She groaned as she heard the familiar whine, their new form of wake up call. Turning over, rubbing her sleep laden eyes, she glanced in the direction of the clock. 4.30 am, too early for any normal human. Swinging her legs over the side of the bed she paused a while, trying to muster the energy.
At the top of the landing the cats began their own form of dawn chorus, enthusiastic purrs that made her smile.
Creeping gingerly downstairs the whining had intensified into full blown excitement. Opening the crate door she was bowled over by a black bundle of energy, anxious for her morning routine.
As though on auto pilot she began the task of feeding the animals, flicking the kettle on as she went. The promise of a mug of tea a big motivation.
Stepping outside she began to walk, dog bounding at her side. Becoming more conscious with each step yet feeling herself lost in the magic of the hour. The moment when the start of the day hangs in the balance as night has yet to release its hold.
Returning to her front step, mug of tea in hand, she takes a long sip and exhales. Last nights dream clinging uncomfortably to her like a wet pair of jeans.
In the distance her eye catches the flash of a pink collar and she hears the clamp of jaws as they catch some poor unsuspecting insect . . . and so begins another day.