Winter Is Coming

And no, I’m not talking George R.R. Martin.

We are seeing the first signs of winter’s approach. Specifically, cats hogging the heat registers.
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Rhubarb’s been doing it for years. He’s got the technique down: block the entire vent so no heat escapes his fur.

Since the overnight temperatures dropped to a glacial 55 degrees or so, he’s been at one vent or another most mornings. Never mind that it’s a good ten degrees warmer inside. Everyone knows it’s the psychological effect of the cold outdoors that does it.

Sachiko doesn’t quite have the details sorted.
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Maybe it’s because she’s younger and hasn’t worked out all of the ramifications.

Or perhaps she just doesn’t feel the cold in her bones as much as her older brother.

But regardless, she knows her extremities get colder than her torso, and she’s figured out what to do to avoid a frostbitten tail.
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Anyone want some nicely toasted caudal vertebrae? Just the thing for breakfast on a pre-winter morning. Sachiko thinks so. Or maybe she’s just grooming. I don’t think her tail is any shorter today than yesterday.

Sleeping Arrangements

Surprisingly, our feline crew have orderly minds.

Granted, cats generally have a strong preference for tradition and regular routines, but ours even carry it over into their sleeping arrangements.

Right triangles are popular.
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Though equilateral triangles are almost as common.
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And the straight line is evergreen.
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(The line is straighter than it appears in this photo. Kokoro and Rhubarb were lying on my legs, preventing me from aligning the camera properly.)

Having said all that, I should clarify that such geometric specificity applies only at the interfeline level. Individual cats are always free to be as goofy as they wish in their pursuit of teh kyoot.

And they do.  Take a closer look at Watanuki in that last photo:
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Note the paw over the nose, the brilliantly pink toe beans, and, most important of all, the tail carefully curled around the end of the rear leg.

Eternal Verity

In trying times like these, when everything seems unsettled, it’s a good idea to take a step back and remind yourself that some things don’t change.

A sleeping cat is, by definition, cute.
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Yuki needs a pillow to sleep soundly, and Rhubarb needs to be used as a pillow before he can doze off.
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Synergy!

So when you’re stressed, when you need a break from the insanity, go pat a cat.

Better yet, take a nap with one. Your psyche will thank you.

SAST 10: Feline Edition

It’s been a busy week in the feline world, so we’ll hit the highlights in a Very Special Edition of Short Attention Span Theater.

20-1For those among us who love toe beans, there are fewer cuter than ‘Nuki’s. They’re amazingly soft and delicate looking; quite the contrast to his thuggish personality.

20-2Kokoro and Sachiko are far from the closest of friends, but when the weather turns unexpectedly cold, they manage to share a heat vent in relative tranquility. Note that Sachiko is kind enough to place a paw on the dome to ensure it doesn’t slip out of place. Kokoro, as is her wont, returns the favor by not alerting her junior to the fact that it’s warmer in front of the dome than behind it.

20-3Rufus has been in one of his exploratory moods this week. And he’s slowly getting more comfortable being around the other cats. Except ‘Nuki, of course. The Two Roos spent an hour or so hanging out on the stairs together–a definite first.

20-4And there’s action outside as well. Only a meezer would choose to sleep on a piece of old school, hard plastic Astroturf. Maybe MM was guarding the water bowl. Maybe she just didn’t want to get dirt on her fur. Regardless, it’s more proof–not that any was needed–that meezers are weird.

Feline Fragments

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all have our little fetishes. That’s just part of being human. Not just sexually, either.

“Such beautiful eyes.”

“I could watch the waves forever.”

“Give me chocolate, and I’ll follow you anywhere.”

And, of course, we all have our own reasons for appreciating our furry fellow-beings.

I’ve imposed on our crew to bring you a selection of feline fragments suitable for seven different fetishes. Regrettably, Kaja declined to participate, but ‘Nuki was kind enough to cover for her. Camera shy isn’t in his vocabulary.

Let’s begin with Rhubarb’s eye, exquisite in gold and black.
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Wild and untamed, Watanuki’s whiskers mirror his soul.
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Yuki’s ear, black and floofy as befits the handsome soot sprite.
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We’re fairly sure Sachiko is an invading alien. Her antennae are a dead giveaway, after all.
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The most elegantly curled tail of Her Majesty, Kokoro.
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Watanuki’s toe beans are the only flaw in his dapper exterior.
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And, finally, Rufus’s startlingly brick-pink nose.
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Now!

Baseball is upon us and everyone around here is getting in the mood.

They’re coming out of hiding.
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Checking to be sure they’ve got all their gear.
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Come to think of it, this may explain a lot about the relationship between ‘Nuki and Rufus. NL vs. AL. Both teams with storied pasts–though, granted, the Giants is a heck of a lot longer and holds more stories–trying to return to the glory. And yet, at the end of the playoffs, there can be only one. Very Highlander.

But I digress.

They’re making sure everything still fits.
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Even if they’re a little unclear on some of the concepts.
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Never mind. Play ball!
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Polite Cohabitation

By and large, we’ve given up on promoting feline friendships. If we can manage peaceful coexistence, we figure that’s good enough.

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Although, to be honest, “peaceful” is a word capable of displaying endless gradations. Rufus is much more relaxed around Kokoro than she is around him. But they usually average out to “wary acceptance”. That’s close enough.

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Sachiko alternates between “I finks I opposta hiss nao” and “Oh, it you again. Okays.” Either way, Rufus usually lands on “cautious ignoring.” But then, that’s pretty good, considering he’s used to black and white cats–Tuxie and Watanuki–who are in his weight class and far more aggressive than he is.

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When Yuki and Rhubarb aren’t feuding, they’re the best of buddies. And they’ve both developed a policy of mutual neutrality toward Rufus. “You don’t hit me, I won’t hit you.” And Rufus is fine with that.

Dancing

The dance of feline politics continues.

Three cats on the bed–usually Rhubarb, Yuki, and ‘Nuki–isn’t uncommon. Lately, however, Sachiko has been hanging out on the bed as well. I suspect it has to do with the weather cooling off, but that’s (a) conjecture and (b) beside the point.

The actual point is that her presence disturbs the normal alignments. Instead of Rhubarb and Yuki cuddling in one corner and Watanuki monopolizing another, we get something of a feline compass rose:
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Mind you, cats have their own sense of direction. They’re marking out East-SouthNuki, West-SouthSachiko, West-NorthYuki, and East-NorthRhubarb.

Not so great for geocaching.

Rather awkward for humans trying to lie down as well.

But what can one do? We all know who’s really running this joint.

Relaxicat

We often call Rhubarb our Smoked Salmon Boy.
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Not because of his appetite, though he does love to lick the lid when we open a can of salmon.

And not just because of his coloration, though he is a lovely salmon-orange and cream-cheese-white.

But mostly because he’s a cat who really knows how to put the lox in “loxing out”.

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(No, he’s not fond of that pun.  Or puns in general.)