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.
I got my first cat (B) after I found myself alone after a break-up. Having never lived by myself, coming home to an empty house was pretty depressing. I had no idea the difference it would make, but the change was instant. There was always someone home and she was happy to see me, even if it was verbalized in the form of incessant meowing. Henri (when I have him), Hank, and B may not be kids, but they are loved. They make a house a home and a couple of people – a family.
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.
We all know the drill. The mornings are for getting breakfast and a few cat naps in before it’s time to switch rooms. During the week, it’s a short routine followed by a long stretch in the day that’s reserved for catching up on the much needed rest after a tiring weekend. Before long, it’s time to get up for the evening routine. On the weekend, the days are a little longer and there are more demands to socialize and share space. There’s usually a workout or two and some new food to try. But what about when you’ve caught up – when you don’t need a nap and the string has been firmly batted into submission? What do you do when you’ve found some extra time for yourself after the social activities are done and work is on the backburner? How do you walk the line between wasting time, being productive, and making the most of this short life without turning it into a race or only being busy? I’m guessing it has something to do with developing interests and finding a passion, ideally something that sticks beyond just a phase. In the meantime, you’ll find me in one of my usual spots doing one of my usual things, not unhappy but a little bit bored and pleased to see you.
Recently the babies and their moms came over. B wasn’t phased one bit. She walked around like there was nothing out of the ordinary. Hank on the other hand noticed something was off immediately and went into slo-mo mode. You could see that he wanted to check out the new visitors, but he was worried about what he would find and approached the baby carriers with full caution. This is about as close as he got before he decided it wasn’t worth it and went to the bedroom until everyone was gone. I don’t blame him. Those young ones are highly unpredictable, even if they are slow moving.
We’ve started cooking at home more often. It’s a nice way to save money, try out new cooking skills, and spend time together as a family…and Hank loves to spend time with us when we are cooking. When I start pulling stuff out of the fridge, it isn’t long before he comes around the corner. He wants to check out the food, ideally taking it with him, but after a few pushes aside he’ll settle for watching. That’s when the magic happens. That’s when you have a kitchen buddy.
Hank loves everything about Halloween. He loves the lights. He loves the spiders. He especially loves the skeleton hanging above the window just out of reach. When we first put up the decorations, he had a heyday. He pulled off several of the spiders and relocated them. He thought we needed a few on the floor and not just all on the TV stand. He felt the same way about the lights. He loved batting them down onto the floor. I’d put them back up every day, not because I cared where they went but because I wanted Hank to have toys to bat off the table again.