The Payoff

Our cat Sam rests on top of the banana catnip toy he chewed open on September 12, 2021. Original: _RAC9345.arw

Years of effort paid off as Sam finally chewed one end of the banana cat toy open, spilling catnip all over the carpet. As a younger cat he would have rolled around in it but at fourteen he was content to just bask in the glory of a job well done.

Trixie Approved

Our cat Trixie rests on pillows at the edge of a futon on July 8, 2021. Original: _CAM1901.arw

I awoke last weekend to a proper Portland rain here in the desert, low clouds as far as the eye could see, temperatures in the mid-60’s, a steady but gentle rain that lasted for hours, the water soaking deep into the ground instead of running off into the washes. Trixie approved and slept on the pillows on the futon all day, though this picture is from July when Mother Nature’s preferred form of water delivery is considerably more violent and sends her into hiding for hours at a time. We did get a thunderstorm later in the week as monsoon season came to a close so she went into hiding for hopefully the last time this year.

Normally I would have headed off to one of the county parks to literally soak in the delightful weather but I was resting a sore arm and stayed home. I worked in the yard today and it’s been OK but we’ll see how it’s doing tomorrow.

Rain Yes, Thunder No

Our tortoiseshell cat Trixie looks out from the top of the new cat tree on August 4, 2021. Original: _CAM3057.arw

Thankfully we’ve had a number of storms this monsoon season, bringing desperately needed rain to the parched desert. Trixie would like to point out, however, that while she doesn’t mind the rain (she’s Oregon born and raised after all) she knows from personal experience that you can have rain without the constant scary booms and flashes of light. She goes into hiding for hours at a time while the lightning storms move through, recently I found she made a nest in some of the softer clothes in my closet. Brother Boo holds out longer but he has his limits, while our oldest Sam generally sleeps right through them, though the loudest thunderclaps might get him to raise his head and look around to make sure it’s OK to continue napping.

Here Trixie is sleeping atop the new cat tree, her brothers haven’t taken to it but she loves it. I’m not sure Emma would have ever left it if we had something like it during her life, except of course when the Christmas tree was up.

Our tortoiseshell cat Trixie sleeps on ttop of the new cat tree on August 4, 2021. Original: _CAM3018.arw

The Desert Family

Our cat Boo rests on the back of the futon in our living room on May 8, 2021. Original: _CAM1594.arw

Last night when it cooled down enough to open the windows I logged off work and moved from the living room to my office. As I was getting my things together I noticed Sam was at the top of the cat tree, wide-eyed, staring out the window. I went over and realized a javelina was eating mesquite seeds out front so I turned off the lights and Sam and I settled in to watch it.

A few more of various ages came wandering in so I went to get Boo and Trixie and we all settled in to watch the desert family though one of us couldn’t see so well in the dark. Eventually two adults sauntered in with five adorable babies in tow. Trixie was in front of me next to the screen so she had a front row seat when an adult brought two of the babies right below the window. She stayed quiet but from her body language I was a little worried she might explode.

The javelina spent a lot of time in the yard, from beginning to end 20 or 30 minutes, so fun to see and hear, at least for all of us but Boo. He got scared and ran off when one of the adults sprinted across the yard, so he wasn’t there when the babies arrived. I could tell he was nearby though as when the little things started making a ruckus the darkness growled behind me. He was already a little stressed as he hates the ceiling fan in my office, I held out turning it on for as long as I could but it’s gotten too warm to not run it, so sadly for now I’ve lost my tuxedo sidekick. Here’s hoping he gets used to it as I loved having him tucked in beside me all winter.

The Sleepy Brothers

Our cat Sam sleeps on the back of the couch while Boo sleeps on a cushion on April 10, 2021. Original: _CAM0782.arw

Sam is fully recovered from his oral surgery and is now on a blood thinner to make things easier for his aging ticker. Fortunately his medicine is in pill form as he loves Greenies Pill Pockets and gobbles them right down, let’s just say getting liquids down his throat is more of a challenge so we are always happy when the meds are pills.

Boo went in for a checkup to see how his kidney-friendly diet is faring and there was good news on that front. I slept well most of the week, a relief as I’ve been battling occasional insomnia the past couple of months. Friday morning though a certain tuxedo kept waking me up, as he has done at times the past few weeks, so it was rather fortuitous they had an issue with the network at work so I worked from home and didn’t have to drive in.

You’d think with such excellent teachers I’d be able to curl up and sleep at will but I doubt it will ever be so easy. Last Saturday I couldn’t sleep so I put that to my advantage and grabbed a couple hours of shut-eye on the couch before getting up for my first proper sunrise hike of the year, returning to settle in with my compatriots for a well-deserved nap.

The Wanderer

A close-up of our cat Trixie as she looks out from her cat bed on April 5, 2021. Original: _RAC6772.arw

I was working from home yesterday, sitting in the living room instead of my office, variety being the spice of life and all. I noticed sounds outside that seemed louder than they should be and got up to investigate and realized to my horror the door had accidentally been left ajar. Boo and Sam were sleeping near me but after a quick check of the house I couldn’t find Trixie. She is sometimes hard to find but rather than look further I grabbed a pair of shoes and stepped outside and found her sitting on the wrong side of my office window.

She ran back towards the door but seeing it closed panicked and ran back towards the yard. I wasn’t able to catch her but fortunately she kept running back and forth near me until I was able to grab her and bring her back inside. The picture is from a few weeks ago as she slept in the cat bed on the proper side of the window.

Let’s not do that again little one, I’m not sure my heart can take it.

Fur-lined

A male house sparrow holds leaves and fur in his beak as he perches on a leafy branch of an ocotillo in Scottsdale, Arizona on April 11, 2021. Original: _RAC6982.arw

I’ve not seen a house sparrow in the local desert but they are neighborhood residents, judging by the leaves and fur in this male’s beak I imagine he’s building a nest nearby. We may not be contributing to nesting materials here but I like to think a great many birds in our Irvington neighborhood in Portland grew up in the luxury of a fur-lined nest courtesy of a black lab who seemed to shed her weight in fur each week.

The Letter of the Law

Our cat Trixie is visible behind our cat Sam as they sleep in my lap on March 31, 2021. Original: _RAW5871.arw

A couple of days after his surgery as Sam slept high in my lap I judged his mood to determine how close I should let Trixie get. I kept her at arms length which she followed to the letter of the law, sticking out her front paws such that one was resting on her older brother. He didn’t mind so I let it go, though I had to keep a watchful eye as she would try to inch closer to her hero. Thankfully she didn’t try too hard to smother Sam with affection until he was feeling better.

Our cat Trixie sleeps below our cat Sam as they sleep in my lap on March 31, 2021. Original: _RAW5875.arw