Meet Jasper. He’s a bit mis-named, as he’s more like a tank than a delicate gem, but after 13 years we can’t change it now. Jasper likes to play alarm clock. Somewhere around 5:00 or 5:30 he starts gently tapping my side. Have I mentioned I’m ticklish? The little fiend knows that too, so of course I jerk every time he touches me which wakes me up. He then stares, as if the very force of his will alone will cause me to rise out of bed and cater to his needs.

I manage to ignore him for about an hour, at which point he becomes a bit surly and frustrated and will either use me as a human trampoline or howl at the top of his lungs while pacing the floor or, more likely, the bed. With me in it. He demands breakfast be served, and it must be fresh. He can’t be expected to eat the food in the bowl. That’s been there since last night!

Once he’s fed, it’s time for a post-meal nap. When he’s relaxed, he’ll put up with a lot of stuff—like hats perched on his belly. I tried to get the hat on his head but he didn’t think it fit well.

This is my furbaby, and he owns me. There is no question who wears the pants in our family. He does.