Roll Call

Nobody’s done anything particularly cute lately, so how about a simple collection of relaxed cats in their favorite snoozing spots?

I’m putting them in order of seniority. Pecking order might be more useful, but it changes so quickly it would be out of date by the time the post goes live and probably change twice more while you’re reading it.

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Kokoro likes the tangle of wires under my desk. It’s shadowed, convenient for requesting cuddles, and if she gets bored, there’s an ARC of The RagTime Traveler to read.

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Kaja has several favorite hangouts, but Maggie’s office chair is currently the absolute winner. The sheepskin cover means its always at a comfortable temperature, and the seat itself is just the right size.

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Rhubarb is never happier than when he can curl up on the newspaper. If he can prevent me from getting to the sports section, it’s an even bigger win.

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Watanuki moves around a lot, but the hammock in the upstairs hall is a perennial favorite. It conforms to his shape while allowing him to leave limbs dangling (note the right rear paw). And there’s a window right there so he has a perfect excuse to turn his back on us.

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Yuki has long favored the bed, especially my side. Not only is it just the right degree of softness to gratify his sybaritic soul, but the red blanket sets of his fur most elegantly.

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Sachiko has resting places all over the house, but she spends most of her time on one the dining room chairs. “Ize da queen,” she says–and yes, she still speaks Kitten, probably because we spoil her immensely–“and I gotsa have da biggest fwone!”

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Rufus is still exploring the house and trying new possibilities. But at the moment his spot of choice is the floor next to my desk chair. Convenient when he wants pettings; directly in the path of the fan, so he stays nice and cool; and one of the few places ‘Nuki rarely goes.

Topsy Turvy

Everything’s a bit topsy-turvy around here.

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Yes, even Watanuki. (All joking aside, he spends hours in positions like that. I know when they want to be, cats are, for all practical purposes, boneless. But how can he possibly be comfortable?)

It’s all because of the political implications of Rufus joining the gang.

Truth to tell, he’s doing very well. Negotiations rarely come to violence in the halls–at least not of the sort that requires human intervention with leather gloves and/or squirt bottles.

Clashes, yes. But for every moment when somebody gets a paw-slap to the forehead or a cold nose up the ass,14-2

there’s also at least one like this:

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Lifestyles of the Furry Set

Rufus’ socialization and integration continue.
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He’s still not really comfortable with any of the other cats, but as long as they’re not openly antagonistic, he’s willing to live, let live, and sniff butts.

* Yes, my office floor does need vacuuming. That’s one bit of auctorial procrastination I’ve been procrastinating on.

Which means he’s mostly getting along with everyone but Watanuki, who continues to earn the epithet “Mr. Thunk”* every day. Even there, however, relations are improving. ‘Nuki mostly confines himself to chasing Rufus up the stairs and then polishing the already-empty food bowl. Rufus, for his part, regards ‘Nuki with caution, but little fear.

* A portmanteau of “thug” and “punk”.

And not everything is going ‘Nuki’s way. Sachiko has taken over his traditional role as “Lurker Under the Covers”.
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She’s been remarkably resistant to his efforts to chase her off the bed. But then, she’s never been especially intimidated by him. She’s been trying to chew his ears off since she was a kitten.

Watanuki’s response to the disarrangement of his routine has been to declare his intention to run away to sea and become a pirate.

I pointed out that cats aboard ship are expected to work. His response, delivered with impressively lofty tones and deep snottiness?
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“Nonsense. I shall be a figurehead.”

I had to admit that he’d be a good one. He’s got the attitude and the pose down. I asked him how he felt about the ship’s bow smashing into a wave while he was on duty.

His answer was largely unprintable, but hinted that he doesn’t believe the ocean would dare drench him.

Integration

“Separate but equal” is not an acceptable option.

Accordingly, we’ve been continuing to introduce Rufus to the rest of the gang with increasing levels of interaction and self-guided exploration.

Thursday evening, we opened the door to Rufus’ space*, and then sat back to watch what happened and intercede if the political negotiations got out of paw.

* Which is also the space where Sachiko lived until she was sufficiently socialized to join the “big kitties”. As such, she takes a certain proprietary interest in that room.

Rufus spent a few minutes sniffing around the bathroom.
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Not finding much to interest him, he headed down the hall in the other direction. Kokoro, ‘Nuki, and Yuki were much more interesting than the bathroom.
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And, of course, they found Rufus quite intriguing as well.

Approximately three seconds after that picture was taken, ‘Nuki and Rufus exchanged a few paw swats, none of which made contact.

Discretion being the better part, Rufus returned to his room, to discover that somebody had taken advantage of his absence to explore.
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Shortly thereafter, Yuki decided to join the party.
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As you can see, Rufus wasn’t amused. He returned to the hall, sending Yuki into a precipitous retreat–so naturally Kokoro and Sachiko took advantage of his absence to explore.

