The Return of White Whisker

Our cat Trixie relaxes on the couch on December 10, 2022. Original: _Z721861.NEF

As a kitten in addition to her normal allotment of whiskers Trixie had three thick white ones. Once they fell out they never grew back, at least not until recently when one made its bold return. It fell out a few days back and so far its siblings have stayed dormant, so she’s back to looking like her normal self. This picture is from December when White Whisker was in full force.

I Didn’t Even Make It A Day

A close-up of our cat Trixie looking out from a cat bed on October 9, 2022. Original: _Z727176.NEF

New Year’s Day arrived with a steady and gentle rain, Bear and I took advantage with a long walk in the neighborhood we had all to ourselves. It almost felt like Portland save for the saguaros standing in the mist. Trixie slept in my lap most of the day, when daylight fell the winds picked up and she hopped off my lap and hid under the blanket beside me. She disappeared when a thunderstorm arrived with the night so I went into the bedroom to check on her, bending down to kiss the tiny lump under the covers on my side of the bed, thanked with a quiet squeak. When the storm passed she returned to my lap but I was chagrined my promise there would be no thunder until July didn’t survive even a day into the new year.

She’s Right to be Angry

Our cat Trixie looks straight at me while resting in the cat bed on June 17, 2022. Original: _Z722923.NEF

I assured Trixie monsoon season was over (in my defense, it was) but we had a couple of boomers roll through the first week of October. If you see a tortoiseshell with the tiniest little suitcases and a placard that says “Oregon or Bust” please let us know, she’s not allowed outside much less to hitchhike across the country.

Squeaks in the Window

Our cat Trixie rests behind the wooden shutters of the window in my office on July 15, 2022. Original: _Z723567.NEF

Boo spent much of the summer behind the wooden shutters in my office but on this occasion Trixie gave it a try. Generally if she’s by the window she prefers the pillow, though at the moment she’s sprawled down my legs with Boo curled up tight against me.

Blackout Shades

The tail of our cat Trixie is visible behind a blackout shade in our bedroom on July 22, 2022. Original: _ZF23653.NEF

One nice thing while I was quarantined in July is the bedroom has blackout shades on its windows, so I could keep the room dark to make it easier to try and sleep off the illness. It’s hard to get them to come down the last little bit to the window sill but sometimes I leave some extra room regardless, to allow curious cats to sneak in behind them for backyard birdwatching. Trixie was one of my convalescence companions, though at times it was hard to tell if my fever had returned or I was just feeling flush from the heat of Little Furnace sleeping on my legs.

It’s the first time I’ve appreciated the bedroom being so big, normally it’s just wasted space for us but it was nice while it was my home inside our home for a couple of weeks. It gave me plenty of room to play with Bear when he was allowed in, it was nice to have time to bond with the pup, normally hard to do except on the weekends.

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.

Between Storms

Our cat Trixie sleeps on a throw pillow on the futon in our house in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 26, 2021. Original: _RAC9690.ARW

Trixie sleeps on a throw pillow in the fall, in between the sound and fury of the summer monsoons and the gentler winter rains. Even in winter if the rain comes with a bit of wind she may sneak beneath the blankets, just in case. So spare a thought for her and her brothers with the storm coming on Monday, as we’re getting the roof replaced. And unlike the house in Portland, there’s no respite two floors down where you can hide, this house is but one floor.