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.
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.
Sorry to anyone who was hoping for profound insights today.
Instead, just appreciate how easy Sachiko makes “deeply cute” seem.
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.
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:
The Ookis came into the house at the same time, but ‘Nuki is clearly the senior of the two.
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.
Kaja (a born leader and much more aggressive than her littermate)
And the grande dame, Ms. Kokoro
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.
Kaja has laid claim to Maggie’s office. She spends much of her time surveying her domain from the highest available spot.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Don’t be fooled by her noble pose. She’s just waiting for dinner.
(Amusingly, when I first spotted her, there was a small bird–probably something I’d call a “zippy bird” if I saw it at our feeder–perched on the light fixture. By the time I grabbed the camera, it had flown the coop. [Sorry])
And don’t be fooled by her noble expression. She’s just waiting for dinner.
(And warming her butt on Maggie’s laptop. You might think in the recent hot weather she’d prefer to hang out in front of the air conditioner, but no.)
Sachiko has laid claim to the household’s entire stockpile of gooshy fud.
Not only does she have the shared stock of Purina and the Fancy Feast we use when someone is on medication (mixing the drugs into the “Kitty Krack” ensures the patient gets their full dose), but on her far side is Watanuki’s special low-residue gooshy and Sachiko has one haunch firmly planted on that case as well.
“Share?” she says. “It’s mine now, and I don’t do shares.”
If retaining ownership means staying put 24/7, Sachiko is up for it.
In truth, she’s abandoned her hoard a couple of times for visits to the box and–because her hoomins are rude and refuse to put food bowls anywhere but on the floor–to eat. But she solemnly assures us that those minor lapses “don’t count”.
A little while ago, I decided to introduce Lefty to the Little Red Dot. It didn’t go as expected.
He was definitely interested and made some tentative moves toward chasing it.
Then Sachiko showed up, and, well…
Lefty was baffled by her performance and has studiously avoided the LRD since then.