Yuki spends nights in the master bathroom. He’s got his own sleeping cave and, from bedtime to wake up time, a private litter box and food bowls.

Even though it’s a daily occurrence, somehow it’s still an event when he appears at the front of his cave.

The tail in the foreground is Sachiko’s. She poked her nose in to see what Big Brudder Yukles was up to, and upon discovering he was heading out to start the day, she literally turned tail.

Not that Yuki cares. As long as nobody tries to join him in the cave, he’s content.

Not a Neighbor

I can’t possibly let a Friday go by without a post. But the gang hasn’t done anything photo-worthy since I got home from Sedalia.

Fortunately, I have alternatives.

Meet Missy, official shop cat of Chelsea’s Antiques.

That’s a typical pose for her. Usually, if she’s not asleep on a sun-warmed chair, she’s actively ignoring the store’s clientele.

Which is not to say Missy is unfriendly. She’s almost always willing to accept the pettings that are her due. She just doesn’t make a big deal out of it.

At least, that’s the way she’s been on all of my previous visits to Chelsea’s.

This year, however, she was in quite a different mood.

She met us at the door and demanded attentions. Naturally, I obliged with ear rubs and back strokes. She appreciated those, but seemed uninterested in chin scratching. When I offered, she retreated a few steps.

And then she circled around me, sometimes leading, sometimes following, as I walked around the shop. Every time I stopped to look at something, she started rubbing against nearby surfaces: an obvious request for more patting.

Of course I succumbed to her pleadings.

And, every time, she accepted no more than four pats, then retreated and resumed circling around me. Tsundere in action.

Next time you’re in Sedalia, drop by Chelsea’s Antiques. There’s plenty of good stuff there–in addition to Missy.

Altogether Ooki

The youngest members of our herd are the fabulous, fearless, and flamboyant Ooki Brothers. Yuki and Watanuki came to us courtesy of the Martinez Animal Shelter – though they were actually resident at the extension site in the Walnut Creek Pet Food Express.

We went out just before Christmas 2010 hoping to come home with one cat – we figured that four was about the maximum carrying capacity of the habitat (i.e. our house). It turned out the one we had been planning to interview for the position had already accepted another offer. We were looking for a black or mostly black cat (black and black-and-white cats are least likely to be adopted) and there they were. They were both such charming fellows that we just couldn’t choose between the two of them and on Christmas Eve, they both came home with us. Unlike Kaja and Rhubarb, the Ookis are not biologically related, but they had been in adjoining cages at the shelter and shared playtimes, so they were very comfortable with each other.

Nuki1Watanuki, the dapper gentleman in the tuxedo, was about six months old. He has always been a bit tightly wound, with a tendency to suddenly lash out at anyone he thinks might be a threat. Of all of our herd, he’s the one most likely to take a nip at a finger if startled. His tastes in play emphasize hunting and chasing, and his bedtime habit of pouncing on anything moving under the covers has earned him the nickname “Toe Ninja”. (His actual name, usually abbreviated to “‘Nuki”, is in honor of the character Kimihiro Watanuki of the manga and anime “xxxHolic”, who has a very similar personality.)

Yuki2Yuki – we couldn’t resist the notion of a pure black cat named “snow” – was about four months old. Although it’s somewhat difficult to see it in these pictures, he’s a long-haired fellow, and is thus often referred to as “Floof-cat” or “Mr. Floof”. He’s much more easygoing than ‘Nuki, but doesn’t hesitate to assert himself, usually to the detriment of big brother Rhubarb. It’s quite common to find that Yuki has Rhubarb cornered in his ultimate defensive location: the counter in the master bathroom. Yuki prefers to observe whatever is going on from a slight distance, and can often be found hanging out on the stairs where he can monitor almost the entire house. When he wants cuddles, though, he wants them immediately and he’s capable of using devastating cuteness to get them. He’s the house champion in drooling-when-happy, leading to his other nickname (Maggie calls it his nom de salive) “Slobber Goblin”.

Nuki2All of our cats are indoor-only, but ‘Nuki escaped through a partly-open window in mid-March. He remained on the loose for about three weeks before we (well, Maggie) recaptured him. I’ll be writing more about his escapade in the future, but for now I’ll just note that he seems to have avoided injury during his adventure; the only lingering results seem to be great interest in the window he used to make his escape and a hint of suspicion about other felines.

Yuki1Oddly enough, despite his newfound interest in the window, ‘Nuki doesn’t show a lot of interest in doors. Little brother Yuki is obsessed with doors. He’s not particularly interested in going through them; he seems to be interested in a career as a draft-stopper, and can often be found sprawled full-length across the width of a door, preventing any airflow – and preventing us from opening it, which can be somewhat awkward when we get home.

We’ll never know how things would have turned out if the black-and-white cat we were originally intending to meet had been available, but we’ve never regretted choosing the Ookis and intend to continue championing black cats.