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.

A Rare Moment

We don’t get a whole lot of Emeraldas/Sachiko mother/daughter bonding moments. To be brutally honest, there’s often hissing when they meet.

Which isn’t really surprising. They’re both dominant types with strong personalities, so a bit of pecking order negotiation is the expected norm.

But every so often…

We get a peaceful encounter.

In this particular case, Sachiko had been sleeping when Em leapt up on the condo. A bit of mutual staring occurred–I suspect it was the feline equivalent of “Make sure you wash behind your ears” / “Mom!”–and then they both got distracted by a passing moth and took off in pursuit.

It’s nice to see them sharing a passion for sports.

Double-Decker

The microwave/TV condo in the upstairs hall goes through waves of popularity and disinterest.

Until about a week ago, nobody had been much into it, literally or figuratively. Kokoro would sit on top, but neither for very long or very often.

Then, magic:

Emeraldas and Lefty have taken it over.

They seem to like the two-level aspect. Meezers are typically climbers, so being on the upper level may be appealing to Em’s deeper instincts; as for Lefty, few indeed are the cats who don’t like a cave of their own.

(Note, by the way, that Lefty is still–at least as of this writing–wearing his bling.)

As for us, we’re pleased to see Em hanging around parts of the house that aren’t the downstairs.

Pairings

Feline pairings are volatile.

Lefty and Rhubarb, for example. They rarely fight–both are generally mellow fellows–but neither do they seek out each other’s company.

And yet, sometimes they find themselves thrown together by circumstances.

Circumstances such as “This stair has the best view in the house.”

It was an amicable meeting, and lasted about five minutes before they were both called away on urgent business elsewhere, Rhubarb to check his food bowl and Lefty to collect some lap time.

Other pairings are longer term.

(Ignore that thuggish photobomber in the background.)

Emeraldas and Lefty are frequently found in proximity.

Unsurprising, really. They started along the path to Indoor Cathood together–though Lefty made the transition indoors well before Em–and neither is entirely convinced they’ve been fixed.

Like many couples, they bicker: who gets to sit on which chair in the dining room, who gets first dibs on the gooshy fud, or who is going to wash who’s ears first.

Nevertheless, they’re more often found together than apart, and intertwined tails are not uncommon.

Quick Updates (Feline Edition)

Naturally, as soon as I spoke about the tenacious nature of Emeraldas’ tangle, it came out. The matted fur has been safely and appropriately disposed of, and we once again have a sleek and elegant meezer roaming the house.

And we’re just fine with that.

Lefty, meanwhile, has begun to display an unexpected lazy side.

Normally he’s quite willing to jump over the baby gate that keeps Yuki in the bedroom. Every so often, though, we find him perched on the condos, wistfully waiting for someone to open the gate and let him in.

And to brush the dust bunnies off his nose and forehead.

Speaking of Yuki, not only has his wild whisker been flourishing, but it’s produced a clone.

Two wild whiskers from–as far as we can see–a single root.

A Touch Shy of Perfection

Queen Emeraldas has come a long way. She’ll tolerate patting–on her own terms, of course–and even brushing in limited quantities.

Turns out she’s got very snuggle-worthy fur (not that she’s ready to actually, you know, snuggle).

All in all, nearly a picture of elegance.

Except…

There’s that tuft.

That one little tuft.

It’s a bit of matted fur from her under layer, and the white sticks out even more obviously in person than in the picture.

We’ve been working on it (see the comment above about brushings) but it’s a persistent snarl. It’s going to take more tugging than she’s willing to accept right now.

So, for the foreseeable future, we’ll be rooming with an almost-sleek meezer.

Which we’re just fine with.

Approaching Em

Queen Emeraldas is still skittish when it comes to humans. However, plenty of bribes in the form of treats have reduced the distance at which her flight reflex kicks in. So we occasionally get treated to near visits:

Contrary to what her location and posture might suggest, she was not waiting for the food bowl to be filled. Her bowl is downstairs (though that doesn’t stop her from occasionally raiding this one) and she knows that the bowls get filled in the late evening, not mid-morning.

So this visit was just “Trying to peer around the doorframe to check up on what the bipeds were up to.”

Timing aside, she also knows that dinner is preceded by a meet-and-greet session. (I’d call it a cocktail hour, but no drinks are served.)

(Top to bottom: Sachiko, Kokoro, Watanuki, Emeraldas, and Lefty*.)

* For those newcomers who may be wondering, no, not all of the cats have Japanese names. It just seems like it sometimes. Not visible in this picture (though present): Kaja, Rhubarb, and Yuki.)

Even though no booze is on offer, we still get the occasional “private” breakout session. When it comes to Yuki, Em is an enthusiastic proponent of the full-body head bump.

So enthusiastic, in fact, that we can occasionally manage to pat her. While she still takes off if she sees us reaching toward her, she has–to bring the post full-circle–reached the point where she doesn’t flee in terror when she belatedly realizes a human is touching her.

Happy Cat, Frustrated Photographer

Her Majesty, Queen Emeraldas, has fallen under the spell of Maggie’s sewing area.

Like so many cats before her, she’s discovered that the space just to the right of the sewing machine is the perfect size for a cat to snooze. It’s got a nice view of the back yard; it’s elevated, away from other cats; and gets plenty of sunlight in the afternoon.

I’ve been trying to get a picture of her on the table for weeks now.

Either the sees me coming and hides or the backlighting from the window is too bright for the camera. Even the much-vaunted iPhone 12 camera can’t work miracles of that magnitude.

Fortunately, Maggie’s sewing chair is almost as attractive a feline hangout as the table.

This shot, taken from across the room–with the aforementioned iPhone 12–has been tweaked a bit to improve the contrast enough to make her eyes visible. But at least it’s recognizably a picture of a cat. A specific cat, even.

Even at such extreme distances, she was distinctly dubious about the whole venture.

But I’m declaring victory. Because sometimes you have to shoot the arrow and then draw the target.