Shelter from the Storm

As a snowstorm rages outside, our cat Sam sleeps on the window seat in front of the picture window, lit only by the Christmas tree lights and the dim room lights, centered between the reflection of our tree in the window and the neighbor's Christmas lights across the street

The forecast for a winter storm held true and we got quite a bit of snow today. The cats seemed rather agitated during the day but by the evening were ready to settle in for their naps. Scout was holding fast on her favorite winter spot, the wooden grate above the heating vent, so Sam took the vacated window seat.

Even as the snowstorm raged on the other side of the window, Sam finally fell into a deep sleep. I grabbed my camera when I saw that I could frame him between the Christmas lights of the neighbors across the street and the reflection of our Christmas tree in the window. The top picture is lit by the lights of our tree and a room lamp while the bottom one is lit only by the tree lights. They each have a different feel but I like them both, I deliberately left the color warm since I think it works best for this scene.

As a snowstorm rages outside, our cat Sam sleeps on the window seat in front of the picture window, lit only by the Christmas tree lights, centered between the reflection of our tree in the window and the neighbor's Christmas lights across the street

Best Friends Forever

Our cats Scout and Sam look out onto a snowy street from the cat seat in a picture window

After Templeton died a year ago we were trying to decide if it was too soon for Scout to add more cats to the household. We felt she would be happier with other cats around, as would we, so we adopted Sam and Emma and hoped for the best. Fast forward to today and here is Scout with her new best friend curled up on the window seat, watching the snowy scene before them. They are often curled up together on my legs when I wake up in the morning but this is the first time I’ve seen them together on the window seat.

Scout is seven years older than Sam, half a lifetime, so I’m thrilled to see them get along so. Emma willingly bears the brunt of most of Sam’s kitten energy and he’s learned that at this stage of her life Scout usually prefers snuggling to horseplay. Sometimes their little lovefests wake me up in the morning as they rub their faces all over me and each other but there are worse ways to wake.

Little Mr. Ironsides

Our cat Sam lying in the grass in our backyard

This morning didn’t get started off on the right foot. I didn’t see Sam underfoot and accidentally kicked him as I was getting ready for work. I felt a sharp pain in my left foot and dropped to the floor, then hobbled up to find him to check him for injuries. He seemed fine but I pulled him close and gave him a thorough exam, he wasn’t too keen on being poked and prodded so I petted him enough to keep him happy. He didn’t show any signs of tenderness and seemed none the worse for wear, making one mad dash up the Christmas tree and then curling up with Scout on the window seat to watch the comings and goings on the street.

I decided to stay at home an extra hour just to make sure he didn’t have any unusual behavior due to an internal injury, with the final test being the filling of his food bowl. He came ripping down the stairs and began eating before I had even finished filling the bowls, leaving no doubts as to his mobility or his appetite. I didn’t fare quite so well, after my foot continued to hurt into the afternoon I took off my shoes for a closer look. One toe was blackened on the top although by the end of the day it has lightened a bit to a deep purple. I still don’t know exactly what happened, either my toe got bent back at just the right (and wrong) angle or my little cat has ironsides.

Or a mithril coat hidden under his fur. Perhaps we named him after the wrong hobbit.

Oh Christmas Tree

Our cat Sam yawning under the Christmas tree

I put up the Christmas tree last weekend not knowing how I’d feel about it. Templeton loved tree day but last year on the day the tree went up we realized something was seriously wrong with him and he had to be euthanized that night. Thankfully this year it was a happy time, between remembering how much he loved the tree (and the big box it is stored in) and seeing the current cats enjoying it so. Scout was curled up on the tree skirt as soon as the top section went on, while Sam and Emma stayed away at first.

Soon enough Emma curled up under the tree as well and has rarely left it since. I hoped to take a picture of her but Sam walked in front of the camera and then Emma woke up and walked towards me, hoping for a game of String. Emma spends her waking hours hoping for a game of String. So I settled for a picture of a sleepy Sam under the tree, although of the three cats he spends the least time there.

We left the ornaments off to see how Emma and Sam would do with the tree, they left it alone last year but they were new to the house so they had plenty of other distractions. After the first few days the tree showed no ill effects so I planned on putting the ornaments up this weekend.

But one day this week, my wife heard an awful cry from Scout so she rushed in thinking the cats were fighting, only to find Sam and Emma in the tree and attempting to flee the scene. Scout used to love to sleep in the tree but we finally got her to stop, I suppose our little narc decided that if she couldn’t sleep in the tree, no one could.

At least we think we got her to stop, she’s crafty and learned to cover her tracks pretty closely and sneak up near the center of the tree. The new cats haven’t adopted her Leave No Trace ethic and I’m not sure the tree will survive the holidays, at first it just suffered flattened branches but soon developed a decided tilt.