I have said, for many years, that cats work better in pairs. I am now kind of eating those words, since we have had five cats for a few years, now, and it’s a wonderful dynamic.
They fall into some natural pairings: the two girls (Angel and Lorelai), the two (soon to be three) show cats (Izaak and Rory, plus Dashiell), the older two (used to be Jacoby and Angel; now it’s Angel and Alfred), the two neutered boys (Dash and Freddy), the two unneutered cats (Rory and Zak), the two youngsters (Rory and Dash), the two Americans (Angel and Dash), the two Swedes (Rory and Freddy)…it’s kind of fascinating to see how they align each other.
Angel was always bullied by Tessie, and Kylie would join in when she heard Angel scream at Tessie. She was always a bit nervous around Pyret, but since Pyret has left us and Angel became the senior female, she’s really come into her own.
Feeding five cats is tricky, but luckily, we have a lot of rooms. Freddy eats on his own, because he eats wicked fast and he’ll eat everyone’s food given half a chance. Dash and Zak eat together (in the winter, anyway) because Zak won’t steal Dash’s food, and Dash is preoccupied with his own bowl.
That leaves the two girls to eat together. And they do eat very nicely together. They are very companionable, sometimes switching bowls, but there is never an argument over dinner. Angel still doesn’t really cuddle or sleep with anyone (unless Zak insists), but she does seem to have forged a friendship with Rory.
During his talk at the Boston Public Library a couple of weekends ago, Jackson Galaxy described three feline personality types, or as he called it, “Cat Mojo.” The three types were the “Confident Owner,” the cat who owns the room and confidently greets and rubs up against all visitors; the “Over Owner,” the cat who is insecure and overcompensates by lashing out; and the “Wallflower,” the cat who just leaves the other types to their business and tries to blend into the background.
Jacoby and Angel very clearly fall into two of those three categories. Jackson described the Confident Owner as the feline equivalent of “a host who greets you with a trayful of mojitos,” and well…that was something that just needed to be illustrated. And Jake would totally do that, too. Angel, meanwhile…
(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)
We’ve gone back to feeding Angel in the bedroom alone because we’ve discovered that she has a bad habit of going around to everyone else’s dish and hoovering up whatever they’ve left over. I think she really likes her “alone time” away from the other cats.
She likes to camp out under the bedside lamp where it’s really warm and lean on a pillow.
Angel is a really funny sitter sometimes.
She takes this time to groom thoroughly, which is something I think she doesn’t feel secure enough to do when the other cats are around.
She’s also happier when the TV’s turned on; she cries if she’s in the bedroom without it. That makes sense, she she sleeps on the big TV in the living room. I guess she likes it for more than just heat.
To get to the cat show this past weekend, Jacoby and I took the Commuter Rail to Lowell, where my friend Karen, who lives in New Hampshire, picked me up.
I don’t know what it is about trains and Hipstamatic, but they seem to go together so well.
It must be the whole retro-1970’s vibe both Hipstamatic and most of the Commuter Rail trains have.
But as were were saying all weekend, Mr. Bulletproof is really placid in the show ring.
Like, unnaturally-for-an-Abyssinian relaxed. Like, are-you-positive-this-isn’t-a-British Shorthair-on-downers-in-an-Aby-suit calm, cool and collected.
Did I spoil him for the cat show circuit by taking him out on adventures in public transportation?
Did training him to be a therapy cat, unfazed by dogs, machinery or unexpected things make him less representative of his breed in the show ring?
Perhaps. I mean, there aren’t many cats on the planet that will sit on the seat of a train with his paws folded beneath his chest.
Well…I guess that makes the ribbons awarded by judges who see through his tranquil façade all the sweeter, then, doesn’t it?
Jacoby usually prowls the hallways with just me, but, as we saw last Monday, he sometimes escorts Angel about the carpet.
He also accompanies Tessie from time to time.
They tend not to explore the hallway together the way Jake and Angel do. They’re sort of on a joint independent mission when they go out together.
Jake doesn’t go out with Kylie very often, because when Kylie goes into the hallway, she goes out there to RUN, not flop and loll about. Kylie’s entire goal in life is to break the condo hallway land speed record, and it’s amazing just how fast she is. She can make an entire circuit in the time it takes Jake to go three steps and then fall over.
So shots of Kylie and Jake together in the hallway are rare, comparatively speaking, but they do exist.
Usually Angel is a pretty laid back, chill little cat, happy to accept pettings as they come. But every so often, she decides to demand attention. When that happens, look out!
She turns into a little purring, kneading machine, relentless in her quest for headbutt targets.
She will approach from any angle until she achieves her objective.
Paws going like mad the entire time.
And purring so loud she almost drowns out the television! It’s really adorable.