One night in July I woke to my teeth chattering so badly I had to clench my jaw to get them to stop, not exactly normal for the middle of the Arizona summer. The thermometer confirmed a low grade fever and the rapid test confirmed Covid, which I later discovered was quietly sweeping through the plant. I quarantined in the bedroom, at first we kept the pets out but after talking with the vet we allowed them in when I was feeling better. Boo even slept on my chest at one point, something he hasn’t done since he was a kitten, he usually prefers curling up beside me.
In the early days Boo and Trixie occasionally complained outside the door about not being let in, with paws swiping under the door to try to catch my attention, but if Sam was still with us we would have had to let them in and just brought in litter boxes and food. He would have curled up on my chest and been annoyed if I coughed too much, but not so much as to actually get up. I would have been serenaded to sleep by the purrs of a cat who was happy so long as we were together.
This is the sort of thing I would have painted had I been a master in the Renaissance.
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.
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.
If it looks like he’s being punished this is how Boo chooses to sleep many evenings, when I sit down on the couch he wedges himself into the gap between me and the edge of the couch. The Great Boneless Boo excels at squeezing into tight spots but the problem is when I’m working on my laptop my right elbow wants to go where a smushed up Boo resides. Sometimes he’ll curl up on my legs as he is now, the other night when his siblings came in to join him the problem became that with a Sam / Trixie / Boo train running down my legs there was no lap left for the laptop.
Good problems to have.
Boo in my second favorite of his sleeping positions, the one I call The Full Louganis as his perfect tuck reminds me of Olympic divers. Despite appearances he does have arms, but our boneless Boo doesn’t always follow the laws of physics. I’m about 90% convinced he’s from this universe and about 70% convinced he’s from this planet.
Mathematicians may want to prove the Riemann Hypothesis, physicists a Unified Field Theory, but I’d be happy just to understand how Boo can go headfirst into such a small box and turn around inside it.
Taken on New Year’s Eve but I could have taken the same picture many times this winter. Sam has the bed to himself at the moment as Boo is curled up on my legs.