Domestic cats do remarkably well maintaining a clear sense of time
cycles despite the fact that they live in houses with electric lights. Studies have shown that the various "internal clocks" (circadian cycles) that run in human beings are profoundly affected by light.
I find that Dai-un, the ancient Persian cat who lives with me, also seems to have a nicely tuned sense of larger cycles. I have days that begin at different times depending upon what I need to do. He knows the difference between Friday and Sunday.
I usually wake up when he walks into the room. His hind legs are much longer than his fore legs (arms) and so he walks with a badger-like gait. Fairly loudly too. I sleep on a futon on tatami mats so I often wake up looking at him advancing on me. If this does not work he sits by my head for a few moments. If this does not work he touches my face a few times.
Occasionally, he decides to take a day off and just sleep in. No explanation. No apology.
And so I have to agree with mattbw that a cat is not to be relied upon for working the VCR.