Watson and Isobel have experienced the one-human thing before, but not since Edmund left the Army. For the first four years of their lives, he would disappear for periods ranging from the inside of a week to a month when he went "on circuit", as lawyers say, to do trials.
They are maintaining standards, getting me up at 0600 hr and claiming their late-afternoon treat at 1700. Nagging me to go to bed will certainly come with time; until now, they didn't have to, as we usually toddled off before the cats were ready to call it a night. But my hours are erratic right now, as I have so much to do and I still suffer badly from disrupted sleep, so the cats are checking in every hour or so to find out whether I'm awake yet. So far, the answer is usually Yes.
The only notable change is that whenever I sit down and put my feet up, both cats immediately climb aboard; the second one to get the big idea doesn't bother waiting for Lap Two to appear in the sitting room.
And Isobel has just about learned to eat all her meals on the floor. Edmund always gave her her routine treats on the dining-room table, but I'm not having that any more.