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Pets and “Daylight Savings Time Madness”

By Gary Bogue
Monday, April 3rd, 2006 at 1:06 pm in Daylight Savings Time, Pets.

It case you haven’t already figured it out, our pets hate Daylight Savings Time.

Spring forward, fall back, whatever the reason or season, it means change and dogs, cats, birds and even pet king cobras hate change.
Case in point: My cats, Tut and Newman.

The cats both like to sit at the table when Lois and I have breakfast or dinner, hoping against hope that something edible will fall on the floor. They know we have Sunday breakfast about 8 a.m., after we sit around the kitchen table for a couple of hours slurping coffee and reading the morning papers.

Last Sunday they came walking up to the table at 8 a.m., ready to share our breakfast. Only we already had breakfast an hour earlier because Daylight Savings begins on the first Sunday in April and we sprang forward an hour on Saturday night before we went to bed.

What was 8 a.m. for the cats and time for breakfast, was now 9 a.m. for us and time for a walk in the rain.

Dinner was the same way. They showed up to see what was cooking at 7 p.m., and we were watching TV because we’d already dined at 6 p.m.

Monday I staggered downstairs as I always do to turn on tea water for Lois and then head off for work at 4:30 a.m. The cats looked up bleakly from the couch and wanted to know what the "meow" I was doing getting up at 3:30 a.m. in the morning and spoiling their sleep?

I’m bringing all this information to your attention because I suspect you’re having some or all of these problems, in one shape or another with your own animal companions.

Animals don’t understand it when we humans mess with Mother Nature, and especially when we mess with time. Actually, I don’t think we humans understand it all that much, either ("I know the clock says 9 a.m. but it’s really 8 a.m., isn’t it?")

Anyway … please be patient with your confused pets for the next week or so that it’s going to take them to get used to this new schedule.

And don’t forget yourself. Some people experience a kind of jet lag while their body is getting used to it being lighter when it expects it to be darker.

I’m curious if you’ve encountered similar "Daylight Savings Time Madness" with your own pets, or with yourself.

Let us know if you have. Tell us about it. Confession is good for the soul.

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One Response to “Pets and “Daylight Savings Time Madness””

  1. jean - benicia Says:

    Hi, Gary,

    I’m responding a little late about the effect of daylight saving time on my dogs and cats.

    We have 3 cats and 2 Shelties. Both Shelties are close in age, only 8 1/2 months apart, but Java takes seriously the responsibility of being the oldest.

    On Saturday, Apr 2nd, as on so many weekend mornings before that, Java woke us up at 4am with his sharp little bark. It’s a bark that demands attention. He wants to go outside and then he wants to be fed breakfast. We sometimes feel he thinks he’s the “union rep” who must make sure breakfast is served on time everyday. During the work week, my husband gets up at 4:30, or so, and Java’s demands are satisfied.

    So, on Sunday, Apr 3rd, the first day of the time change, we expected to hear his sharp little bark at 5am. After all, the clocks would be “jumping” ahead an hour, right?

    But what we didn’t count on was the atomic clock receiver embedded in Java’s brain. On Sunday he barked his sharp little bark at 3:45am PDT!

    Our other Sheltie, Linus, and our cats (Modem, Smoke and Webster) all stumbled into the kitchen with question marks hanging over their heads. They didn’t turn down the food but they didn’t understand why they were being fed so early.

    I wonder now, in October when we gain that hour back, will Java give it back, too? Somehow I doubt it.

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