Unusual

Want to see some of the unusual views of the feline contingent we’ve gotten lately? It’s been that kind of week.

Yuki’s not big on contemplation, so it was a rare treat to find him lost in thought Tuesday morning.
13-1

Mind you, I’m not sure what he’s thinking about. It was probably something deeply profound like “Why isn’t it dinner time yet?” He’s not a dedicated snarfler like some of the others, but I’ve never known him to turn down a meal.

Then we were treated to a unique view of Watanuki. It’s not uncommon for him to leave a limb sticking out of whatever object he’s snoozing on, but he’s always careful to keep his paws pointed at the floor.
13-2

But he slipped up on Wednesday. Just check out those cute toe beans. They wouldn’t be nearly as attractive without those two bits of black to set off the pink.

But I’m sure he’ll be blushing under his fur when he realizes I’ve posted this shot.

Wednesday was really the unusual day. Rufus found his way down to the living room and onto the sofa.
13-3

Curling up and snoozing all day isn’t hugely unusual for him, though more often than not, he’ll drop by my office to see what I’m up to. But he went to the vet Wednesday morning for his annual checkup, and he was feeling a bit under the weather.

So the living room, where felines rarely go seemed ideal. A bit of blanket rearrangement, and he had himself a perfect nest to sleep off the vaccination blues.

Mind you, it wasn’t a day of total strangeness. When we told him it was dinner time…
13-4his reaction was a very typical, “Why didn’t you wake me up sooner?”

Roll Call

Nobody’s done anything particularly cute lately, so how about a simple collection of relaxed cats in their favorite snoozing spots?

I’m putting them in order of seniority. Pecking order might be more useful, but it changes so quickly it would be out of date by the time the post goes live and probably change twice more while you’re reading it.

15-1
Kokoro likes the tangle of wires under my desk. It’s shadowed, convenient for requesting cuddles, and if she gets bored, there’s an ARC of The RagTime Traveler to read.

15-2
Kaja has several favorite hangouts, but Maggie’s office chair is currently the absolute winner. The sheepskin cover means its always at a comfortable temperature, and the seat itself is just the right size.

15-3
Rhubarb is never happier than when he can curl up on the newspaper. If he can prevent me from getting to the sports section, it’s an even bigger win.

15-4
Watanuki moves around a lot, but the hammock in the upstairs hall is a perennial favorite. It conforms to his shape while allowing him to leave limbs dangling (note the right rear paw). And there’s a window right there so he has a perfect excuse to turn his back on us.

15-5
Yuki has long favored the bed, especially my side. Not only is it just the right degree of softness to gratify his sybaritic soul, but the red blanket sets of his fur most elegantly.

15-6
Sachiko has resting places all over the house, but she spends most of her time on one the dining room chairs. “Ize da queen,” she says–and yes, she still speaks Kitten, probably because we spoil her immensely–“and I gotsa have da biggest fwone!”

15-7
Rufus is still exploring the house and trying new possibilities. But at the moment his spot of choice is the floor next to my desk chair. Convenient when he wants pettings; directly in the path of the fan, so he stays nice and cool; and one of the few places ‘Nuki rarely goes.

Quantum Leap

Rufus’ horizons continue to expand.

He’s begun making solo forays downstairs. He’s visited the kitchen and dining room a couple of times–he quite enjoyed spending time on the rug where Maggie sprinkles catnip.

He’s come into the bedroom a few times. On two of those visits, I’ve put him on the bed and given him cuddles. Both times he seemed nervous and left as quickly as he politely could. He is, as I’ve noted before, a very polite creature.

Last week he dropped by the other cats’ food bowls and was quite miffed to discover there was no food in them.
01-1
We explained that it’s extremely rare to find food in the bowls in the evening, because we fill them shortly before bedtime. He listened, nodded, and then said “But there’s no food in the bowls.” Well, actually he said “Growp, gwack,” but we’re fairly sure about the translation.

The real breakthrough came this Wednesday. I had been upstairs working, and came down to flop on the bed to read for a while, only to discover that my spot had been usurped. Yes, that’s my pillow he’s leaning against.
01-2
I don’t know how long he’d been there, but he seemed quite comfortable.

Even more impressively, he wasn’t alone.
01-3
Yuki and Rufus shared the bed for at least two hours–I wound up reading elsewhere–and parted amicably.

Boxed

Did you know that rabbits are susceptible to Maru’s Syndrome?
18-1

“If it fits, I sits,” indeed. There were several bunnies at the county fair who had more extreme cases of the disease, but this one was the cutest.

Speaking of boxes, I went to clean the litter boxes a few days ago and discovered that someone had left a message.
18-2

That’s not a casual comment or accident. The scoop normally lies on the artificial grass mat visible at the lower left. Whoever it was had to pick it up and carry it into the box.

And no, I don’t think the message was that the box needed cleaning. Despite what it looks like in this picture, it actually had less mess in it than usual.

Nor has the message been repeated. Maybe it was just “I’m bored and this looks like a toy.”

