I think there’s one thing all we catniks possibly agree on: Our feline friends can be mighty subtle beings. I’m aware – if I’m on my game, that is – that I better observe my cats carefully, and fast. And if there are no other witnesses, well, sometimes I’m just not sure what I’ve just seen.
But I do think I’m seeing something real.
I’m appreciating Bugs as an understated, inward-looking chap. The times he moves toward me are few, but in their rarity I feel their sweetness all the more intensely. He picks his moments, usually when the Nuisance Dressed In White, a/k/a Fang, is not in the room. If my mind is elsewhere, the moment is lost. But if I’m quick enough to make space for his attentions, he’ll sidle up. He’ll tap me with a fleeting, gentle head-butt, and a purr so soft I’m not sure I heard it. Or if he’s passing, he’ll bump me with his hindquarters, briefly wrap his tail around me, and then be on his way.
I really love how I’ve learned to be with Bugs. In the early days, I was so disappointed – crushed, really – when I felt him to be so far out. When he was so wild he’d draw blood. When I kept reaching toward him and catching empty air. Read about it here, where I marveled at Kevin Richardson’s ability to snuggle up to lions. If he could do that with lions, what was wrong with me?
But that was before my great friend and colleague Teresa arrived, to help out with her Tellington Touch. And, now, there’s the fascination of getting to watch Bugs trying to carve out a life for himself with The White Nuisance newly on the premises. How different the two boys are. Poor Bugs. With Fang on a tear pretty much 24-7, Bugs’s monastic life-style choices often tend to suffer.
But I also think the boys are learning to accommodate too. The fights seem fewer and less passionate, and it seems easier for me to intervene if not.
Here’s an example, from just now. I was on the phone, in a long conversation, and both boys were sleeping near me in separate places. When I hung up, Bugs awoke. He went over to the still-sleeping Fang and started to groom him. This went on for some time. The exchange seemed peaceful and gentle. It ended not in tears, as would have been the usual case – it ended when I started taking pictures. You can see where Bugs is just on his way out. Look at those soft tails.
The happy outcome here may have been because I had more time than usual, this holiday weekend, to run Fang a little more into the ground. It took many hours; fortunately it was fun for the whole family. Except Bugs, that is.
The outcome was similar yesterday. The encounter commenced with the boys playing gently and then separating. The subsequent inevitable bloodletting in the Battle of The Beds did not happen. This time, Bugs got Long Bed and Fang was willing to try another comfy alternative.
“Now see here Bugs,” he seems to be saying. Really I think he was contemplating continuing to play with Bugs’s feet — and then thinking twice about it.
Bugs couldn’t leave it alone. Here he is initiating combat.
No face-off, though! Fang simply scarpered. Here’s an animation showing Bugs tracking the scarpering, as Fang ran around the bed and into the next room.
And I can’t resist holding that last frame still. Would you just admire with me the one-pointed focus.
I find this amazing about cats. They have this intense laser-like focal ability – and yet their ability to relax off it fluidly is also simply legendary. I find it endlessly amazing.
Fang’s a whole nother story. He is balls-out crazypants pretty much 24-7. It takes so very very much to get him to crash out. Here’s a case in point from earlier today.
Here he is in mid-flight, contemplating his next move.
Here he’s just about launching into his nucleus-ball frenzy. He loves that nucleus-ball to death. I wish I could share with you the swing-from-the-chandeliers shenanigans he gets up to with it – but that would take video more hi-tek than I care to get.
Here’s the general idea of the ensuing mobilization.
Here he is switching allegiance to the Chip-n-Chirp.
He doesn’t even need the C&C for further frenzy. Catlovers will recognize this next ploy: Cat’s head under the ess and rabbit-kick-city with the hindquarters.
Finally, at long long last – but, even so, not without a toy close at
hand paw, because you wouldn’t want to wake up without one handy paw-by –
The end. For the moment. Til the next cycle.
Wash, spin, repeat.