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When he came back, Kokoro made a successful escape, but Sachiko panicked, and tried to hide under the futon. She realized it was a mistake almost as soon as she stopped moving, but she couldn’t bring herself to leave past Rufus. Nor could we lure her out–even her favorite treat–licking the fork that we mix Rufus’ food with–couldn’t tempt her out.

The poor Skittercritter stayed under the futon, growling at nothing (or perhaps herself) until we gave Rufus his dinner. As soon as Sachiko realized he was distracted, she hurled herself across the room, out the door, and down the stairs at the end of the hall. She didn’t quite crack the sound barrier, but I think she exceeded the freeway speed limit.

That was all more excitement than we had planned for one day. So the next few days we’ll step back and limit interactions to what they can do through a just-barely-ajar door.

Once everyone’s chilled out, we’ll let them mingle again.

Hard Work

Yesterday was a busy day for several of the cats. GT, for example, took a trip down to the vet to find out if he could stop wearing the Cone o’ Shame. Unfortunately, it seems the hole in his cheek where the drain was hasn’t quite healed yet*. So he’ll need to keep it on at least through the weekend. He’s not happy about that, but he’s handling the disappointment with dignity–and plenty of gooshy fud.

* I’ll continue to spare you pictures of his wound.

Meanwhile, Watanuki had a long hard day.
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He stayed on the bed from breakfast time until mid-afternoon, at which point he made the arduous trek to the dining room.
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Note the cute pink pads on that artfully dangling paw. As you can see, they’re quite worn down after his long walk downstairs.

And then there’s Kokoro.

It took hours to convince her favorite reclining chair (me, in other words) to stop fooling around with that typing nonsense and come fulfill my true purpose in life.
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She must really have been exhausted after all that tapping on my office door and asking “Are you done yet?” because as soon as I sat down, she settled in and went straight to sleep.
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I didn’t even get a thank-you purr. But then, I suppose I don’t thank my favorite rocking chair very often either.

Responsibility

I write about the cats’ battles, political and physical, quite a lot. That’s because those are what people find interesting. How many historians recorded the great battles of antiquity–and how many bothered to devote more than a few words to daily life between those battles? Same theory.

And it’s true that they do spend a major chunk of time jockeying for position and boxing each others’ ears.

But there’s another side to their interactions.

A case in point. Several days ago, I found Rhubarb sleeping on the stairs, paw over nose, looking disgustingly cute. So I did what any sensible person would do, and grabbed the camera.
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And it could have ended there, and you all would have enjoyed a cute cat snoozing.

But Kokoro heard me taking the picture, and she takes her role as Alpha Kitty seriously.

Sure, she’ll box Rhubarb’s ears if he gets out of line–or stick her nose up his butt if that’s what he needs.

Because she knows that with power comes responsibility, and it’s her job to make sure that everyone in the pride behaves correctly.

So she came out to make sure that nothing untoward was going on.
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As, of course, there wasn’t. Because she knows that she’s responsible for every one of her juniors.

Even the benighted bipedal ones.

More Togetherness

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Togetherness?

Yeah. Hang on a second while I get closer.

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That’s better.

What better way to lead into the weekend than with a shot of Kokoro taking some time out of her busy schedule of sleeping on my pillow to hang out with Kaja?

(To be honest, this post is something of a defensive measure. Kaja’s been complaining about her lack of appearances on the blog and threatening to do something about it. Since she has unmonitored access to Maggie’s computer, we thought it best to remove her incentive to post on her own. Nobody needs hourly rants on the future of computing. Especially from a devout Apple-head)

It’s a highly unusual scene. I’d even go so far as to say “unique”.

While Kokoro does frequently hang out in Maggie’s office*, it much more common for one of the ladies to stake out Maggie’s desk chair while the other one relaxes in this footstool/condo. Until now, the only space we’ve seen them sharing is the heat vent.

* It’s actually Kaja’s den, but Maggie has acquired the naming rights.

I’m guessing that the air conditioner came on and they decided to move their snugglefest someplace where they wouldn’t have cold air blowing up their asses.

Ma, She’s Making Eyes At Me

It’s been quite a while since Kokoro had a Friday blog post to herself. So when she looked at me with those big, blue eyes…
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…and said “I think I’m overdue for some worship,” I just had to give in.

So, on the subject of Kokoro and those big, blue eyes, here’s the view I’m treated to most mornings.
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(For proper effect, show the picture full-screen and lean forward so your nose is no more than three inches from your monitor.)

Yes, she does sleep on my chest. At least, unlike the boys, she’s light enough that she doesn’t endanger the integrity of my rib cage.