Desk Buddies

Aaron recently bought me larger monitors for my computer – highly useful for grad school – but the cats apparently think my desk is even more irresistible. Now all three regularly stop by for desk visits.

Garrus can be very persuasive when asking for desk visits. Thank goodness he is a Gentleman Cat.
Mau rarely visited my office before but recently that changed. Once he saw Garrus up there, he made himself at home!
Mau decided to ponder cat things while up on my desk.
Charlie did get up on my desk but after chasing the cursor on my screen, I asked him to get down. He gave me this face afterward.
Charlie likes to trot into my office and ask for pets around 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon. He flirts like this on the window seat to get my attention.

Sock Bin Cats

As cat owners know, cats are ninjas. Some have incredible hiding powers. (Some, however, not so much…) A couple weeks ago, Charlie would disappear and we couldn’t find him in his usual spots. We knew he was somewhere in the house but couldn’t figure out where. Then I saw something move out of the corner of my eye…the sock bin. Charlie had climbed inside Aaron’s sock basket and decided to take a snooze in it.

“Mom, can this be my spot? It’s warm, comfy, and box-like!”

“Can two fit in this spot? Let’s see!” -Mau

Mau didn’t consult Charlie if he could shoehorn into his spot but nevertheless they shared. It was a tight squeeze.

So far we haven’t seen Garrus snoozing in the sock bin but he definitely has explored the storage rack. He generally prefers the bed though – after all, where else could he have bed visits?

Cats are so weird.

Do your cats hide in unusual spots? Do they sleep in laundry bins or dresser drawers? Share in the comments!

Return of the Box Monster!

Help! The box monster has returned! Whatever shall I do?

I think when Aaron ordered a dryer vent sweeper, Mau was more excited about it than anyone else in the house because it came in a long, thin box. While Garrus and Charlie occasionally sniffed it or peeked inside if a toy bounced inside, Mau immediately claimed the box as his.

Most amusingly, Mau typically saunters into the box after eating his breakfast and has a sit. I guess it is his Sitting/Pondering Box. Evidently this Box Monster contemplates the wonders of the universe.

The box is extra special because it has crinkly paper in it. It also makes a fun gully in which to bat around toys and a spot from which to pounce on his housemates (apparently). I just think he looks extra cute in his box but I’m likely biased…

Do your cats like boxes? Does the shape and size matter? Does the inclusion of crinkly paper make the box special to your cat? Share in the comments!

So Dapper

Since we adopted Mau, we purchased a breakaway collar and tag for him. (We also have updated his microchip information.) We debated what color to get for him – should it be red to match Garrus and Charlie or another shade? Ultimately we decided on a vivid cerulean shade to complement his Frank Sinatra eyes. Doesn’t he look extra dapper?

You can see a sliver of his collar in this photo. The light in this photo (taken by Aaron) makes his eyes look a darker shade of blue than usual.

Here you can see his tag!

Mau is doing well. He’s on a medication which will hopefully re-balance the good bacteria in his gut and resolve his diarrhea issue. Whether he is truly a senior at 15 or younger, he’s pretty healthy and active – he loves to play with springs and explore boxes. He gets along well with both Garrus and Charlie, his playmates and snuggle buddies, and continues to be Aaron’s Bro Cat. We’re very happy with our handsome boy.

Do your pets have fun collars? Do they wear bow ties and/or bandannas? Please share in the comments!

Silly Mau

Cats will find the most interesting ways to amuse themselves – and often end up making their humans chuckle too. Occasionally all three cats will have the zoomies, though it is rare for all three to have the zoomies at the same time. During a decent scamper session, there is usually quite a bit of jumping onto and sliding on top of the ottoman. Apparently Mau discovered another use for the crocheted blanket after his slide made it askew: it makes a hiding spot!

“You can’t see me! I’m hiding!” (No, not really. I could see your fluffy tail sticking out from beneath the blanket.)

