Kitteh Parteh Time!

We have multiple kitteh partehs each evening. Kokoro gets a private party, because her treats contain her meds. The Flying Monkeys have their party, the downstairs gang gets two–partly for historical reasons, partly to help ensure that Emeraldas gets her fair share–and, of course, Yuki gets a parteh before we close him into his room for the night.

Yuki’s parteh is actually the first of the evening, and it’s the only one that’s open invitation. Whoever shows up gets treats. And, naturally, his brother-in-all-but-genetics is always there. In fact, Watanuki often shows up before Yuki does.

But it’s still Yuki’s parteh, and Mr. Floof gets the first treat.

And, yes, we do use tongs to distribute the treats. Only at Yuki’s parteh. Because while the Ooki brothers are generally safe enough to hand-feed, something about being next to each other like this brings out their darker sides (no pun intended).

You do not want to get your fingers too close to the fearsome, chawmpin’ jaws of the Floofigator.

Nor do you want to risk digital integrity when Thugzilla shows up.

I mean, seriously. Right-click those photos and “open in new tab” to see them full size. Take a close look at the toothmarks in the tongs. Picture them on your hands.

We’re considering adding puncture-proof gloves to our Yuki Parteh outfits.

Triad

Yuki, Emeraldas, and Lefty have an interesting relationship.

Or, I suppose, set of relationships.

As best we can tell, Em is madly in love with Yuki, taking every opportunity to snuggle up, groom him and be groomed by him. Yuki seems to enjoy the attention–except when she gets too vigorous and knocks him over (he’s not very stable on his feet)–but doesn’t go out of his way to spend time with her.

Her Majesty also spends much of her time with Lefty. There’s far less grooming, mutual or otherwise, but significant amounts of quiet chilling, especially in the late evening when they share my chair in the dining room.

As for the boys, they’ll snuggle up and indulge in a bit of mutual grooming, but there’s a definite air of making do, especially as they only occasionally do it when Emeraldas is around.

So a scene like this one is rare.

No question, Em is the hinge pin in the scissor of their triad.

Or maybe that’s the wrong metaphor. Never mind, it’s late and so is the post. I’ll go with it.

And close with a shot of Yuki, showing just how he feels about her grooming efforts.

Quick Updates (Feline Edition)

Naturally, as soon as I spoke about the tenacious nature of Emeraldas’ tangle, it came out. The matted fur has been safely and appropriately disposed of, and we once again have a sleek and elegant meezer roaming the house.

And we’re just fine with that.

Lefty, meanwhile, has begun to display an unexpected lazy side.

Normally he’s quite willing to jump over the baby gate that keeps Yuki in the bedroom. Every so often, though, we find him perched on the condos, wistfully waiting for someone to open the gate and let him in.

And to brush the dust bunnies off his nose and forehead.

Speaking of Yuki, not only has his wild whisker been flourishing, but it’s produced a clone.

Two wild whiskers from–as far as we can see–a single root.

Sometimes You Control the Story…

Every writer knows that you don’t always get to tell the story you planned. Stuff happens. And the story takes control and heads off in its own direction.

This was going to be a story about Yuki.

That elegant plume of a tail, that imperial demeanor, those curiously marbled toe beans.

And then I looked behind him.

‘Nuki does have a way of taking over every story. Something about the way he muscles in, plops himself down, and starts tapping your arm with his murder mitts.

And he glares.

Even when he’s relaxed.

Happy? Glare.

Suspicious? Glare.

Writing poetry? Serious glare.

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.

Camel-back Floof

As some of you–those who are paying attention–know, I missed a post a month back.

2021 has been an emotional rollercoaster–much like 2020, in fact, albeit in a somewhat lower key. B-flat, perhaps.

The particular Bactrian-cervical-fracturing event was a medical emergency. Yuki was…well, I’m going to avoid graphic depictions here and just say that he was spewing from both ends at once. This despite not eating and not drinking significant amounts.

The short-term result was a series of vet visits, both to his regular doctors and, because they aren’t a 24-hour outfit, the emergency vet for overnight monitoring. Highly stressful for Yuki, Maggie, me, and all the rest of the gang. Many were the nervous looks and plaintive cries of “Where’s the floofy guy?”

To avoid needlessly prolonging the suspense, I’ll leave it at that and say that he’s well past that crisis and doing okay.

The main long-term result is that he’s been switched from his preferred diet (Kitty Krack and regular dry food) to a diet of foods designed for sensitive stomachs. He’s not thrilled about it, but he is eating enough of it to fill his nutritional needs.

And we’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to switch everyone to the new food. It’s amazing how liberating it is not to be buying four different kinds of gooshy food (Kitty Krack for Yuki, urinary diet for ‘Nuki, Halo for Kokoro, Kaja, and Rhubarb, and Purina One for everyone else). We’ve had a few upset tummies along the way–even if the food is for sensitive stomachs, any dietary change can be a problem for the feline digestive system–but that seems to be settling down, and nobody is voicing major objections.

Yuki is still regaining strength, and it’s an open question how much he’ll be able to do. His hind legs have been an issue for years, and they’re definitely more wobbly than they were in, say, July. (Note from Maggie: the issue with his wobbly hind legs isn’t so much a matter of leg problems as it is cerebellar problems — although he also has wonky knees and hips. Whatever’s causing his hindlimb ataxia seems to be fairly stable, but one of the known side effects of the metronidazole he was taking is…ataxia, and it can take awhile to wear off)

But he’s largely cheerful, he’s getting around the portions of the house we’re giving him access to (no stairs!), and he’s jumping well enough to get onto the bed.

The naked areas at the base of his tail, on his front leg, and on his stomach (shaved for sanitation, catheterization, and ultrasound, respectively) are a fashion statement he doesn’t much care for. We’re not crazy about it either, for that matter.

But if it’s a choice between concentrating on his walking or regrowing his floof, we’re all in agreement that we can live with a bit of feline nudity.

Overflow

I don’t know why pictures of cats who don’t quite fit into their chosen spaces amuses me so much.

Maybe it’s the subtle–or sometimes not-so-subtle–puncturing of their superior attitude.

Or perhaps it’s because it’s an excellent illustration of how flexible the parameters of “If it fits, I sits” can become in the right paws.

Or–most likely of all–because it’s just gosh-darned cute.

As Yuki demonstrated recently.

There is a cat attached to that tail, but I sure can’t prove it.

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.

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