Monday, August 25, 2003

Feline Update

The cats have already worked out ways to benefit from the rearrangement of furniture in the library. Little Bit has claimed the back of the new couch as her own space: she curls up on top of it to nap or simply gaze out into the world. By glancing through the window, she gets a superb view of the top of the eight-foot wooden fence that serves as a feline freeway. At the same time she can garner petting from anyone sitting on the couch, plus keep an eye on the kitchen doorway. (Someone might be opening a can of tuna.) She also leaps onto my chair the moment I leave it. What am I but a bedwarmer for her?

Gabriel, however, being an outdoor cat, is spending little time on the new couch or chair. Nevertheless her habits have had to change. She used to summon one of us to the door by standing on the wooden fence outside the window, staring intensely at whoever was working on the library computer (which used to stand where the couch is now). This unnerving stare, coupled with her silent telepathic commands, induced us to get up and let her in. (Usually so she could use the litterbox instead of messing up the nice clean outside dirt.) Now, unfortunately, the computer faces away from the porch window, and she has to get on the outside windowsill and softly strum the screen with her little claws to get attention.

Ivan has been incredibly cranky, probably because Porter is here. (Gabriel has, too, but she expresses her annoyance the way a teenager does: by sulking and only coming in for meals, with an occasional Gabezilla swipe at one's ankles.) Ivan hisses, swats, and gets into fights with Porter, who keeps approaching him, trying to make friends. But Porter is persistent, or maybe a little slow on the uptake. He keeps wanting to play.

Porter himself is filling out; he's still long and skinny, but he's eating his weight in food every day. Mostly he burns it off wrestling with catnip mice and shredding bits of rope. Then he finds someone's foot to go to sleep on, though he has been spotted sleeping with his head pillowed on Little Bit's tummy.

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