I don’t know who left the message either, but odds are good that it was one of these guys.
18-3

They may look cute and innocent when they’re curled up on the bed together, but I’m fairly sure that the more innocent they look, the more likely they are to be plotting some fresh deviltry.

And, speaking of deviltry, Sachiko wanted to know when I was going to put her on the blog again.
18-4

Never let it be said that I gave her an excuse to bury the litter box scoop. Not that she’d need an excuse if she thought of it.

Some Things Never Change

I hope nobody thought I’d leave you without a cat picture or two today, just because I posted the Rufus picture on Wednesday.

Oh, no, I wouldn’t do that. Special means exactly that.

So, without further ado, Rhubarb and Yuki, doing what they do best.

21-1

Even when the politics get furrier than usual–and they have been, what with Rufus’ integration, ‘Nuki’s determination to be boss, Sachiko’s on-again-off-again feud with Kokoro, and too many more continuing dramas for me to conveniently count–they still find time to snuggle up and snooze.

21-2

Is there anything lovelier than a pair of intertwined tails?

High Drama

The drama and excitement is non-stop around here, folks. Consider this scene Maggie captured a few days ago.

16-1

Something has Yuki fascinated. So fascinated he hasn’t even noticed the stray hair on his nose. The stray hair that will shortly cause him to sneeze so violently that his tail, normally curled at the end, unwinds to lie straight for nearly four seconds!

But who’s that lurking in the background?

16-2

Why, it’s Rhubarb, carefully disclaiming all knowledge of where that orange hair came from, much less how it found its way to Yuki’s nose…

Meanwhile, out in the backyard,

16-3

MM continues to prove that Carroll’s Alice was a remarkably unobservant young lady.

They’re Here!

I didn’t remember ordering anything, but there the box was. Being no fool, I let the security detail check it out. Once they assured me there was nothing in it that required their attention (translation: no catnip), I opened it.
02-1

Yup. Author’s copies of The RagTime Traveler arrived safely before the release date.

Naturally, I needed a couple of pictures for posterity.

Rhubarb and Yuki were properly awed.
02-2

Integration

“Separate but equal” is not an acceptable option.

Accordingly, we’ve been continuing to introduce Rufus to the rest of the gang with increasing levels of interaction and self-guided exploration.

Thursday evening, we opened the door to Rufus’ space*, and then sat back to watch what happened and intercede if the political negotiations got out of paw.

* Which is also the space where Sachiko lived until she was sufficiently socialized to join the “big kitties”. As such, she takes a certain proprietary interest in that room.

Rufus spent a few minutes sniffing around the bathroom.
10-1

Not finding much to interest him, he headed down the hall in the other direction. Kokoro, ‘Nuki, and Yuki were much more interesting than the bathroom.
10-2
And, of course, they found Rufus quite intriguing as well.

Approximately three seconds after that picture was taken, ‘Nuki and Rufus exchanged a few paw swats, none of which made contact.

Discretion being the better part, Rufus returned to his room, to discover that somebody had taken advantage of his absence to explore.
10-3

Shortly thereafter, Yuki decided to join the party.
10-4

As you can see, Rufus wasn’t amused. He returned to the hall, sending Yuki into a precipitous retreat–so naturally Kokoro and Sachiko took advantage of his absence to explore.

10-5

When he came back, Kokoro made a successful escape, but Sachiko panicked, and tried to hide under the futon. She realized it was a mistake almost as soon as she stopped moving, but she couldn’t bring herself to leave past Rufus. Nor could we lure her out–even her favorite treat–licking the fork that we mix Rufus’ food with–couldn’t tempt her out.

The poor Skittercritter stayed under the futon, growling at nothing (or perhaps herself) until we gave Rufus his dinner. As soon as Sachiko realized he was distracted, she hurled herself across the room, out the door, and down the stairs at the end of the hall. She didn’t quite crack the sound barrier, but I think she exceeded the freeway speed limit.

That was all more excitement than we had planned for one day. So the next few days we’ll step back and limit interactions to what they can do through a just-barely-ajar door.

Once everyone’s chilled out, we’ll let them mingle again.

Teamwork

So many of my posts only show one of the cats, you all must be getting a false impression. Yes, I’ve shown you several of them using each other as pillows, but beyond that, not much.

But they really do hang out together when they’re awake, too.
19-1

Case in point.

Mid-afternoon. The mail had already been delivered, which meant there was no reason to hide in the closet, so several of them decided to sprawl on the stairs and watch the world go by.

That’s Sachiko on the lowest step, by the way.
19-2

As you can see, she’s not nearly as relaxed as that first shot would suggest. Even when she does relax, she’s still usually on alert; I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her sleeping, at least not so soundly that anything larger than a moth could sneak up on her.

Which is, of course, part of the reason she gets along so well with ‘Nuki, our self-appointed Chief of Security.
19-3

Naturally, any time we open the sliding door, it calls for a two-member security team to ensure that nothing gets through the screen door. They’ll stay on duty for hours until we come to our senses and lock the house down again.

Such dedication! Such comradeship! Such gratuitous self-indulgence!