International Happiness Day

Today is International Happiness Day! Who knew, right? I think it is most appropriate. Every day we are deluged by negativity in a variety of ways. It’s hard to stay positive and happy. Creating this blog was one way for me to give myself, and hopefully others, a small dose of joy. My cats bring me happiness and make me laugh every day. I hope yours do too!

Lately Charlie has been EXTRA cute. He has been very chatty lately–so many chirps, trills, and squeaks–both directed at me and just when he’s moving around: jump on the bed (chirp), look out the window (trill), see Garrus (squeak), talk back to me (chirp, squeak, trill, squeak, squeak, chatter). He’s been rather lovey and snuggly, especially in the morning and at bedtime, and he has demonstrated that he in fact knows how to knead! It only took him eight months to show me that he does knead when he is sufficiently relaxed and googly. When he does, he shows me all of his toes and purrs most rhythmically.

Charlie is teaching me how to be simply happy. Finding joy in the little things. Wonder in every day activities. Greeting loved ones enthusiastically. (I admire his persistence in trying to make friends with Boudicca. Lately he has been adding to his overtures of friendship by bringing her toys on the couch.) Playing. Looking outside. Happiness indeed.

Cat Lessons: Sunbathing

In my time as a cat owner, my fur people have taught me a number of things. I’d like to share some of them with you. Here is one of them: get a little sun.

Many cats enjoy sunbathing and my cats are no exception. They enjoy the warmth, they get to sprawl and relax, they might doze off, and if they are near a window, they have an opportunity watch the interesting goings-on outside. Garrus, especially, is apparently solar-charged. He seems to wilt rather like WALL-E when his batteries are low.

The boys’ favorite sunning spot is the master bathroom, especially this winter. We have a unique set up in there. As we don’t use the garden tub, Aaron fitted boards on top of the tub and created a platform. On top of this platform he placed the two Cat Genies, which need water hookups and a fair amount of space. (If we had more room in the house we would have put one Cat Genie somewhere else but we have made do with this arrangement.)

The cats have found that there is sufficient room for them to loll around the Cat Genies, and that sunlight streams through the window in the afternoon. This makes Garrus in particular a most happy cat.

This picture was taken with the same setup we use now but before we transitioned to Cat Genies. (It is clear in the photo that there was more room on the platform and the boys took full advantage of this.) This was also one of the first times I had seen Garrus flop on his side like this. It was delightful to see him look so utterly relaxed.

[Read in Sir David Attenborough’s voice] “Now here we see the meditating cat in its traditional pose, accompanied by its spotted companion. Transcendental vegetation is very important to these creatures and can best be accomplished after basking in sunlight for a period of time and not being disturbed, even though it is most tempting to do so. We must remain absolutely quiet in order to hear them begin to purr. This is a sign of great contentment and relaxation and that the meditating cats are reaching the zenith of transcendental vegetation.”

Yesterday afternoon, I found Charlie lounging inside one of the Cat Genies as if it was a lounge chair or hammock. (Don’t worry, it had just finished its cleaning cycle and was therefore clean and sanitized. I think he liked it because it was also warm from said cleaning cycle as well as the sun.) He was very talky about how happy he was about finding a new spot.

Charlie felt it was necessary to (1) warm his belly, (2) flaunt said belly, (3) be ridiculously cute and flirtatious at the same time. He squeaked all the while I took a number of photos.

Later Garrus came over to investigate what all the squeaking was about and found a spot for himself. I managed to snap a photo of him mid-slow blink.

Boudicca sunbathes too! She does, however, restrict her basking to a shorter period so I am not always able to snap a photo of it. When she sunbathes in front of the back door, she normally looks outside the window and watches birds. I am unsure why she turned around and looked mildly miffed.

I believe this was Garrus’ first sunbath in our house and one of the alternate sunbathing spots. This was also one of the first times I saw him start to relax.

Here is Boudicca catching a late afternoon sunbath. In this photo, her lowered and extra green eyes make me think of Maleficent.

Do your cats like to sunbathe? Do they have favorite spots? Do these spots change from season to season or according to their moods?