Anyway, Charlie (the orange cat) has proven himself to be a rather effective backup alarm clock. He has a three-stage system for when he decides that it's time for me to wake up and feed him:
STAGE 1: Poke 'im in the eye - Yep, he just kinda pokes my face until I open up my eyes.
STAGE 2: Lick his face - If the eye poke doesn't get me up, he'll lick my face. Sometimes he'll lick my lips or nostrils, but usually it's the eyelids. Sometimes stage 1 and stage 2 are reversed.
STAGE 3: Havoc - If neither the eye-poke or face-lick strategies work, he jumps on the bookshelf and knocks stuff off one item at a time until I get up to stop him. If I try and go back to bed, repeat.
This would be funny, except that he has a bad habit of starting this *before* my alarm clock has gone off.