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.

Lacking Ambition

I am currently filled with a lack of ambition so great that it can easily fail to conquer the world. Or even New Jersey, assuming one could find a reason to want to conquer that state.

I did manage to scrounge enough get up and go to climb the stairs to my office, however, so I can bring you this entirely backstory-free portrait of Kaja, smugly ensconced on Kokoro’s heat pad.

Clearly, she has far more ambition than I at this juncture.

Incipient Ears of Disapproval*

Kaja has been enjoying her recent freedom to explore the house, but she has been running into a bit of a relearning curve.

Cats are allowed on the table, as long as no food is present. Kaja has apparently forgotten that rule during her years of restriction to Maggie’s office.

So when she thought we were going to forcefully remove her from her latest perch…


…we got “The Look”.

* Photo and title credit to Maggie

Silver Lining

I mentioned last week that until Yuki builds up more strength and regains more control over his hind legs, we’re restricting his movements. He’s occupying the master suite: plenty of places to hang out, a favored locale for several of the gang, and frequently occupied by bipeds to give him snuggles. And, most importantly, no stairs. He’s definitely not ready for stair-climbing–no matter what he thinks.

He’s mostly putting up with it, but he dearly misses his favorite afternoon pastime: sprawling on the floor outside Maggie’s office and teasing the inhabitants, Kaja in particular.

We’ve never understood the root of their mutual antagonism, but it goes way back. In fact, the last time Yuki had to wear a Cone o’ Shame, it was because he’d incited Kaja to assault.

Since that attack, Kaja has been living in Maggie’s office, along with her littermate, Rhubarb. It was a joint decision: she largely refused to ignore Yuki’s attempts to tick her off, and he couldn’t resist teasing her, but wasn’t nimble enough to get out of her way. So when Kaja stopped roaming the house, we mostly stopped opening the office door except when we were actually walking in and out of the room.

But now, with Yuki confined to quarters, we’ve been leaving the door open in the evenings, so the Flying Monkeys can go exploring. And it’s working. Somewhat.

They’re not hugely brave about it, and oddly enough, Rhubarb has been more adventurous than Kaja. He’s made it down to the dining room and kitchen a couple of times, while she hasn’t even made it to the foot of the stairs.

But they’ve been doing the meet-and-greet with Lefty and Emeraldas, both of whom joined the crew long after Kaja gave up on the world outside Maggie’s office. Largely amicable meets, I might add–for local values of “amicable”.

The result:

Top to bottom and left to right: Kokoro, Rhubarb, Kaja, Sachiko, and Emeraldas.

Yes, five cats in one photo.

Even more impressively, Lefty and ‘Nuki were by my feet, well within sight and smell of the stairs, just ill-placed for photographic documentation.

We’ve been hopeful about reintegrating Kaja before, only to be disappointed. But this is an excellent sign.

Looking Back

Another in a highly irregular, totally unscheduled series of looks back at the furry crew in their younger days.

Meet Rhubarb and Kaja, age approximately five months.

This is a rare shot: Kaja is asleep, but Rhubarb is awake. The other way around was (and–even though both are much more sedentary these days–is) much more common.

Catching Up with Kaja

According to my notes, it’s been more than half a year since Kaja had a post to herself, and a couple of months since she’s appeared at all.

Note the reflective expression. History suggests that she’s not reflecting on ways to attain world peace, reduce climate change, or anything else that might benefit someone other than her.

Indeed, most likely she’s pondering the whereabouts of dinner, whether she can still swing from the chandelier, or whose hide she should render porous to liquids.

See?

Sisterly Affection

Kokoro and Kaja have a fraught relationship.

In Kokoro’s opinion, Kaja is a late-arriving interloper on her turf. Contrarily, Kaja considers Kokoro to be an old fuddy-duddy, blocking her ascent to rulership of the household.

At least, that’s the way it has been for years. Recently, however, we’ve bee seeing signs of moderation. Maybe it’s because they’re getting more accepting as they age. Maybe they’re banding together against all the new arrivals. Or perhaps it’s just that in order to make sure Kokoro gets her meds and plenty of nutritions, we’re making her spend more time in Kaja’s presence.

Regardless, we’re pleased to see moments like this:

Kaja, Reflective

Back in the day, Kaja was our little otter girl, going everywhere she shouldn’ta-otter.

These days, well, she’s slower and more inclined to reflection.

Granted, in her case, “more inclined” doesn’t mean a whole lot. When you’re starting from zero, anything is “more”.

But she’s not the svelte go-getter she once was. And she’s got her fleece-lined nest. Especially in the cold months, she just doesn’t see the benefit of getting up and going.

Well, except to the litter box and the food bowl. Those are at least as important as her nest.

Happy A Day Early

Sure, Halloween is going to be a bit weird this year. But then, why should it be any different than anything else that’s happened in the last seven or eight months?

And, yes, of course trick or treating is off the table–which hasn’t stopped anyone I know from buying candy.

But none of that means we can’t celebrate the occasion.

Maggie has been working with some of the cats, convincing them to get into the spirit of things.

Kaja is onboard.

Barely.

Rhubarb is Rhubarb. As long as it requires no effort on his part and there’s no pain, he’ll go along with the gag.

And Kokoro is up for any outfit that sets off her eyes.

Doesn’t mean she won’t attack us in our sleep in revenge, but sometimes one has to take one’s chances.