The 5 a.m. Club

Our cat Boo rests underneath chairs in our bedroom on October 15, 2021. Original: _RAC9747.arw

The brothers woke me at 5 a.m. yesterday (more precisely, Boo woke me to pet him a bit then Sam jumped up for a snugglefest) and, unable to get back to sleep, I eventually got up for a sunrise hike. The scene repeated this morning except I immediately fell back asleep after they each got their pets. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, I wouldn’t mind another early hike, but I would prefer if they’d wake me closer to the time I need to be up and at ’em when the park opens.

On the medical front, Trixie is officially out of quarantine after her biting incident and Boo’s blood test came back with no alarming results though it doesn’t tell us why one of his markers was high.

I Call This One Bitey

Our cat Trixie sleeps on a blanket on the couch on October 4, 2020. Original: _RAC6186.arw

The other day Trixie was due for a routine checkup but knew something was up and hid under the bed. I coaxed her out by softly calling her name and, feeling safe, she came right to me only to realize she was betrayed. I carried her wriggling form to the cat carrier to cries of “Judas! Judas!”. She needed to go back in to have a tooth dealt with but this time knew better than to trust me so I had to move the bed to get to her. I best not repeat her words from that morning.

This was her first time under anesthesia and she must have been pretty terrified when she was coming to as she bit one of the vet assistants. We have to keep Trixie quarantined at home and watch for signs of rabies but that’s not a problem as she’s an indoor cat (I mean, except that one time). Thankfully the vet called to let us know her victim is doing well, I guess it’s not that unusual (there’s even a medical term for it) but it’s our first time dealing with it.

My deepest gratitude to all the vets out there who have to deal with terrified patients who don’t understand they’re trying to help.

(Today’s title is a nod to one of my favorite Simpson’s episodes, Marge vs. the Monorail, it’s similar to a line from Homer about the opossums living in the monorail cockpit. I watched it yet again in honor of Trixie and it still makes me laugh after all these years.)

The Ways of Boo Are Spreading

Our cat Sam sleeps in a large cardboard box on October 10, 2021. Original: _RAC9724.arw

We keep an array of cardboard boxes around the house for Boo to sleep in, while he has his favorites he likes to mix things up from time to time. I’m not sure he knew what to make of Sam suddenly deciding to take over the box from my latest REI delivery but it has become one of his favorite places to sleep (when not curled up on one of us). I saw Boo one day just watching Sam sleeping, I couldn’t tell if he was delighted that his older brother was taking after him, annoyed at the loss of one of his box choices, or a little of both.

The Hardest Part of Working From Home

Our cats Boo and Sam snuggle in my lap as I sit in my chair on May 17, 2021. Original: IMG_6123.jpg

For the past year or so while I go into the office during the day I can usually finish up my tasks from home. Depending on how deep of a sleep they are in the brothers often greet me at the door, Sam is always eager to jump into my lap once I get settled and sometimes Boo as well. The hardest part of working from home can be finding room in the lap for the laptop.

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