Caturday: pinky scritches and Swedish massages

Kitties always let you know how much force and speed is appropriate while you pet them. That is if you pay the least bit of attention, because distraction might make you bleed. Tito likes a Swedish massage with both hands on, one palm cupping his forehead, the other raking his fur from shoulder to the base of the tail. He prefers to lay in your lap, and it’s best if you happen to sit on the edge of the bathtub, since that’s where he stores his toys… He likes being close to them.

The way he lets you know to slow things down a bit is by digging his claws in your kneecaps. Once he goes from digging to pulling, you went too far… Amazingly, he sometimes enjoys belly rubs and getting his fur ruffled a little bit. Countless times a day he throws himself on our feet and rolls back and forth meowing and purring loudly. I sometimes pick him up so he can rub his face against mine while admiring the paint on the ceiling.

Tito
I can haz pettings?

Titanescu enjoys fingers raking the fur between his ears and above his eyes. He also appreciates the occasional scritches at the corners of his mouth and chin, so long as you don’t go too far down his neck. And it’s always best to let him smell your fingers before touching him. And you gotta keep it light, without dragging it out too long. One pinkie for one minute is just about right.

Titanescu
Yes, he needs a good brushing, but I would need a full set of armor before attempting it

Miss Jenny prefers to start out slow, fingers lightly raking from chin to tail, until she starts purring and stretching. Her favorite spot is the top of the cat tower, where she can push her arched back against the rim. You can then pet her more heavily, at which point it’s guaranteed she will fart. She looks at you as if to say she’s been brewing that methane just for you. Do you like it? Do you? She’s also been known to reach out and grab the glasses off my face, running scared when they clatter on the floor…

Miss Jenny
I saves my poots just for you

Petting chart

Now it’s time for another Shorty and Kodi video. We can relate to this. We just put up new drapes. The sheers are shredded and the drapes are now wearing a fur fringe. Be sure to visit their Youtube page or Facebook page.


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Caturday: the perils of socialization

Life in JBoD’s Zooniverse looks like one big feline slumber party. All our cats have at some point learned to cuddle and sleep with one another, and we have the cute photos to prove it. Nurse Jenny loves to sleep on Tito for instance. A couple of licks on his head and she flops on top of him. Even though their occasional sessions of mutual grooming degenerate into a Klingon ritual with tufts of fur flying, none of them has ever been that much upset or worse from wear.

Tito and Miss Jenny wrestle and peck at each other until only one remains in the basket to sleep, but there are no hard feelings, even after some pretty brutal bouts.

Tito and Miss Jenny
Awwwwwwww

Which brings us to Titanus Grumpicus, that old gulag heavyweight…

Titanescu
Titanescu sleeps

Against her better judgment, which was sadly never that great to begin with, Miss Jenny continues her efforts in R&D, Rapprochement and Détente. She even managed to rest her head against Titanescu’s rump while he dozed off the other day, until he turned to glare at her. We suspect he has tattoos of onion-domed towers on his back, hidden under his fur, along with Russian iconography all done in black ink.

Miss Jenny and Titanescu
Alas, Grumpicus remains aloof

Titanescu doesn’t really know how to play, although there are signs he might like to: he will stretch at the bottom of the cat tower and sharpen his claws on it, prompting either Tito or Jenny to go into stalking mode. But when he’s at rest is not the time to come goad him. While not ferocious, he’ll swiftly throw the younger cat down and maybe swallow a tuft of fur for good measure. As the expression goes, Titanescu is not violent, he is competent. He doesn’t go overboard: a quick toss, maybe a push of the teeth, enough to have Jenny cry “uncle”.

Until her next social experiment in R&D…

Now, for a musical interlude with Shorty and Kodi. Be sure to visit their Youtube page or Facebook page.


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Caturday: the FOG (F*****g Old Guy)

Titan

Even sitting by the window, he gazes inward. He pays no attention to traffic or birds in flight, he just appears absorbed in thought.

Titan 2

Maybe about his new life, maybe about the younger cats still trying to figure him out… Like kids throwing rocks through the windows of a dilapidated house, they pursue him to shove their nose under his nub.

“It is the nature of youth to play, with their foolish lack of purpose, but to suffer their nose up my tuchus? If two swats do not suffice, a quick bite on the neck shall have them running to their mother’s lap with a yowl.”

Of course, Jenny yelps more from surprise than pain: Titanescu doesn’t bite so much as push on you with his teeth. No, the real protest comes from catching a whiff of halitosis from Grumps. Irony for you, coming from the blue eyed little ball of gas.

Jenny

But even if he knew his fetid breath for what it actually is, there’s no sign this mild indignity would bother the old hero. He lives each day, each hour as a separate life, spending many hours in contemplation.

He’s a cat who’ll go round and round (slowly) over a spot like a dog before settling down, resting his head against an arm or a leg. We’ve not heard him growl or purr, although he’s inflicted the occasional breathy hiss. We’ve learned his ears tell the story: it is time to stop messing him about when they start twitching. Next will be either a push of the teeth or a punch. I’ll take the teeth thing over the paws, at least they don’t bruise, and I can wipe off the excess spit…

Titanescu is I think the only cat I’ve ever known who would not recoil after hissing or hitting a human. He sits very calmly with a stoic look, not even a hint of feeling, ready to hit again if pushed. No sign of fear whatsoever.

