Snuggle Now

The other day I felt a migraine coming on and took a brief nap to deal with it. I woke up to the sound of loud purring. A foot away from my head was Charlie, who purred even louder when he realized I woke up. Next to him was Garrus, looking sleepy and content next to his cuddle buddy. He might have been purring too.

But I could not move. Why? Boudicca had stealthily sneaked up onto the bed and camped out on my hip. I was not allowed to stretch out toward the boys or roll over. Instead of feline lap paralysis, I had feline hip paralysis! She did, however, graciously allow me to pet her and snap a photo.

“You will snuggle NOW and MY WAY!” Her Majesty Queen Boudicca decrees. At least she’s cute and googly in her imperiousness.

Caught between three purring cats…it could be worse.

Blue Jays

Lately it has been rather gloppy. Of course, whenever it rains the birds come out to eat up all the insects and worms that come to the surface. In our backyard our most frequent visitors have been blue jays.

I caught Charlie chattering at them today! It was so cute but incredibly brief. I did snap a few photos of him staring at the sassy blue jays very intently though; he paid me no mind at all.

“Mmm…nibbly birds!”

“Should I stalk? Squeak? No, I think I’ll be a loaf cat today.”

Evening Routine

We’re homebodies and like to just chill out at home in the evenings. In the past Aaron and I have watched a particular show together. We’ve watched several Star Trek shows (Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise), Friends, Downton Abbey, Futurama, Agents of SHIELD, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. Lately we’ve been doing video games (well, Aaron has been playing video games while I watch). We started with Horizon Zero Dawn (excellent), Ori and the Blind Forest, Unravel, and now The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its extension packs, Heart of Stone and Blood and Wine.

When we sit on the couch, all the cats assume their preferred locations. Boudicca cannot wait to climb onto my lap, receive pets and smooches, and purr contentedly.

Googly cat is googly.

Charlie often hangs out on the cat tree but if he is feeling lovey he ask to get onto the couch next to me. Then he flops repeatedly, purrs very loudly, and head bunts my hand as I pet him.

Charlie likes to curl his paws over the edge of the platform when I pet him.
We’ve been introducing him to snuggling (with humans) and lap time. He approves.

Somebody was being really cute!

Garrus generally hangs out on the floor on the other side of the ottoman but lately he has been sharing the ottoman with us. Garrus, reserved Gentleman Cat of the house, is most particular about his spot, is slow to warm up, and has an established bubble of personal space. He is slowly learning how to relax around us. We give him space so that he can decide if he wants to engage with us. If it takes him a while, that’s okay.

Isn’t he handsome?

Occasionally, Garrus has been brave and hung out on the couch with us! This has been a lovely breakthrough!

While I certainly hope that the boys will become lap kitties in time, I will not be heartbroken if they are not. They both have made leaps and bounds of progress in the seven months we have had them. They are less skittish, shy, and reactive, and now seek us out for attention. Working with shy cats can be a challenge (it requires a lot of patience) but I have found it worthwhile. Charlie, in particular, has blossomed from a very hidey cat to an incredibly sweet, squeaky boy who frequently looks like he has a blissful smile on his face. Garrus is a bit more inscrutable but when I get him to purr I take that as a win!

Do your cats adhere to a particular evening routine? Do they have preferred spots? Do they like lap time?

Kitty Yoga

I have recently started practicing gentle yoga, both by attending classes and at home. I am still getting the hang of timing it right so that all three cats are soundly asleep and thus won’t interrupt my practice with their irresistible cuteness. When I practiced at home for the first time, Boudicca woke up from her nap and immediately sought me out, talking and searching persistently for rubs. She was most confused that my lap was not really available when I tried to meditate.

Boudicca kept bugging me. With my concentration broken, I snapped a photo of her.

When Boudicca finally gave up and returned to the couch to resume her nap, I tried to finish my practice. Then the boys woke up and trotted into my office, with Charlie squeaking cutely in the lead. Sigh.

The next time I tried at home, Boudicca continued to chill out in her box (mostly). She did get up to investigate my blanket and blocks and quest briefly for ear scritches. After I finished my practice I smooched her head.

It appeared that as my practice at home became more of a regular occurrence, the novelty of it wore off. This is how Boudicca reacted when I practiced on Saturday:

Someone is not concerned.

