They say a picture says a thousand words, but what do 1,000+ cat pictures say? A few things really, but mainly that I really love my cats. If I have to pick the top reason for why we have so many cat pictures, it would have to be that there is always something unique about that particular expression or pose, or they are in a new spot or are looking out the window at something new. It wasn’t too long ago where Hank was watching the snow come down for the first time, as far as he remembered, and when we discovered how much he loved laying in front of the fireplace on the rug. You can imagine the explosion of pictures that occurred when we figured that out.
The progression from lithe and energetic youngsters to thicker and lazier cats makes seeing them stretched out on your legs for the 100th time still feel fresh. No one is the same as they were yesterday*, and the cats are no exception. They, Hank especially, are still learning, trying out new things in the new house, and getting more adamant about what they want. B is the one that seems to be changing the most right now, and figuring that out is especially tough. Even though I’m not sure what’s wrong, I’m sticking with her until we do.
Perhaps the easiest thing to point to as a source of endless cat pictures can be summed up in one word – toys. Buying a new cat bed and growing wheat grass certainly resulted in their fair share of pictures, but the icing on the cake – or better yet, the whole cake – was the new camera and its high powered lenses. Sure, sunsets and landscapes are nice, but they are also somewhat inconvenient and a bit generic. Hank and B, on the other hand, are characters worthy of our focus.
*“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus ~500 B.C.
Hank is a very intelligent cat. He loves finding new places around the house and loves to participate in household activities like opening packages and cooking. Recently it became clear that the house was too small for him. He started finding the closed doors and insisting they be opened. We couldn’t bear the thought of him getting lost out in the great outdoors by himself, so we got him a harness. So far, he doesn’t seem to mind it and even responds well to the soft tug or resistance in the line when he gets too close to the edge of the yard. He knows that it means we are going the other way and adapts accordingly. Usually, we run out of time before he’s even begun to get started. Most likely, he’s still gnawing on the first of many grass bushes that he passes on the path to the sidewalk. He takes his time outside since it’s all new and there’s so much to explore. That’s when the question comes – when is the right time to let him stay out for short periods on his own? He loves it outside so much, but we love him so much. There are so many other indoor/outdoor cats in the neighborhood, so doesn’t that mean it’s relatively safe? Where is the line between living your fullest life and potentially living a shorter life? In his case, we don’t want to come close to finding out.
I have mixed feelings about workout partners. They run too fast or too slow. They require being somewhere at a certain time when I really prefer to play it by ear. They might talk when I’m really not in the mood…so much for mixed feelings! A workout “buddy” on the other hand is always welcome, even if he does get in the way when I’m doing push-ups.
I had a friend tell me, “You are one of those people that can do big things”. That stuck with me. What does it mean to do “big things” and should I be doing them? Am I falling short of my potential? Is what I’m doing now big enough? At the same time, I’m wondering if I deserve to be where I am today. How’s that for a confusing, conflicting self esteem challenge? Life is not a race. Everyone’s circumstances, timing, and luck are different. I don’t regret anything, have what I need, and am happy. That’s a big thing in my book.
I’ve mentioned before that B has a favorite sleeping spot deep in the closet. She has a few other places she likes: the chair, your lap when you are sitting on the couch, and the ottoman as a last resort. Recently I left the laundry bin on the dresser, filled with clothes. B loved it! You’d find her in the laundry bin at all times of the day. A few times she would even break her routine of sleeping on the bed, practically on my pillow, in favor of the basket. I had to sacrifice the clothes for her comfort until I gave up and finally rewashed them. Optimistically, I put this cave bed on the dresser right next to the (empty) bin in the hopes that she would use it. She checked it out once or twice before ignoring it completely…until now! I’m very excited that she’s found a new bed that doesn’t result in extra laundry or require me to forfeit half my wardrobe.
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.
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?
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.
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.