That Brightness Ain’t the Sunrise

Yes, I know yesterday’s post was a bit dark. For the record, no I’m not particularly depressed. No need to alert Facebook’s algorithms.

And, speaking of records, the Mariners did set that record–15 games at the beginning of the season with at least one home run–they did win yesterday in a very thrilling come-from-behind fashion, and they now return home bearing the best record in baseball and a four game division lead over the Astros. Who are, coincidentally, the team they’ll be playing for the next three days and who, historically speaking, the Mariners have always had trouble beating. As I said before, it can’t last. But it’s a great ride while it does.

Anyway, how about something cheerful as an antidote to yesterday’s doom and gloom?

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Hang on, let me enhance that a little. Or at least brighten it up a bit.

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Why, look! It’s Lefty, out of the room he shares with Rufus!

Yes, we’ve begun giving him opportunities to explore the upstairs hall. He’s been very cautious about it, not spending much time off his familiar turf, and certainly not letting us close (hence the low resolution of the pictures–they were cropped out of shots taken from halfway across the house).

But he’s taking steps in the right direction. Not only is he broadening his horizons, but he’s also had a couple of opportunities to exchange less-than-flattering personal observations with ‘Nuki.

Now that is a rite of passage!

Finally, lest you think I’ve merely exchanged dark words for dark pictures, here’s something bright and cheerful.

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It’s not often we see these three hanging out together. Enjoy.

Still the Best of Friends

Five years and eleven months ago, I wrote about how, two years before, we had become a five cat household, blowing right through all sensible limits regarding proper human to feline ratios.

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Yuki and Watanuki, I said then, had been hanging out together at the shelter, and it seemed far too great a sin to break up such a promising friendship. Now, here we are, more than eight years after the Ookis graced us with their presence in our lives, and they’re still great friends.

To the extent that ‘Nuki has friends, anyway. But leave his thuggery for another day.

They can often, as you see here, be found hanging out on the bed together.

They share common interests. Home security (“Ooki Brothers’ Security is on the case!”). Treats. Drooling.

Mutual grooming is far from unheard of.

And they have similar reactions to being photographed. “You get one shot. After that, I’m going to shift to a less photogenic pose.”

So it was an exciting day when I not only got the shot of the two of them sharing out the pillows, but even persuaded them to hold still long enough to get individual images.

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Mr. Floof isn’t actually gazing into your soul. I don’t think so, anyway. More likely, he’s assessing the odds that you’ve got a cat treat in your pocket.

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Mr. Knuckles, on the other paw, is definitely sizing up your soul and finding it lacking. He’s not using his eyes, though. Those whiskers of his are multipurpose implements whose utility goes far beyond mundane navigation. They weigh souls, field dress prey, and tune in FM radio.

Floof Is Everywhere

Floof is everywhere.

For starters, here’s a picture of Yuki I missed last week.
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Maggie calls it “Swirl of Floof.” It’s convincing evidence in support of the theory that cats are liquid and will take on the shape of whatever container they put themselves in. In this case, it’s the condo we refer to as “The Hammock,” a favored hangout for Yuki, as well as Sachiko and Watanuki.

And, speaking of Mr. ‘Nuki, here you see him field testing Maggie’s new blanket. Yes, the purple and blue one.
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She got it because it’s warm and snuggly–floofy, even–but ‘Nuki is a suspicious sort and he takes his role as head of household security seriously. He’s not going to approve it for use without extremely careful testing.

So far, he’s been testing it around the clock for ten days.

He won’t commit to a schedule to wrap up the testing. Though it should be noted that the actual testing process requires quite a bit of wrapping up.

Maggie may yet get to use it without Mr. Knuckles’ supervision, but at the rate he’s going, that may not be until June.

Floof Face Friday

It’s important for me to remember that all the fuzzies need attention. I can’t allow myself to get caught up in over-posting the latest arrivals. Though anyone who’s followed the blog for a while knows I’m not always good at following that rule. Sachiko got a disproportionate amount of attention until Rufus came along, and he got more than his fair share until Lefty arrived.

In an attempt, however fleeting it might be, to redress the balance, I’ve chosen to devote today’s post to Yuki. And the fact that he tried to climb into my lap and demand pettings yesterday had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Without further ado, please enjoy this installment of Floof Face Friday.

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Call this face “Inquistive”. Also known as “What the heck are they doing now?”

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It’s not uncommon for “Inquisitive” to be followed by “Regal”. Yuki is above such mundane matters as humans wielding cameras. Ignore the blob of goo in the corner of his right eye. Yuki is also above such mundanities as grooming himself for his closeup.

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“Reproachful Irritation” is the face he presents when his grooming is interrupted.

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And “Sleepy Ire” is what Yuki displays when awakened from slumber by the camera’s infrared focusing light.

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Then, of course, we have “How Can You Resist Those Big Yellow Eyes?” which is also known as “I Can Haz Pettins Nao?”

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And finally, there’s this one. It’s either “There’s a Bug On the Ceiling” or “Chin Skritch Time”. Yuki’s facial enunciation isn’t always perfectly clear.

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.

Friday the Thirteenth

A brief tailtale in honor of Friday the Thirteenth.

Yuki, you see, had an unpleasant encounter with a monster.
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Nervous? Uneasy? You be the judge.
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Here’s a hint: A few seconds later, he made a break for freedom.
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What do you mean, ‘Did he get away?’ What do you take me for? Today may be Friday the Thirteenth, but I don’t do horror films.
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Sheesh!

Yuki Beans

Continuing with our tour of the local toe beans, we come to Yuki.

One of Yuki’s greatest selling points is his inexorable consistency. Precisely at dinner time, he’ll begin knocking on the door to Maggie’s office and announcing his imminent starvation.

Ten minutes after lights-out, he drapes himself across my shins.

And he’s just as consistent physically as he is in his habits.

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Floofy and black above.

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Floofy and black below. Right down to his toe beans.

Oh, one other bit of consistency: Whenever a camera is pointed at him, he gets very wiggly. This is one case where you can definitely blame the quality of the photos on the model instead of the photographer.

And he’s not a bit sorry.

Neglect

Google Photos can be scary.

Not their facial recognition, although that can be startling.

Certainly not the automatic grouping of photos by date and location; that’s downright useful.

No, I’m talking about the Assistant function. I think The Algorithm gets bored sometimes.

It’ll find similar pictures and stitch them together into an animated GIF, or apply some crazy color scheme and call it a “stylized photo”. Most of them are useless, and I just delete them.

But every so often, it’ll decide one of the cats isn’t getting enough attentions, and it’ll go to a very weird place.

A couple of days ago, it decided Yuki was feeling neglected, and as a result, it created this.

Google Photos. Don’t neglect your cats.