Do your cats (or dogs) tend to interrupt you when you are exercising? Do you ignore them or do you give in and give them attention?

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day all! I hope you enjoy today’s love-themed holiday and extend such affection to your fur people. Here are some tips to remember so that your furry companions have a safe holiday as well:

  1. Chocolate. This is very yummy for humans but HIGHLY TOXIC to pets. A typical treatment for chocolate poisoning at the vet’s office can run anywhere from $250-$3,000 or more.
  2. Candy. Around Valentine’s Day, candy dishes are everywhere. But again, many types of candy contains xylitol, a sugarless sweetener. Xylitol is highly toxic to pets. (It also can show up in peanut butter, FYI.)
  3. Flowers. Although beautiful bouquets are lovely, many types of flowers can make pets very sick. Roses, for example, may not be toxic to pets but they do have thorns, and these can scratch or puncture your pet’s paws and cause a nasty infection. Ingesting roses may cause an upset stomach too. Keep flowers away from a pet’s reach. (This includes surfaces where counter-surfing dogs or areas where cats may climb.)
  4. Decorations. The paper and ribbons discarded from a beautifully wrapped gift can cause all kinds of trouble for pets if they ingest these materials. Tape, ribbons, bows, cellophane, wrapping paper, and balloons are not for eating!
  5. Candles. A candlelit dinner can be most romantic. A curious pet knocking over a lit candle and starting a fire or becoming injured by the flame is definitely not. Don’t leave pets unattended near open flames. Watch your pets closely if you choose to light candles.
  6. Alcohol. Booze is a definite no-no for pets, so keep any cocktails, champagne, wine, or other adult beverages well away from the reach of curious paws. A pet ingesting even a small amount of alcohol can do a considerable amount of harm. A large amount can lead to potentially fatal respiratory failure.
  7. Pets as gifts. While an adorable puppy adorned with a big red bow sounds like a memorable Valentine’s Day gift, remember that bringing home a pet is a lifelong commitment. Not everyone is prepared, interested in, or able to make that kind of commitment. Having to return a pet is the opposite of romantic and unfair to the animal. Don’t get a pet as an impulse buy. Doesn’t it sound better to bring your loved one to your local animal shelter so that they can choose the pet they want and make an informed, deliberate decision about making a pet a part of their life?

Playing Favorites

As I’ve mentioned before, Charlie has favorite toys. These are his three fuzzy mice and a fuzzy ball. A couple of times a day I replace these toys back on the top platform of the cat tower for him to find. He likes fishing one out with his paws, playing with it fiercely, and tossing it to the floor. Sometimes he will simply throw each toy to the floor before taking a nap on his favorite platform. I was able to get two short videos of him doing this so enjoy!


Update on Boudicca

This past week has been stressful. Boudicca became ill again, obviously having issues in the litterbox and, more distressing, her appetite noticeably decreased. She hunched over a lot and backed up when I tried to pick her up, something she has never done before. I took my girl to the vet for an abdominal ultrasound on Tuesday. She has intestinal/small bowel disease, which may or may not lead to cancer. One of the symptoms of this illness was constipation, which in turn led to the loss of appetite and abdominal pain. This is one of the challenges of responsible pet ownership: senior cats can develop more health issues and require more veterinary care. Thankfully, however, she is doing much better due to a cocktail of medications to stabilize her so that she has a healthy appetite and doesn’t have any litterbox issues (either constipation or diarrhea).

We have been able to mix her medications into wet food, which she eagerly awaits twice a day. Every time she sees one of us taking a small plate out of the cupboard she assumes it’s for her and gets very verbal about it. This, of course, alerts the boys and prompts Charlie to give his two cents in a number of ridiculously cute squeaks.

I know Boudicca is feeling better because she has been seeking us out for attention, especially when we sleep. Several nights I have woken up with a very purry Boudicca sitting on my chest or claiming half my pillow. Occasionally she has successfully executed stealth snuggles! I am happy to see Queen B feeling more like her usual sweet, lovey, and quite googly self.

After her vet visit, Boudicca happily reclaimed her box and spent a lot of time keeping me company in my office. She is an excellent supurrviser!