Even a Dog Likes To Be Comfortable

Our dog Ellie resting on our Ikea Kivik loveseat with her head on a pillow and covered in a blanket in August 2012

I don’t normally pose my pet pictures but I must confess to draping the blanket across Ellie for this shot. I would have preferred that she be asleep but it was a hot day so I only left the blanket on for a few seconds. The pillow, though, she sought that out on her own.

The Little Wolf Hunter

A close-up view of our cat Sam resting on my legs

Sam curled up and slept on my lap as I watched a documentary about the Druid wolf pack in Yellowstone. He woke when they showed some noisy ravens on a wolf kill and stood transfixed before the television, something I’ve not seen from him before. Suddenly wolves dashed across the screen and he jumped up and swatted madly at them. His claws were retracted so I let him have his fun attacking wolves and coyotes and elk and bison and all the animals of that great land. Finally, exhausted from the hunt, he settled back down to sleep on my legs. The documentary didn’t flinch from the brutality of the wolves to other animals and neighboring wolf packs, but even so, I hope for their sake they never have to face my little hunter. Particularly if I were to let slip the lie that they’re the reason he has to get his flea treatments.

These pictures are the first I’ve taken using the live view on the back of the camera instead of the optical viewfinder, something I can’t do with my older cameras. The live view allowed me to lower the camera to his eye level as he slept on my legs and get a much more intimate portrait.

A close-up view of our cat Sam sleeping on my legs

Fully Recovered

Our dog Ellie lies down with an Elizabethan collar on her head on September 21, 2009. Original: _MG_6418.cr2

After a week of house rest Ellie was feeling better and definitely ready for the cone to come off. While Ellie wanted to jump right back to her normal routine, we followed the vet’s advice and slowly ramped her up to her normal activity levels. This meant her toy hedgehogs had to be hidden for a few days after the cone came off to reduce the temptation for too much running and jumping, two staples of hedgehog play.

Soon enough she was fully recovered and the house was once more filled with the joyful squeaking of hedgehogs at play. Squeaking, and squeaking, and squeaking …

The Long Arm of the Paw

Our cat Sam sleeps on my legs with one leg stuck straight out

Little Sam likes to sleep tucked down in crevices. The other morning when I woke on my back with my left arm kinked by my side, Sam was snuggled in tight between my arm and chest. If I’m on my side he’ll tuck in behind my knees, and if I roll over slowly enough he’ll move with me in real-time, tucked in tight. When I’m sitting in my comfy chair, I usually drape a blanket over my legs so he can hang down between them, a favorite spot of his ever since we brought him home as a little kitten. He likes to sleep on my chest too, but since this is Scout’s favorite spot, it’s a good thing he doesn’t mind snuggling up elsewhere.

It’s led to many an evening where I’m laying in my chair with Scout asleep on my chest and Sam asleep on my legs, the two stretched out nose-to-tail, me covered in kittens. Since I can’t get up, I make my wife bring me my food and refill my glass. It’s not that I enjoy being waited on, but what else can I do? Wake them?

Playoffs? Don’t Talk About Playoffs! Are You Kidding Me? Playoffs?

Our cat Sam as a kitten playing with a string in my lap in January 2008

While I sat in my chair and watched the NFL playoffs, Sam played on my legs, curled up in the blanket over my knees. He animatedly played with his beloved string and needed little encouragement from me, apart from the time he got so worked up that he rolled right off my legs onto the floor. It was this play session that convinced me that all world leaders should be required to have kittens in their laps while they negotiate — even generational hatred cannot stand in the face of a kitten’s charms.

Make love, not war. And bring plenty of string.

If you’re not a football fan, today’s title is a reference to Jim Mora’s classic postgame speech while coach of the Indianapolis Colts.