The Damp Isn’t the Worst of It

You may have heard that it’s been wet in California lately. I’m here to confirm that the rumors are true.

We’ve had rainfall of biblical proportions*.

* Overstatement. It hasn’t rained continuously for forty days and forty nights (though it does feel like it). But there have been record-setting quantities of precipitation, and I suspect that more than a few residents of the Bay Area wish they had built arks.

Yesterday was the worst so far. Not in the quantity so much as in the special effects department. There was just a tiny bit of thunder and lightning* to go along with the rain and hail.

* Understatement. Multiple thunderstorms with massive, multi-second, literally house-shaking rolls of thunder.

We’ve been fortunate (picture me knocking on wood at this point). No flooding (other than a leak in the garage roof, directly over the spot where our phone line comes in), the foundations are still solid, the storm drains in our area are keeping up with the precipitation, and we haven’t lost power.

But I can say with no fear of contradiction that Bay Area felines aren’t used to thunder and don’t have a clue what to do about it.

Hiding seems to be a popular choice. Sachiko and Lefty disappeared into the master bedroom closet the first time the house shook and didn’t reappear until nearly dinnertime. Emeraldas vanished into an undisclosed location and wasn’t seen until this morning.

G’aw curled up in the Rose Cottage in the back yard, tucked his ears under his stomach and appeared to sleep through the afternoon storm.

‘Nuki, self-proclaimed master of the universe, slunk into my office making pitiful meepling noises and required a good fifteen minutes of snuggles before he calmed down enough to sink a couple of claws into my leg.

Kokoro’s been around long enough to have seen and heard it all; she woke up when the thunder hit, looked around, and went back to napping. Smart lady.

To be fair, Bay Area humans aren’t all that great with thunder either. My reaction has been to hold my breath, waiting for the lights to go out. Hypoxia was a real risk.

Reports say we’ve got at least another week of rain. Here’s hoping it doesn’t include thunder.

An Uncommon Trio

I know I just said, or at least strongly implied, that I wasn’t going to post pictures of cats on the bed. But this one is unusual enough to be an exception.

Most often, if there are three cats on the bed at the same time, it’s either Watanuki, Yuki, and Lefty (The Big Bruiser Boys Brigade)–in which case they’re all on separate corners–or it’s Yuki, Lefty, and Emeraldas snuggled up together.

Behold the variance.

I interrupted some serial grooming here: ‘Nuki was washing Yuki’s neck, while Yuki was cleaning Em’s ears. Important work, no question, so it’s not surprising that Em stalked off shortly after the picture was taken, muttering darkly about impertinent bipeds who can’t mind their own business.

Of course, she did come back about half an hour later–after ‘Nuki had migrated to the foot of the bed–and began grooming Yuki herself. But her point had been made.

Was It Something I Said?

I’m not sure how they wound up like this. Less than half an hour earlier, all four cats were snuggled together–the weather has definitely turned colder, and feline snuggling levels have gone way, way up.

Did Em get stroppy? Maybe, though I didn’t hear any feline politics.

It’s probably not a “she who smelt it, dealt it” situation: none of the cats seems particularly bothered when someone emits an unpleasant odor.

It can’t have been a male bonding ritual, because nobody had a drum.

Just one of those “you’re a hoomin, you wouldn’t understand” things, I suppose.

Emeraldas Beans

Way, way back in 2018, when I was doing a tour of the local toe beans, I wrote that, “MM adamantly declined to participate.”

It’s taken more than four years, but we finally have photographic evidence that, yes, she has toe beans. Elegant brown beans that harmonize well with her fur color. As one would expect of royalty.

Yes, that is Yuki in the foreground, but the foot Ms. Em is assiduously grooming is her own. I took shameless advantage of her distraction to snag this shot.

Lefty’s toe beans remain elusive, but I shall continue to stalk them. Stay tuned.

Feline Polyamory

Emeraldas’ relationship with Yuki and Lefty is complicated.

I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. To be honest, we’re not sure if she realizes that they’re two separate cats.

It’s an easy mistake to make, I suppose. They are similarly sized and colored. One is floofy and the other isn’t, but maybe Her Majesty isn’t particularly texture-oriented. Whatever the explanation, she does sometimes seem confused when her boys are hanging out together.

But in the normal course of affairs, she’s happy to accept grooming from Yuki.

(I love that paw across the back of her neck. So sweet!)

And she’s just as pleased to be groomed by Lefty.

Not all is sunshine and rainbows, though. Disagreements do arise.

I can neither confirm nor refute rumors that Lefty tasted Yuki’s saliva on Emeraldas’ forehead. But he definitely got a tongue-full of something he didn’t care for–and this is the guy who’ll eat almost anything except feta cheese.

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.