Tito

In our defense, I think we’re getting trained faster than either Tito or Jenny, although the giddy temptation to “throw rocks” remains.

stoic


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Caturday: ridiculous faces of madness

Because it’s a usually fleeting thing, catching a glimpse of a cat about to go on its mad-hour romp can be difficult. One second they may be licking themselves, then the very next they dash off to explode out of corners at a dead run and jump on and off furniture.

This took a while to document, not just for one of the kittoons, but all three. The head rears back a bit, the eyes bug out, and there may even be a bit of a Marty Feldman look there.

Marty Feldman
Marty Feldman

The body goes from limp sack of cooked noodles to taut piano wire and boom, it’s on like Donkey Kong, claws out and losing traction as if in a ’70s car chase.

Naturally, Titanescu will do about three minutes before losing steam and plopping somewhere, while the others keep going and going.

This is the moment. On the cusp of lunacy. And it’s just goofy.

Tito
Tito
Miss Jenny
Miss Jenny
Titan
Titanescu


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Point Bonita lighthouse: at land’s end

Standing where ocean meets earth, lighthouses hold a certain meaning for anyone I think. My wife loves the architecture and scientific aspects of Fresnel lenses, weather patterns, geology and wildlife. I like to let my imagination play with the same, especially when I picture these places after dark. I’ll give you two guesses at who fixes stuff around the house, like the sink or the toilet.

The lighthouse at Point Bonita holds its charms in a very dramatic and beautiful setting, accessed via a tunnel carved through rock and a narrow bridge over a steep drop.

long is the way and hard by Lastech
long is the way and hard by Lastech

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Bored by the Kim and Kanye Kid show? Le piss..!

Long before the Kardashian’s baby bump serial began, “Snuff Box” offered a preview of the future, in which Rich Fulcher dated himself with a clear reference to Salt n Pepa’s “Push It”…

Snuff Box” was the result of Fulcher and Matt Berry working supporting roles on “the Mighty Boosh“, and some of you may remember Berry as the boss on “the IT crowd“: here is the intro of his character.

I think this clip from “Snuff Box” shows just how the baby will be… “monetized” with new merchandising on tee-vee:

Here’s a great montage of Fulcher’s best on the Boosh, and I hope you’ll check out these series. Their clips are on their way to rival Monty Python’s on Youtube.

“The IT crowd” and “Snuff Box” are available on Netflix streaming, and “the Mighty Boosh” is available on discs only.


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Caturday: Titan knows best

You know that old grandpa or scary uncle kids like to sneak dangerously close to when he takes a nap, giggling at the hair growing wild out of his nose and ears? Running away when he wakes up mad?

That’s Titan.

The other day he seemed to nap, at least I thought he was, on Rudha-an’s lap. I pretended to pet him, bringing my hand to a couple inches from his back when “whap!!!” he slapped it lightning quick and hard. His expression didn’t even change and he barely moved. Giggling is tricky too: he doesn’t like when she has a fit of the giggles and makes him shake, and he lets it be known by letting out an almost asthmatic, silent hiss.

Life with the ole tyrant.

It’s not that he knows best, he just knows. And don’t you dare question him you damn kids…

Come little bit closer
Come a little bit closer
Closer! Closer!
Closer! Closer!
Don't even think about it
Даже не думайте об этом!


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Caturday: a world of pain…

Illuminated by the flash of white-ish fangs…

New item: the old coot, I mean the Marshal, has developed a fondness for sleeping in the crook of my arm. He’ll rest a paw on my forearm, lay his chin on top of it and go to sleep. That seems to be comfortable for him because his breathing quickly becomes deep and regular, his eyes are fully closed and he’ll twitch slightly from dreaming. As he either goes to sleep or slowly awakens I can even feel his very low purr in my arm.

I tried putting an ear against him, but can’t hear it, so low it is.

Hmmm. Looks like...
Hmmm. Looks like…
Caturday Sam Eagle
… Sam Eagle!

When you look at his eyes, they seem ‘set’, as if his brow were almost furrowed, in anticipation of something bad to happen. I joked that he looks like the eagle from the Muppet Show, but that’s a look I’ve seen on people as well. Rarely does he open them wider, and he only does that when looking at the other two cats.

He does a lot of watching, more than anything else, and I suspect it’s because pain limits what he can do. When he does romp it usually doesn’t last more than three minutes at most. Better than nothing, but hopefully Tito and Jenny will continue to draw him out further, because things won’t get easier as he gets older and lacks energy to exercise.

While his pain is physical, I’ve wondered about the psychological effects. He is safe to pet until about the shoulder blades. Below that, you’re dancing with the Devil. Thankfully there are some rays of hope now and then.

Wide eyed and nubby tailed
Wide eyed and nubby tailed

One positive thing I noticed was that he does not fear us at all: when he slaps or ‘fake’ bites our hand, he doesn’t recoil in fear of being hit or worse. He just sits there staring as if saying ” has the whole world gone CRAZY?”

Jenny has taken to chasing him up the tower and Tito chases him from room to room. It’s not much, but the Marshal likes it and benefits from the exercise: yesterday, he rolled on his back in the ‘dead bug’ position. I wasn’t sure he could even do it, and while we don’t have photo evidence I’m sure we will soon.

Well, three minutes of romping at a time is a start. He does have to save his strength. Just like the Boober moved with more and more economy the sicker he became. And still he continues to last.

Un pont too far
Un pont too far

Thinking about these older cats this week, and the Klingon (not Vulcan!) kind of love the furry brutes have, makes it easier to understand why pain is both universal and private. Marshal Titanescu has trained me to remain very still when he graces my lap with his presence…


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