Equal Time

Rhubarb was greatly offended by last week’s post. “You do Kaja pictures alla time. Been forever since I getted attentions.”

He’s got a point. Not a great one: Kaja wasn’t actually the main focus last week. On the other forepaw, though, her most recent starring role was last August, while he hasn’t had a major appearance since July of 2020.

“Sorry about that, Buddy. Wanna pose for me?”

“I’m ready for my close-up, hoomin.”

Indeed.

A Life Lesson

Kokoro may be a lady of a certain age, but that doesn’t mean she’s lost her sense of fun.

She’s not about to let Kaja hog the toys when there’s a chance to play with her hoomins.

A certain, carefully measured, application of the “I’m still the boss of you” stare, and the toy was hers.

Of course, being the intelligent lady she is, and possessing the wisdom that comes of applying that intellect over the course of her life, Kokoro knows that victory, however tasty…

…never lasts. Sometimes you catch the toy, true. But it’s equally true that the toy sometimes catches you.

(She’s got that look of martyred patience down, doesn’t she?)

And those rumors that Kaja, lacking said wisdom, had a not-so-quiet chuckle?

Regrettably true.

Dance, Kitteh, Dance: The Sequel

A couple of weeks ago, I promised to share video of Mr. Knuckles at the Kitteh Partay.

Never let it be said that I reneged on a promise.

He’s not the most graceful dancer you’ve ever seen–but let’s be fair: he does have two left feet.

As for his repeated drops, this was an unusually clumsy day. Typically he’s more likely to swallow somebody’s finger along with the treat.

Triad

Yuki, Emeraldas, and Lefty have an interesting relationship.

Or, I suppose, set of relationships.

As best we can tell, Em is madly in love with Yuki, taking every opportunity to snuggle up, groom him and be groomed by him. Yuki seems to enjoy the attention–except when she gets too vigorous and knocks him over (he’s not very stable on his feet)–but doesn’t go out of his way to spend time with her.

Her Majesty also spends much of her time with Lefty. There’s far less grooming, mutual or otherwise, but significant amounts of quiet chilling, especially in the late evening when they share my chair in the dining room.

As for the boys, they’ll snuggle up and indulge in a bit of mutual grooming, but there’s a definite air of making do, especially as they only occasionally do it when Emeraldas is around.

So a scene like this one is rare.

No question, Em is the hinge pin in the scissor of their triad.

Or maybe that’s the wrong metaphor. Never mind, it’s late and so is the post. I’ll go with it.

And close with a shot of Yuki, showing just how he feels about her grooming efforts.

How Can You Resist?

Turns out there is at least one thing Lefty doesn’t consider to be food.

Aside from feta, that is.

We continue to give him opportunities to broaden his culinary palette, and he generally adopts them with enthusiasm. Surprisingly, however, yoghurt turned out to be beyond the food event horizon.

Granted, stereotypes about cats and dairy products are greatly overblown. But Rhubarb is an enthusiastic yoghurt eater–even though it causes various sorts of digestive upset–so we rather expected Lefty to give it a try. Nope. A couple of sniffs were followed by burying motions.

And, yes, we know we really shouldn’t be feeding him at the table.

But he’s so polite about his requests. He sits quietly on the floor between our chairs and gives us the “Hey, hoomins, here I am, how about it?” look.

Maybe you could resist.

We can’t.

Dance, Kitteh, Dance!

This time I’ve got a legit excuse for the Friday-Post-On-Saturday thing: It took way longer than I expected to get even somewhat usable photos.

See, Watanuki does the “Gimme a treat, hoomin” dance whenever we hold a Kitteh Partay. Which is several times every evening, as part of the food distribution ritual. And I knew you would all like to see that.

But video just wasn’t happening for some reason. Still not sure why; I need to do some experimenting. And, whatever good you can say about the Pixel 6 camera system, it’s not the speediest thing going when light levels are low enough to require flash.

So it took a couple of nights of attempts to bring you, well, this.

I’ll keep trying on the video. I’m quite sure y’all will love the little hop that goes along with that pose.

He seems graceful and elegant in that shot, doesn’t he? But that’s the first steps of the dance. The end looks rather less exalted.

