I think I'm going to have to kill Atticus.
For the past few (several??) weeks, he's been waking up about an hour before my alarm goes off, ready to eat. I do my best to ignore him, but let me paint you a little picture of my mornings lately:
Hubs and I are sound asleep, enjoying our last precious minutes of dreamtime. It is 5:00 a.m. I am suddenly awakened by the sound of loud purring and the sensation of kitty breath on my face. My eyes start to open and I see two giant green eyes staring back at me in the darkness. It occurs to me that the alarm has yet to go off, so I close my eyes quickly hoping that Atticus didn't notice I'm actually awake. He did. He sniffs my face and I roll over, hoping to knock him back to the floor in the process. He walks over me. I choose to ignore this. He creeps up to my face again and crouches down with his nose inches from mine. I squeeze my eyes shut and try not to move. Eventually he gives up and jumps back down to the floor, where he lets out a couple parting meows that echo off the wood floors and plaster walls.
Two minutes later, just as I'm beginning to doze off again, Atticus starts the routine all over again. He jumps up on the bed, sticks his nose in my face with a loud purr, waits for me to ignore him and jumps back down. This goes on for the next 45 minutes until the alarm goes off. Occasionally he takes a break to play with a stray piece of carpet on the rug, a string, or just to tear around the house for a few minutes.
The key is for us humans to be as still as possible and under no circumstances talk to him. Once Atticus is SURE one of us is awake, he doubles his efforts to get us out of bed. If we pretend well enough that we are actually asleep, sometimes, once in a great while, he'll give up altogether and go back to sleep until the alarm goes off.
That didn't happen today and I got not a wink of sleep after the initial wake-up call.
I don't know how to fix this behavior! If I leave the bedroom door closed he will scratch at it incessantly until we let him in (he MUST have free access to all rooms that we are occupying. He's a people person). It's not only horribly irritating but it damages the paint too. If I give him a self-feeding food dish, he will eat all day and night and we'll have to rename him Porky. I am taking suggestions!