It’s His Expression That Makes It Work

Sachiko has been feeling frisky lately. Since her usual tussling partner is Watanuki–tuxedo cats have to stick together–we get a lot of scenes like this.

“Hey, Big Brudder Nookles, let’s throw down! Imma take you dis time!”

You can just hear him thinking, “Yeah, right, Kid. Just like you have the last umpty-dozen times I’ve nipped your ears for you.”

So then, of course, he throws the first slap.

We get about ten seconds of mixed martial arts, followed by thundering hoofbeats as Sachiko heads for the supposed safety of one of the condos.

‘Nuki doesn’t bother to chase her. He knows she’ll be back for another round (more than) soon enough.

Ownership

Cats are territorial, but as I’ve noted in the past, ownership can change.

Case in point: the Condo at the Top of the Stairs* was previously Lefty’s spot. Not that he went inside much, but he frequently sat on top of it. Before Lefty took possession, Watanuki was a frequent resident.

* We’re still not sure if it’s supposed to be a TV or a microwave. Certainly the controls suggest the former, but the overall impression seems other. Perhaps it was designed by someone–probably on commission–who’d never actually seen a TV old enough to have a UHF dial. I can see him deciding that a Google Image search would be too much work. “Hmm, that microwave has a couple of dials and is square and boxy. Good enough.”

With the library–currently aka “Emeraldas’ Room–being open most of the day and night, Lefty is spending most of his time in there, leaving the CatTofS vacant. As we saw a couple of weeks ago, Yuki gave it a test, but ultimately he seems to have decided it’s not for him.

Never loathe to stake out turf in a high traffic zone, Sachiko moved in.

Not that gloats about her new habitat, of course.

She just has a smug resting face.

Not As Advertised

Don’t believe anyone who tells you cats are graceful, elegant creatures.

They trip over their own feet.

They trip over each other.

They sprawl on the floor and melt into puddles of fur.

And, of course, they groom themselves.

At least Mr. Nookles was courteous enough to place that paw where he did. There are children present!

Well, okay, she’s not a child any more and she’s been guilty of the same infraction against public decency, but still…

Enthusiasm Is a Variable Quantity

The cats got their Christmas present a couple of days early.

As one would expect, reactions are mixed. Nor, for that matter, has everyone expressed an opinion. But early returns are encouraging.

Yuki is neutral. He knows it’s there, but hasn’t shown much interest.

Watanuki, on the other forepaw, is enthusiastic.

Very enthusiastic.

Lefty is interested. Cautiously interested.

Especially cautious with Mr. Knuckles watching him. Lefty needs a certain amount of reassurance that he’s allowed to use it.

However, there’s no question about who’s most enthralled by the new playground. That’s Sachiko, paws–and all other body parts–down.

Well, okay, toe beans up, even if the other parts are down. But it’s hard to beat a twenty-beans-up rating.

Happy–Ooh, Shiny!

I had plans for today’s post. Really, I did. Unfortunately, distractability kicked me in the rear, as it has so often these past few months.

So, instead of the elaborate disquisition I had planned, you get a quick “Then/Now” post. Well, it is–as best we can tell–more or less her birthday.

Sachiko at age (approximately) three months:

In constant motion, fierce to defend her toys, but always eager for a cuddle.

Sachiko at age (approximately) six years:

No longer a model of hyperjettic behavior, much more willing to share toys, and considerably more rotund, but still an enthusiastic snuggler.

Happy Approximate Birthday, oh Pampered Princess Pointy-Bits.

Sound Off!

The weird lighting and rapidly changing temperatures have everyone in the household a bit unbalanced and prone to hiding in caves and/or under the covers*. The result is a notable lack of entertainingly cute pictures this week.

* I include the two-legged inhabitants in that assessment.

So, instead, how about a Rogues’ Gallery of all of the quadrupeds with a minimum of commentary?

In order of increasing seniority:

MM

Lefty

Sachiko

The Ookis came into the house at the same time, but ‘Nuki is clearly the senior of the two.
Yuki

Watanuki (three months older and far more dominant than his shelter-brother)

The Flying Monkeys don’t fly as much as they used to when they were kittens. But again, Kaja is the obvious senior.
Rhubarb

Kaja (a born leader and much more aggressive than her littermate)

And the grande dame, Ms. Kokoro

Everchanging

Sachiko and Watanuki have a peculiarly inconsistent relationship. Sometimes he’s her idol, sometimes her best friend, and sometimes beneath her notice.

Simultaneously, but not synchronously, she’s his favored companion and security consultant, sometimes his chief rival, and sometimes his best chew-toy.

The constantly changing combinations can be dizzying.

Take, for example, the other night. The Tuxedoed Terrors were sitting together at the foot of the bed. Suddenly, ‘Nuki began washing Sachiko’s ears.

By the time I was able to reach the headboard and grab my phone, he was affecting boredom while she washed his ears.

And then, by the time I adjusted the flash settings in hope of getting a better shot, Sachiko had been demoted to “Evil Villain Who Must Be Gnawed Into Submission” and ‘Nuki had been laterally transferred to “I’m Getting Away From Him Before He Eats My Throat”.

I believe Sachiko bounced off of three different walls and the ceiling in making her escape.

Watanuki turned, sprawled across my ankles, and dared me to move.

I knew better.

It’s a Question of Style

Kaja has laid claim to Maggie’s office. She spends much of her time surveying her domain from the highest available spot.

14-1

She brooks no trespass on her domain. Anyone attempting to join her on the shelf is soundly cuffed, and non-resident felines entering the room are resoundingly cussed.

By contrast, Watanuki rules a much smaller territory. The foot of the bed is his and he only grudgingly shares it with bipeds.

As for other felines, one can tell how much favor they’re in by how close he allows them to settle.

For example, he’s generally on good terms with Sachiko, and they frequently hang out near the kitchen window together. But when it comes to the bed…

14-2

Enough said.

Yuki, however, is another matter. ‘Nuki isn’t much of a snuggler, at least with other cats–he’s a master drooler upon biped legs–but he’ll generally make an exception for Yuki.

They’ve been together since late kittenhood, and the Knucklehead watches out for his less agile brother.

Cuddles are common.

14-3

Lower Education

It’s well known that cats are liquid. The Internet is full of pictures demonstrating how they conform to the shape of whatever vessel they’re poured into.

What gets much less attention, however, is the corollary: any insufficiently restrained fluid will flow downhill.

For your edification, Sachiko demonstrates.

10-1

Here we see her hindquarters just beginning to overflow the retaining lip of the condo.

Regrettably, I am unable to show the rest of the photo series. Yes, the educational value of Her Batshit Majesty’s sacrifice of dignity suffers. However, she informed me in no uncertain terms that if I wished to retain possession of the hand holding my phone, I would suppress the remaining images.

Freedom of the press only goes so far in an autocracy.

Let us just note that cats do, in fact, flow downhill, and if sufficiently taken aback by the process, they don’t always land on their feet.