Pure of Heart

Our orange tabby Sam as a kitten sitting on the cat seat beside the picture window in our house in Portland, Oregon

We’ve had six cats over the years but Sam more than any other wears his heart on his sleeve. He wants nothing more than to feel safe and to feel loved and showers you with love in return. He is now our oldest but it was never a crown he wished to wear, he was happiest when he had his older sisters to look out for him. This is Sam as a kitten in 2008, a couple of months after we adopted him, pondering the world outside the picture window. Thankfully while the move to Arizona was hardest on him he has adapted well, he’ll have another move a while down the road but it will be a short drive away so not nearly as stressful as the move from Oregon.


Our cats Sam and Scout snuggling in the cat seat in the picture window in July 2011

Another change I made to the Giving of Treats is to swap out the treat I give to Scout. While she still likes the WildSide Salmon dried salmon treats, she wasn’t eating them with the same fervor so I decided to mix things up a bit. I started off with Whiskas Wild Alaskan Salmon Flavor Temptations, a little treat with a crunchy whole grain shell and a meaty treat inside. Despite the name, the first ingredient is chicken meal and the wild Alaskan salmon flavor (whatever that is) is one of the last, but Scout loves them. She’s normally a bit picky about food so it’s nice to find another treat she gets excited about.

Sam likes them too, but that’s not too surprising, Sam likes just about everything. He has gotten more tolerant of Flea Medicine Night, a monthly ritual necessitated by Scout’s flea allergy, partly with experience I suppose and partly because I started giving the cats a few treats afterward to soothe their injured souls. Now instead of hiding from me for a few hours afterward, Sam has learned it is treat time and he doesn’t even resist his treatments with the same vigor that he used to — in other words, I don’t end up bleeding anymore.

Emma is another picky eater and while she likes the wet food she gets in the mornings, and sometimes eats the dried salmon treats, I have not yet found a dried treat she will consistently eat. I picked up a couple of new Temptations flavors, Free Range Chicken and Yellow Fin Tuna, to see how they would be received. I had little doubt Sam would love them but really hoped Emma would take to them too.

On the latest flea night I assembled the three cats after their treatment, each a little irritable but each eyeing the treat bags I held in my hands. Emma didn’t like any of the treats, a disappointment but not a surprise, while Scout loved them all. The biggest surprise was Sam, who not only didn’t like the new flavors but actually spit them out!

Scout, who was learned well from her Snuggle Twin, body blocked Sam out of the way and devoured his spurned treats and Emma’s too, not a normal behavior for our gentle Queen. I guess it’s safe to say she likes these treats!

I have given her the Tuna flavor the last few days in the mornings, the first time after I handed her the last treat she swatted my empty hand with her paw. I thought it an aberration until she did it again the following morning. This morning though she just buried her head in my empty hand and rubbed her head through my fingers to capture any fleeing evanescences from the departed treats.

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.