Say Hello to Bear

Our dog Bear relaxes on the back porch on the day we adopted him on April 3, 2022. Original: _CAM4276.ARW

Say hello to Bear, we adopted him this afternoon and are keeping him in our bedroom at the moment so the cats can come and go as they please but have the rest of the house to themselves while we all get acquainted. Which is good because at one point Bear chased Boo, I think more playfully than aggressively but understandably Boo was terrified and so I spent a while with him getting him to relax. He’s sleeping in his usual place wedged in between me and the edge of the couch but he still jumps at every unfamiliar sound.

Hopefully as the excitement of the first day wears off and Bear comes to understand his furry masters are to be obeyed and protected this won’t be an issue but we’ll keep an eye on it as obviously we won’t put the cats at risk. He did great with Sam later in the day, and lived with cats previously, so there’s reason to believe we can keep him on the straight and narrow.

He needs to learn some commands and get better at his on-leash behavior but the same was true of Ellie when we adopted her. The difference is that at 100 pounds (!!!) he’s much larger than she was, and she was big for a lab! Those things don’t worry me as he seems to want to please us so it’s just a matter of teaching him what we want.

He’s a very sweet fellow, we had a lot of nice moments already even in our short time together. We had kept a couple of Ellie’s hedgehogs and as Bear I played with them I had to hold back the tears watching him run around, squeaking them with joyful abandon. When my wife went to bed I went in to kiss him goodnight and his tail started wagging as he woke and saw me approach.

He was sleeping on my side though!

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.

A Winter’s Yawn

Our cat Sam yawns while sleeping in a basket beside a window in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 7, 2022. Original: _ZFC7426.NEF

The warmth of the winter sun in the desert almost makes up for the loss of the wooden grate in the house in Portland that blew warm air on your belly as you slept.

Almost.

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