Expressions

Rhubarb may be the house champion at loxing out, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. But Yuki’s no novice at relaxation either.

Ever see a puddle of floof?
03-1If he was any more relaxed, we’d need to squeegee him out of the carpet.

That wasn’t an easy picture to take, by the way. Somebody has decided that if pictures are going to be taken, there’s only one possible subject.

So I got a lot of shots like this:
03-2And that’s actually one of the best shots of Yuki.  Most of them have a substantial portion of his body hidden by Rufus’ butt.

Don’t believe me when I say he’s doing it on purpose?

Is there any other interpretation of this expression than “how can you cheat on me with another cat?”
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Inspiration

A week or so ago, we had the rainstorm that traditionally marks the boundary between Summer and Indian Summer.

To nobody’s particular surprise, Tuxie took cover in Cape Odd that night. He’s slept there several nights since, even though it hasn’t rained again (yet). And he’s spending large chunks of the day sleeping on top of the shelter as well.

And when Tuxie sleeps, he sleeps.
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Sachiko finds him inspirational.
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That’s not her “Touch me again and I’ll rip off your hand” face (that one shows more teeth). It’s not her “I haven’t eaten anything in at least ten minutes. Feed me!” face (that one shows more teeth). It’s not even “Hey, I want some attention!” (that one shows more teeth).

Are you detecting a pattern here?

That’s an actual yawn. Two minutes after I took the picture, she was curled up on the rug, sound asleep.

Relaxicat

We often call Rhubarb our Smoked Salmon Boy.
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Not because of his appetite, though he does love to lick the lid when we open a can of salmon.

And not just because of his coloration, though he is a lovely salmon-orange and cream-cheese-white.

But mostly because he’s a cat who really knows how to put the lox in “loxing out”.

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(No, he’s not fond of that pun.  Or puns in general.)

And You Thought Herding Them Was Hard

03-1The weather is warming and, far more important, drying out. And that means that Tuxie is once again spending most afternoons flaked out on top of Cape Odd.

03-2Uh…

Have you noticed that even when MM is taking it easy, she never really sleeps? She’s always on the alert, defending her territory against all invaders.

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Oh, for crying out loud, guys!

Make up your minds, already! I’m trying to write a blog post here.

Look, our deal is that we supply the krunchiez, and you pose for the pictures, right? Right.

So–

What?

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Now you’re just doing it to annoy me.

Cats.

Wait’ll you see what I add to the food bowl tonight!

(Note to blog readers: It’s probably going to be some scraps of leftover cheese. What kind of lunatic did you think I was?)

Comfy?

Everyone has their own favored sleeping positions. On the back, curled on the left side, hanging upside down from the cave roof.

Rhubarb has one of the most specific comfort positions I’ve ever encountered.
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Note the careful alignment of the tail, so that the tip won’t brush his nose if it twitches in his sleep; the careful crossing of the left front leg and the right rear leg; and, of course, the all-important placement of the right front leg, the paw set just where it needs to be to hold the rear leg.

And what of the left rear leg? Where’s that?

Look closely. Very closely. If you peek between the tip of Rhubarb’s nose and the angle where the right legs overlap, you can see just a hint of the left rear leg. That’s right. It’s under his head, serving as a very fine, very snuggly pillow.

Ah, to be even half that flexible!

Fairness In the Media

I was looking at the site stats the other day. Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? I’ll admit, it can be boring, but it has to be done. After all, you never know when it will let you correct a serious social injustice.

No, really!

Specifically, I was looking at the number of times I’ve posted about the feline members of the household. Observe:

  • Kaja – 27 articles
  • Watanuki – 26 articles
  • Rhubarb – 25 articles
  • Kokoro – 20 articles
  • Yuki – 19 articles

Can you believe it? It’s a wonder the Poof and the Floof are even still talking to me. And yet they do. She still spends the night curled up on my lap or behind my knees. He still does his best to ensure that my elbows are squeaky-clean. OK, usually he starts licking my elbow in the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep, but I’m pretty sure he means well.

So, to redress the balance a little–and make sure I stay in their good graces–here are a few pictures.


Kokoro has a crowded schedule of sleeping on the bed,
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sleeping on the floor in the sun,
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helping Maggie solve computer problems,
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and manning–well, felining–the home laser defense turret.
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Yuki is even busier, what with sleeping on the stairs,
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sleeping on the bed,
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helping me develop plot points (“And then what happens? Uh-huh. Sounds fascinating. Really.”),
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and watching baseball (although he’s easily distracted–I believe this time it was the sound of a can of gooshy food being opened).
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Still, despite their differences and their busy schedules, Kokoro and Yuki still find time to relax together over a nice bowl of catnip tea.
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Well, OK, maybe not.

FSRs

As I write this, Kaja is snoozing in Maggie’s desk chair. Kokoro is snoring on the bed. Yuki and Rhubarb are dozing on the stairs. And Watanuki is curled up with his magic banana, sleeping on the dining room floor.

Notice a pattern here? Yeah, I’m the only one awake in the house. A minor miracle, given the number of Feline Sleep Rays (FSRs) being generated.

Cats have a near-magical ability to force even the most alert human to pass out within minutes. It’s simple: sit down with a cat in your lap. Pat the cat until he or she relaxes and goes to sleep. Almost instantly, your eyelids will begin to droop; shortly after, your chin will be bouncing off of your chest.

Frighteningly, the cat doesn’t actually need to be in your lap. A cat sleeping on chair across the room is nearly as effective as one in contact with you. My own research suggests that unlike Wi-Fi, the strength of the signal is not attenuated by passing through walls. Even worse, the FSRs are apparently not radiated. Radiated electromagnetic signals weaken as a factor of the square of the distance (double the distance and the strength drops to a quarter). FSRs retain an astonishing 90% of their power across the length of the typical home. That suggests that they are actually focused beams directed as specific targets, rather than general broadcasts. They don’t appear to track moving targets well: you can fight off the effect of an FSR by moving around. As soon as you stop moving, though, the FSR will reacquire its target (you).

Interestingly, there seems to be an inverse relationship between feline size and the ability to generate FSRs: on average, kitten-generated rays are 4.2 times as strong as those produced by fully-grown felines. Current scientific speculation is centered around the well-known fact that kittens purr much more loudly than adults; studies suggest that there may be a sub-sonic audio component to the FSR which is produced through a mechanism similar to purring.

With all of their awesome potency, why don’t more people know about FSRs? Conspiracy theories that the CIA and FBI are hiding information about FSRs to cover up their use in covert operations are clearly nonsense: nobody has ever figured out a way to get a cat to take orders. Can you imagine walking up to a foreign embassy with a kitten in your pocket and then trying to convince it to go to sleep so you can sneak past the guards to plant a bug? My suspicion is that the powerful Ambien® lobby is suppressing the information while they try to figure out how to monetize it. Fortunately, there are significant issues that would have to be overcome to make packaging FSR generators, as the brains behind the bonsai kitten discovered back in 2001.

So now the information is out. If this post fails to show up in Google or vanishes from this site, you’ll know the coverup is factual, and I’m sleeping with the fishes instead of the felines.