How Can You Resist?

Turns out there is at least one thing Lefty doesn’t consider to be food.

Aside from feta, that is.

We continue to give him opportunities to broaden his culinary palette, and he generally adopts them with enthusiasm. Surprisingly, however, yoghurt turned out to be beyond the food event horizon.

Granted, stereotypes about cats and dairy products are greatly overblown. But Rhubarb is an enthusiastic yoghurt eater–even though it causes various sorts of digestive upset–so we rather expected Lefty to give it a try. Nope. A couple of sniffs were followed by burying motions.

And, yes, we know we really shouldn’t be feeding him at the table.

But he’s so polite about his requests. He sits quietly on the floor between our chairs and gives us the “Hey, hoomins, here I am, how about it?” look.

Maybe you could resist.

We can’t.

Dance, Kitteh, Dance!

This time I’ve got a legit excuse for the Friday-Post-On-Saturday thing: It took way longer than I expected to get even somewhat usable photos.

See, Watanuki does the “Gimme a treat, hoomin” dance whenever we hold a Kitteh Partay. Which is several times every evening, as part of the food distribution ritual. And I knew you would all like to see that.

But video just wasn’t happening for some reason. Still not sure why; I need to do some experimenting. And, whatever good you can say about the Pixel 6 camera system, it’s not the speediest thing going when light levels are low enough to require flash.

So it took a couple of nights of attempts to bring you, well, this.

I’ll keep trying on the video. I’m quite sure y’all will love the little hop that goes along with that pose.

He seems graceful and elegant in that shot, doesn’t he? But that’s the first steps of the dance. The end looks rather less exalted.

Enjoy that face in your nightmares, folks.

Moving Forward While Sitting Still

Queen Emeraldas has taken a huge step forward.

Yes, those are my legs she’s curled up between.

We’re not entirely sure she recognizes legs and feet as being part of reclining bipeds. And she definitely didn’t jump up on the bed to hang out with me.

She’s been showing up in the late evening recently, hopping up on the bed to snuggle with Yuki. Interestingly, she’s allowing him to wash her ears, which is often a submissive signal. It’s hard to picture Em as submissive with anyone, but there it is.

Anyway, on this particular day, Yuki happened to be sprawled between my knees, so Em had no real choice but to curl up where she did.

Every time I so much as twitched, she looked up in alarm, so I wound up holding as still as I could for about half an hour. Naturally, my legs went to sleep, so I did eventually have to restore circulation by moving. At which point, she leapt off the bed and sulked on the floor.

But the truly wonderful thing is that she apparently decided the bed is a comfy place to hang out, even when Mr. Floof isn’t present.

Witness the scene a few days later when I went into the bedroom:

Rather than disturbing her more than I already had by taking the picture, I decided to read elsewhere.

Sit Right Down

I promised you a critter post this week, and by gosh and by golly, here it is.

(Good thing I didn’t promise it for Friday, huh? No, Saturday is not, as Maggie suggested, the new Friday. I’ll put ’em up on Friday as often as possible, but there will still be occasional slippage to Saturday.)

Anyway, onward to the actual post.

Emeraldas and Lefty both enjoy sitting in my chair in the dining room. Em will often grab it overnight and up until the bipeds start stirring. Lefty takes over after breakfast and generally maintains possession until dinner time.

In the evening, though?

Yeah, neither one is willing to give way to the other.

Cats being cats, joint possession needs to be negotiated. With extensive meepling, ear nibbling, and forehead bopping. Every. Single. Evening.

That Felt Weird

Maggie and I did some socializing last week.

For the first time in two years. Which makes us sound anti-social by traditional standards, but these days, it’s, well, the New Normal. Rather a depressing thought, isn’t it? Sorry about that.

And, to be frank, I wasn’t sure I was ready to spend an evening with other people when none of us would be masked. Even though everyone was vaccinated, boostered, and had taken a rapid test. But the payoff would be huge, so I went.

I mean, given the chance to hang out with our godkittehs…


…why in the name of all that’s furry would I decline?