Enjoy that face in your nightmares, folks.

Moving Forward While Sitting Still

Queen Emeraldas has taken a huge step forward.

Yes, those are my legs she’s curled up between.

We’re not entirely sure she recognizes legs and feet as being part of reclining bipeds. And she definitely didn’t jump up on the bed to hang out with me.

She’s been showing up in the late evening recently, hopping up on the bed to snuggle with Yuki. Interestingly, she’s allowing him to wash her ears, which is often a submissive signal. It’s hard to picture Em as submissive with anyone, but there it is.

Anyway, on this particular day, Yuki happened to be sprawled between my knees, so Em had no real choice but to curl up where she did.

Every time I so much as twitched, she looked up in alarm, so I wound up holding as still as I could for about half an hour. Naturally, my legs went to sleep, so I did eventually have to restore circulation by moving. At which point, she leapt off the bed and sulked on the floor.

But the truly wonderful thing is that she apparently decided the bed is a comfy place to hang out, even when Mr. Floof isn’t present.

Witness the scene a few days later when I went into the bedroom:

Rather than disturbing her more than I already had by taking the picture, I decided to read elsewhere.

Sit Right Down

I promised you a critter post this week, and by gosh and by golly, here it is.

(Good thing I didn’t promise it for Friday, huh? No, Saturday is not, as Maggie suggested, the new Friday. I’ll put ’em up on Friday as often as possible, but there will still be occasional slippage to Saturday.)

Anyway, onward to the actual post.

Emeraldas and Lefty both enjoy sitting in my chair in the dining room. Em will often grab it overnight and up until the bipeds start stirring. Lefty takes over after breakfast and generally maintains possession until dinner time.

In the evening, though?

Yeah, neither one is willing to give way to the other.

Cats being cats, joint possession needs to be negotiated. With extensive meepling, ear nibbling, and forehead bopping. Every. Single. Evening.

That Felt Weird

Maggie and I did some socializing last week.

For the first time in two years. Which makes us sound anti-social by traditional standards, but these days, it’s, well, the New Normal. Rather a depressing thought, isn’t it? Sorry about that.

And, to be frank, I wasn’t sure I was ready to spend an evening with other people when none of us would be masked. Even though everyone was vaccinated, boostered, and had taken a rapid test. But the payoff would be huge, so I went.

I mean, given the chance to hang out with our godkittehs…


…why in the name of all that’s furry would I decline?

And after all the build-up, and wary anticipation, the strangest thing about the evening was how normal it felt.

I mean, I’ve seen a number of my cow-orkers unmasked, and they looked really weird. There has been a significant quantity of staff turnover, to the point where I hadn’t ever seen some of those people without a mask. Others, I’ve only seen with their masks on for two years.

Discovering they have mouths is disconcerting at best. Disturbing in some cases. I didn’t know one of them had a beard.

But everyone at the gathering last week–even the bipeds–was face-naked. And it felt perfectly fine.

Maybe the difference is that I’ve never seen them masked. But then again, at work I see customers without masks–people I’ve never seen masked before–and they look odd. What’s that pink, flappy thing where the mask should be? Is it supposed to be there?

Now what? Even though I’m no longer required to wear a mask at work, I’ve been continuing to do it, because it makes me feel more comfortable. Should I take a hit to my comfort level and do my part to push a return to the Old Normal? Or look at the rising caseload in countries like Germany and China and do what I can to establish a new New Normal–one where masking is acceptable, even when not required?

I’m open to going mask-free. Not eager, perhaps, but I’m willing to consider it generally or on a case-by-case basis. And there’s one very strong argument for keeping the mask on for another couple of months when I’m outside the house: I don’t know about you, but my hay fever has been much less of a thing than usual the past two Springs. I find I like not sneezing uncontrollably whenever trees throw reproductive material at me.

So, for right now, the mask stays on, with exceptions for special occasions. Like visiting Patti and Forti.

And now I have to do is hope there’s no major backlash coming. We don’t–really, really don’t–need anti-mask mandates. But I have this sneaking suspicion they’ll be coming soon to Florida, Texas, and other states that ought to know better by now.