I arrange it so that it gently slopes up about a foot onto my pillow, so her highness can lie there with her head on my pillow. After she arranged herself, she gave me this pitiful look of disappointment.
I apologized once more, and I know throughout the day, I will ask her to come on my lap and she'll give me that "Well, maybe you have time for ME now, but I might not have time for YOU now" look.
How and where do they learn to manipulate that guilt inside us?