And after all the build-up, and wary anticipation, the strangest thing about the evening was how normal it felt.

I mean, I’ve seen a number of my cow-orkers unmasked, and they looked really weird. There has been a significant quantity of staff turnover, to the point where I hadn’t ever seen some of those people without a mask. Others, I’ve only seen with their masks on for two years.

Discovering they have mouths is disconcerting at best. Disturbing in some cases. I didn’t know one of them had a beard.

But everyone at the gathering last week–even the bipeds–was face-naked. And it felt perfectly fine.

Maybe the difference is that I’ve never seen them masked. But then again, at work I see customers without masks–people I’ve never seen masked before–and they look odd. What’s that pink, flappy thing where the mask should be? Is it supposed to be there?

Now what? Even though I’m no longer required to wear a mask at work, I’ve been continuing to do it, because it makes me feel more comfortable. Should I take a hit to my comfort level and do my part to push a return to the Old Normal? Or look at the rising caseload in countries like Germany and China and do what I can to establish a new New Normal–one where masking is acceptable, even when not required?

I’m open to going mask-free. Not eager, perhaps, but I’m willing to consider it generally or on a case-by-case basis. And there’s one very strong argument for keeping the mask on for another couple of months when I’m outside the house: I don’t know about you, but my hay fever has been much less of a thing than usual the past two Springs. I find I like not sneezing uncontrollably whenever trees throw reproductive material at me.

So, for right now, the mask stays on, with exceptions for special occasions. Like visiting Patti and Forti.

And now I have to do is hope there’s no major backlash coming. We don’t–really, really don’t–need anti-mask mandates. But I have this sneaking suspicion they’ll be coming soon to Florida, Texas, and other states that ought to know better by now.

A Mixed Blessing

Watanuki has been more snuggly than usual lately. Where his usual pattern tends to be to flop on the bed next to one of us (usually Maggie) and demand cuddles, of late he’s been draping himself across our hips or stomachs.

Which is kind of cute, really.

But then there’s that cuddle-demanding thing. He has a very…direct…way of requesting attention.

A quick swat with the paw–claws extended, of course–followed by a soulful gaze…

In fairness to Mr. Knuckles, I should note that some of those holes in my hand are the result of cold weather, frequent handwashing, and even more frequent immersions in various sanitizing fluids. But the longer, more painful ones? Those are all his doing.

The other downside of his cuddliness? Much as it pains me to reveal one of his secret vices, honesty compels me to state that ‘Nuki is a drooler.

Not a demure little drip of happiness.

Oh, no.

Rivers of drool. A downpouring from his lip that could put Victoria Falls to shame.

Fortunately, Maggie has found a solution.

Watanuckles is not amused, but he tolerates the bibs in the interest of attention.

A Rare Moment

We don’t get a whole lot of Emeraldas/Sachiko mother/daughter bonding moments. To be brutally honest, there’s often hissing when they meet.

Which isn’t really surprising. They’re both dominant types with strong personalities, so a bit of pecking order negotiation is the expected norm.

But every so often…

We get a peaceful encounter.

In this particular case, Sachiko had been sleeping when Em leapt up on the condo. A bit of mutual staring occurred–I suspect it was the feline equivalent of “Make sure you wash behind your ears” / “Mom!”–and then they both got distracted by a passing moth and took off in pursuit.

It’s nice to see them sharing a passion for sports.

Practice, Practice, Practice

One rule for living right I didn’t mention, mostly because I couldn’t find an appropriately illustrative song: recognize you’ll never be perfect, but never give up trying.

Kokoro is a case in point.

One could certainly forgive her if she stopped her pursuit of the perfect body curl. She is, after all, a lady of a certain age–arguably a certain age and a half–and her curl has been developed with daily practice.

And yet, it’s still not quite perfect.

Note the tail: it’s neither aligned with the feet or crossed over them to parallel the upper ear. Any judge would agree it’s a quarter-point deduction.

So, she continues to practice. This particular practice session lasted a good three hours.

One can only admire her dedication to her craft. And give her pettings when she wakes up.