Hank loves to be pet but it doesn’t last long before he flips over and starts to attack your hand. If people acted that way, it would be like going for a massage then biting the hand that’s rubbing you after only a few minutes. It doesn’t make any sense! Doesn’t he like the rubs more than the playtime like a normal person? He probably loves them both equally. I love him, and those huge green eyes, more than anything.
When I get home from work, I’m usually greeted by both cats. It varies which one gets to me first. Sometimes they are both waiting at the door, wondering when I’m getting home. Other times, it takes them a few minutes to make it out of their respective sleeping caves. They walk out slowly with squinty eyes and stretch as they make their way over. I try not to go straight to the food, which I’m sure is what they really want. Instead I spend a few minutes giving them attention and pets, which can be challenging when there is two of them and one of me. B likes to get her back scratched while hunkering down on her cardboard scratchpad. Otherwise, she’s always moving away from you, making her just out of reach. Hank likes to stay in one spot and get two handed full body rubs. I always worry that I’m neglecting one of them, especially B since she’s harder to pin down. When they are both in range it’s a mental adjustment to pet one and scratch the other, unless maybe you are a drummer. I am usually on the floor at this point, with both arms stretched out. It only lasts a minute or two, at which point I give up and go get their dinner.
Hank has been sleeping on the bed lately. It used to be rare, but it’s becoming more frequent, so much so that I expect it. It used to be that he’d sleep on the bed for only a few minutes before getting bored and getting up to explore. Now he comes to bed almost at the same time as the rest of the family and stays there for most of the night. He doesn’t waste time circling or nesting. He jumps up then plops down at his usual place, up against your legs. I think this new relaxed Hank is a result of him getting older. I miss the craziness but love the extra time with him. I bet he likes it, too. The rush of youth is fun, but what’s the point if you don’t slow down enough to enjoy it?
When we started looking for a 2nd cat I knew I wanted one that looked like B – just the right shade of orange brown with tiger stripes. I didn’t even consider taking home a black and white cat, despite the fact that my boyfriend was hoping for one. It’s not that I don’t like other styles of cats. All cats (well, most) are beautiful in their own way. This issue is really about symmetry. It would be jarring to have two clashing cats in the same house, and I believe a lot of other people feel the same way. In my circle of friends, several have a matching pair of pets. One friend has two long-haired cats that are very similar looking even though they aren’t the same color. My other friend has two short-haired cats with athletic builds. I’ve had two dogs that are siblings, and we’ve all seen the people walking down the street with matching white terriers. After observing this phenomenon in our environment, we can (anecdotally) say that this is a statistical trend that should be investigated further.
Hank is a sucker for any open door. He will climb into the closets, cabinets, showers, and go out on the walkway outside. He would jump into the fridge if I left it open long enough. He will squeeze in behind the pots and pans or jump onto the upper shelf in the pantry. He doesn’t always fit and will have to maneuver behind the spices. He is always looking for the next big find. He walks around sniffing the corners for a lead. He will paw the doors on the bathroom vanities trying to get them open (and sometimes he does). He will go to the front door and put his two paws up on the door frame and scratch a little. At the same time, he will look over at you with his pleading eyes and give a little meow…and that is how he gets the keys to the universe, or at least access to anywhere in the house he wants to go.
Everything is better with a friend and my cats make the best friends. I love how they generally migrate to whichever room I’m in, just to hang out. They don’t need to be entertained. It just so happens that what I’m doing can be very entertaining, but that’s besides the point. There isn’t a lot of drama and they don’t need to talk too much. B will do the talking for you if you are willing to listen. I regularly have to deal with hair pulling if I miss their expectations on the timing of breakfast, but that’s a small compromise that’s part of any good friendship. Hank likes to see what I’m working on and often gives me input when he thinks the cursor is in the wrong place. B doesn’t mind when I work either as long as the keyboard leaves some room on my lap for her. Overall, good friends are hard to find, but I count myself lucky to have two of the best ones right here at home.
Hank is a very demanding cat. He bats at your food while you eat. He wants you to play with him 100% of the time. He wants to go outside. He sits on the counter while you get ready for work. He rips apart the shopping bags and snags my jeans. He wants to check out the food you are making for dinner. He doesn’t want to eat it though, just bat at it until it’s contaminated. He loves to dig in the litter box for 20 minutes at a time at 4 in the morning. I sometimes think he’s a lot of work. When I get up in the morning, the first thing I don’t want to do is play with him. I’m usually running late and feel that it’s one more chore. Then I remember that this is probably the highlight of his day, and that I can always spare a couple of minutes. Besides, it’s nothing compared to having a dog or a kid!
There are few things more adorable that sleeping cats, but when they use their paw as a pillow it takes it to a whole new level. His little head fits perfectly in his paw. We catch him doing this about once a week. Every once in a while, he will also stack his paws on top of each other and rest his chin on top. He doesn’t do this every time – he also curls up in a ball and stretches out like other cats – but when he’s on the floor or even on the ottoman, he prefers something softer. I haven’t even begun to go into how much I love his little cat feet, but that’s another blog post entirely.
The cats each have their favorite spots around the house. It’s the spot I check first when I get home, that is, if they don’t meet me at the door first. A few of the spots don’t stick for one reason of the other. Others are like an old glove. B’s favorite spot at the moment is on the cushion of a chair near the window and on the towel hidden deep in the closet. Hank’s favorite spot is on the bed in the guest bedroom, although he sometimes prefers the scratchpad placed under the bed just for him. My favorite place is the right side of the couch and the left side of the bed, but really my favorite place is home.