“Where should I scamper to next?”

Do your cats ever get the zoomies? What happens? Do your other pets join in or is it a solo excursion? Share in the comments below!

Charlie’s New Spot

Sometimes cats are weird and do surprising things. Lately I haven’t found Charlie in his usual spots and it seemed like he disappeared. While cats can be ninjas, I always worry when I can’t find one of my cats – after all, they could be stuck in a closet or something. But no. Charlie has decided to chill in a rather unexpected location…the carrier!

“What, Monday is here already? No thank you. I’ll take a nap instead.” ~Charlie

Do your cats like to hang out in the carrier? Do they sleep in unusual places in the house? Why do you think they chose those spots? Share in the comments!

Harmony in a Multi-Cat Household Part Two

Some cats prefer to have buddies, as in the case of Charlie and Garrus. Others are happier as solo cats (example: Nala). Still other cats get along better with dogs than cats, as was the case for Boudicca. It depends widely on the cat’s personality, background, age, previous experiences, health, and other factors.

It’s important to remember that cats and dogs have very different social behaviors. Wild cats tend to be solitary, and as a result, they don’t have the complex social relationships and behaviors that other animals, such as dogs, chimpanzees, elephants, and whales, have. Dogs have easily recognized play behaviors, such as the “play bow”. By contrast, cats do not have these ritualized play behaviors. Misunderstandings can occur as a result. Case in point, one cat may chase or swat at another in play but the other cat may interpret this as a threatening action. Consequently, the play session can quickly escalate to a fight.

Garrus, being a bona fide Gentleman Cat, is willing to share the ottoman. Mau takes it as an opportunity to sprawl and flaunt his belly.

In short, cats can be incredibly socially awkward. This has certainly been the case for Mau and, to a lesser extent, Charlie when he tried ever so earnestly to befriend Boudicca every day, regardless of her definite opinions on the subject.

Ahem. Mau appears unaware of the concept of personal space. Garrus, for his part, is again relegated to being another cat’s pillow. (Charlie has done this a few times so this situation is not new.)

There are several factors to consider when keeping a multi-cat household, whether it is introducing a new pet to residents or helping housemates get along. There are several actions you can take to keep things peaceful. They can include:

  1. Background. A cat’s ability to successfully adapt to a new home with housemates depends on the cat’s age, personality, prior experiences, health, and other factors. Where did this cat come from? How did the cat react to other cats in the shelter? Charlie, for example, had no such compunctions and would walk right up to a new cat and roll onto his back. For this reason, the director paired him with the well-mannered Garrus. Since Charlie was so affable, he and Garrus became instant friends.
  2. Space. Cats highly value their personal space, and some feel safer high up or in down low in cave-like environments in which to hide. Make sure you provide ample areas for your cats to hide in, sleep, play in, and call their own. We have multiple sleeping areas (including cat beds, couches, chairs, the bed, and the window seat), the cat tree, and boxes throughout the house.
  3. Decreased competition for resources. This is closely related to #2 and #4. Lessen friction by serving food in separate dishes and providing enough litter boxes. Having a variety of options where to snooze, sunbathe, watch birds, and play also helps, as does providing vertical territory and hiding or safe spots.
  4. Feeding arrangements. In the morning, our cats jauntily escort us into the kitchen in anticipation of breakfast. We have learned that putting a dish in its own position and putting it down in the same spot each time keeps the peace. Garrus, for example, sits like the gentleman he is by the end table while we prepare his meals; he beelines to his spot before we set the dish down. Each cat has their own dish so they don’t have to compete for food.
  5. Calm environment. Sometimes using a calming pheromone diffuser like Feliway helps cats relax and get along better.
  6. Attention. Spend one-on-one time with each of your pets. Play with them. Offer scritches and belly rubs. Have a snuggle. Your attention and affection is also a resource. Don’t have your pets compete for it.

Garrus and Charlie like to share the blue elephant pillow and snuggle.