Dan, Cervino is not a good idea for starting to climb 4000ers in the Alps. As Moni has said the rock is very loose in the Hornli ridge and there are many people climbing at a time, even the climbing grade is not low and you should be experienced in mix terrains. Breithorn, Castor or Pollux should be better targets for begining in the Alps. Even you could try Allalinhorn, Alphubel, Nadelhorn, Grand Combin, Täschhorn, Rimpfischhorn or Stockhorn (not a 4000er). Doing a 4000er in the Alps is two levels higher than doing long trips on 2000ers. If the grade, number of meters gained and effort is high as in Matterhorn it could be 3 levels higher in difficulty than doing that. Be careful Dan and never underestimate difficult mountains
I respect your decision and determination. I wish you good luck with this enterprise. Any case, you have already heard my opinion about that..
Now, after so much discussion, I would like to know how this story will finish. Please, let me know if you got to the top of Matterhorn! I am waiting for a nice summit log at yours profile page, or a good trip report.