Equal Time

Rhubarb was greatly offended by last week’s post. “You do Kaja pictures alla time. Been forever since I getted attentions.”

He’s got a point. Not a great one: Kaja wasn’t actually the main focus last week. On the other forepaw, though, her most recent starring role was last August, while he hasn’t had a major appearance since July of 2020.

“Sorry about that, Buddy. Wanna pose for me?”

“I’m ready for my close-up, hoomin.”

Indeed.

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.

Too Much of a Good Thing

A couple of weeks ago, I was commending Kokoro for her generosity.

Let it be noted that one can be too generous.

Case in point:

Sure, it was a friendly gesture to share her heat pad with Rhubarb. But when Watanuki got involved…

Let’s just say that ‘Nuki hasn’t internalized the meaning of the word “share”.

No heat for Rhubarb, and Kokoro is so far away, she’s teetering on the brink of falling off the futon.

But at least the crew is being amicable about the whole thing. The futon has, it seems, been unanimously declared “neutral territory: open to all” in the same way our bed has.

Still, Kokoro needs the heat on her joints more than anyone else.

All Scrooging Aside…

Or is that “Grinching”?

I did, just yesterday, hear a Christmas song I enjoyed: Jethro Tull’s interpretation of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.

Why did I enjoy it? Partly because it was instrumental, so I didn’t have to deal with the lyrics and partly because it was a heavily jazz-influenced interpretation–remember what I was saying about doing something different?

Mostly, though, it was because I’d never heard it. At all, much less seventy-‘leven times this week.

Anyway, as the post title has it, you’re not here today to listen to me rant about music. I know what you really want.

A rare moment of amity, no doubt seasonally inspired.

Kokoro isn’t exactly known for sharing, but lately she has been allowing Rhubarb to join her on the heat pad. The weather has been chilly, and nobody wants cold toe beans, so kudos to Ms. Kokopoof for her contribution to familial harmony.

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.

A Worthy Successor

Rufus was, and probably will always be, the champion blepper of the household.

Fortunately for those of us who love a good blep, Rhubarb is highly accomplished in the field.

(Thanks to Maggie for the photo.)

A master class talent, wouldn’t you say?

And the 3/4 inverted head adds more than a trifling measure of charm.

It is, however, the freckled nose that really sells the blep.

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.