Zelda has changed a lot since we got her – at first she was very vocal, very much a lap cat, and very unsure of Rufus. Now she rarely meows (though she does grumble a bit when she wakes up from a nap, which is cute), and she no longer cares to curl up on my lap. She also now thinks she's the boss of Rufus. They still aren't friends, exactly, but neither are they enemies. The other day a neighbor cat came slinking through the yard and Rufus and Zelda sat together at the window staring at it, thumping their tails with indignation. How dare another cat come around! It's their yard. It's their house.
Meet Zelda, our newest little troublemaker. She's about 1 or 2 years old, is a small gal (7 pounds, which is almost half the weight of Rufus!) and has made herself right at home.
As for what Rufus thinks of her...
...surprisingly, he's been nothing but a gentleman (gentlecat?) but Zelda isn't quite convinced, and has started plenty of arguments with him. Still, there are glimmers of feline friendship, too, like when they shared a spot at the window sill for a few minutes. I would love for them to cuddle up together, but one step at a time. For now, I'll take what I can get.
Rufus had his habits and routines at the old place; naturally, he had to come up with new ones for the new place. These days he sits in front of the french doors and meows about how unfair it is to be an inside cat, rushes past me on the basement stairs as if it's a race, hangs out on top of the fridge, and hides inside the bathroom vanity for no reason at all.
Things that haven't changed: he still paws at my face to wake me up, he still hasn't learned that candles will singe his whiskers, and he still tries to eat dinner scraps off our plates. Well, what can I say? Cats will be cats...
We had to say goodbye to Bodhi a few days ago.
He had been having health problems for months, but I didn't mention it here, because I just couldn't. I don't know – maybe I thought there was a chance he would get better. But there were too many problems, including a cancerous mass that was discovered when he mysteriously came down with pneumonia, and then there were issues with his spine, which eventually meant he could hardly stand up on his own or walk down the stairs without falling. We took care of him the best we could, but when his personality faded, and when he lost his appetite and stopped wagging his tail and stopped caring about his toys, we understood that it was time.
I'll be taking this week off from blogging, but I'll be back next week.
Rufus loves this bar stool, but he does not appreciate me taking photos of him on it (or so I gather, based on the expression he is giving me in the second photograph). More than once I have I glanced over and seen him sitting there, on the bar stool, facing in toward the counter, with his two little green eyes staring at me impatiently as if waiting for dinner to be served. King of the castle, indeed.
Yesterday was Bodhi's birthday! Okay, not his real birthday, but since we adopted him from a shelter we don't know the real day (or how old he really is). It's been 3 years since we adopted him so that makes him 8 or 9 or so.
Last year he got a birthday monkey; this year he got an anteater. He hated the birthday hat but tolerated it long enough for me to snap a couple photos of him.
Unless he's sleeping, Bodhi is terribly difficult to take decent photos of, because he doesn't really understand "stay" and he seems to constantly stand beside or behind me. I move, he moves. The one trick that works is holding a treat above his head – until he jumps up and snatches it from my fingertips.
It's so strange to think that he used to be somebody else's dog. Once in a blue moon, I'll call him by his old name – Otis – to see if he remembers. But he doesn't. He only turns to look at me when I say Bodhi.
Sometimes I think Rufus's sole purpose in life is to drive us crazy. He will ever-so-gently claw at our faces while we're sleeping. He will stand on the dresser and grab me when I walk by, effectively hooking a claw into my new sweater. If we are on the couch late at night and he wants to sleep there, he'll stomp around the house producing such ear-piercing meows in protest that our neighbors can probably hear him too. He only likes one type of cat food, and will throw up all others. Our bathroom has these weird non-locking doors, and if he sees you go in, he'll immediately rush over and pull the doors open, just because he can.
The thing that drives us the craziest is something he does exclusively in ungodly hours of the morning. He stands on the bed, on the tiptoes of his hind feet, and furiously rattles the nearby floor lamp back and forth as if he's the percussionist in a band. If that doesn't work, he knocks the alarm clock off the bedside table.
Every so often, he'll curl up on Stefan's chest if he's on the couch and purr up a storm. It's as if it has slipped his mind that he's supposed to be torturing us. For a brief moment, he's just a regular cat. He'll do that thing that cats do where they nudge their face against yours, a little gesture that I'm pretty sure means "hi, I love you, and aren't I cute?" until he's had enough of that, and then off he goes again.
We were flipping through channels on TV a couple nights ago and saw a cat on Animal Planet that looked just like Rufus. Not only that, but the Rufus lookalike was revealed to be a specific breed – a nebelung, which I'd never heard of before. Apparently, it's a rare breed. Who knew?
Look at all these nebelungs on Flickr! A few of them look so much like our Rufus that it's scary.
The other week I mentioned that we'd be dogsitting Max soon. We actually have him for several weeks while his owner is away. A few photos from tonight...
Here's Max. He's tall, skinny, and looks like he's wearing eyeliner.
Our Bodhi rarely lifts both ears straight up. Most of the time he's like this:
Max: "Does this pose make me look skinny?"
Bodhi: "You're blocking my way."
I love the funny faces Bodhi makes when he's chasing the tennis ball.
I am bound and determined to get some good shots of the two of them together. Stay tuned for another puppy post in the next couple weeks...
Various things have been keeping me super busy... and unfortunately, the blog gets neglected when that happens. In the meantime, here's a photo of how Rufus & Bodhi's friendship is progressing...
(Also – one of the reasons for giving our dog a new name was because his original one, Otis, seemed a little too familiar. For several days we couldn't remember why it rang a bell. And then we figured it out: the brand of elevator in our old apartment complex was 'Otis'.)
Here's a couple shots of our new dog – he has been smiling almost constantly since we brought him home. His name is Otis, but we want to pick a new name for him (Bodhi is currently high in the running). He's on the bigger side (75 lbs), about 5 years old, loves squeaky toys, and is generally well-mannered (except for stealing and eating tortillas off the counter last night).
For whatever reason, straddling the arm of the couch is Rufus' preferred hang-out spot. My theory is that he sits like this for maximum swiping power: once the position is assumed, he'll act like a snapping turtle even at the gentlest touch, all four limbs (and mouth) in attack mode. The best part is that from above, his flattened body becomes an unimaginably huge rectangle, and with his arms jutting out on both sides he resembles a bear skin rug.
Hi! I'm Rachel, and these are bits of my days and things I like. I run the online shops Elephantine and Mignon, am working on a novel, and live in Seattle with my husband and two cats. Read more about this blog...
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