Ordinary Days

Our dog Bear sleeps on his dog bed while our cats Boo and Trixie sit on the futon on April 10, 2022. Original: _Z721143.NEF

If this seems like a picture of an ordinary living room, it is, and it’s why I love it. When we first adopted Bear we kept him in our large bedroom as he would sometimes chase the cats. I wasn’t too worried he was going to physically hurt them but he needed to be calm around his furry masters so they wouldn’t live in terror of him. He had lived with cats before but I didn’t see much indication of it and felt if he didn’t get better quickly we wouldn’t be able to keep him.

I took the picture in April on a day off when I brought him into the living room and had him stay on his bed and let the cats come as close as they wanted. The cats grew up with Ellie so were willing to give him a chance but not if he was going to chase them. The first day I had to keep him on a pretty short leash but on this the second day he was much more relaxed. When he fell asleep I got up and sat on the couch and Trixie came in and sat behind me, eventually even Boo worked up the courage to sit beside me. When they were both a little more relaxed I got up to take a picture of the three of them, and while I did Boo stole my spot. Some traditions must be upheld even in the presence of a scary dog.

I’m thankful to say Bear’s cat manners did improve as he got used to the little ones and he eventually earned his freedom to roam the house. With Boo I would feed both he and Bear some of Boo’s favorite treats and Boo would come right up next to Bear for those, which helped them get used to each other. I had to laugh when one day I came home from work and both Boo and Bear came to meet me at the door, with Boo standing underneath Bear, a sign of how far we had come. Trixie was less afraid of him from the get go but I knew she was getting used to him when she was sleeping on my legs and Bear came in and gave her a good sniff and then licked her in the face and she took the indignity in stride.

Old Cat, New Trick

Our cat Boo looks at our cat Sam as Sam sits in a cardboard box on December 22, 2021. Original: _ZFC0082.NEF

Boo looks at Sam in one of his Boo Boxes, both a little proud that for once he could teach big brother a new trick instead of the other way round, but also realizing the box he wants might now be occupied. Fortunately for Boo Sam only sleeps in the boxes on occasion, plus Boo generally prefers the smaller boxes while Sam only likes the big ones.

From December when I was playing around with the Nikon.

Sam of Sun & Shadow

Our cat Sam sleeps amdist sun and shadow on the carpet of our living room on December 22, 2021. Original: _ZFC0054.NEF

In the high heat of the desert summer even Sam stops seeking out sunbeams to warm his belly as he sleeps. Come cooler weather though, he’s like a flower tracking the sun as it arcs across the sky. A quick snap of one of my favorite models as I learn the new camera.

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.

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.