Okay...So, this morning Murray came and woke me up, then pushed under the covers, solicited attention, and curled up next to me. He got scratches and pets, but this eventually led to rufhausen and my arising in search of coffee.
Right now, he's watching tree-vee while I key on. You can tell when there is a bird in the tree because his stumpie thrashes around as he stands transfixed.
The two were rufhausen in the next room and there was a 'thump, bang, crash' that was beyond the usual, so I stood up and raised my voice, demanding to know what was going on. As I stepped in to the next room where they were, cats scattered. Cleo disappeared into a hiding spot, while Murray made directly to the bed, hopped up and flopped himself down with his best 'who me?' innocent look. He pulled a perfect 'Bart Simpson alibi'.
Now I know what strikes terror into the hearts of my two Overlords: toddlers. Or, at least the toddler visiting this week seems to lead to hiding out upstairs, away from where the toddler is allowed to roam and howl. For the Overlords, it seems that this toddler is worse even than the vacuum cleaner.
I haz Cleo attached to my shoulder. She demands placement of crooked arm to support her whilst she glomps on my shoulder...well attached with grappling claws on the back. She eventually slid down into the infant carry position before moving to the other shoulder. This was while I was attempting to work on the computer.
I have introduced the feline rugshark into the SQRLd. They were both offered the opportunity to go out on to the balcony. From there, they were free to drop down and wander the back yard. It was damp, but not raining, so both were stepping and shaking...'Eew, it's wet'. Murray was back in, and out, and finally back inside, upstairs and on the bed. All within 30 minutes. Cleo roamed the outdoors for two hours before returning to regale me with tales of the SQRLd.
We joke about Murray being a huppydod (puppydog) in a cat suit. He fetches, chews on things, likes to have his tummy rubbed, and sleeps like that. He doesn't sleep on my workbench, but he spends a fair amount of time watching the birds in the tree out the window.
Puck is also a bit like that. He won't really sleep on his back anymore now, but he used to. He does love a tummy rub though and will often lie on his back to beg for one. Tybbe occasionally does that too.
★ Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer. ★
The Earth laughs in flowers ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"...
The pair has had occasional free runs of the back yard, with the French doors off the balcony standing ajar. They've done quite well and earned pretty open access, as they've been back in and ready of human attention on their own power...no calling, even. Murray doesn't spend all that much time outdoors, but likes to 'nip out'. Cleo is the one itching to get outdoors and spends a fair amount longer out there. Two to three hours stints if the weather is nice. Neither are fond of rainy or cool, blustery days, which works out just great, as I'm unlikely to leave a door to the outdoors standing open, anyway.
I happened upon neighbor cat Bruno happening upon Cleo by the garden shed. Cleo was being very territorial and Bruno is a big wuss, anyway, so it was nothing but a startled standoff, as Bruno tried to gracefully extract himself from the scene into which he had unwittingly blundered. What was interesting was watching Murray, who made tracks for the balcony and exited the scene to indoors. "I'm outta here." Murray loves the top tray on their new cat tower, looking out the dining room picture window onto the west front under the cornus kousa...it's at the right height for an adult human to reach out and pet him. It seems he's the 'uninvolved' type.
So, both felines have now acquired limited outside privileges. If it is dry outdoors and they ask to be released, they may well have their request complied with. Cleo is much more insistent on outdoor access and spends a great deal more time outdoors. We expect them both to be indoors at nightfall. Murray is content to laze around on the top of his tower, or on my workbench, gazing contentedly out the window on the activities of the world going past. I think he likes that it that both locations offer ready petting height for any passing human to oblige.
Murray has recently shown a hitherto unknown enjoyment of 'elevator butt' (often mispronounced as 'ellibator butt' or 'alligator butt'), where, if you catch him in a responsive mood, scratching his back just ahead of the base of his tail, he raises his hindquarters up while keeping his front paws and chin close to the floor. It is the classic "Down Dog" yoga position. I thought that it was amusing that he did 'elevator butt', but what really surprised me was that he decided he likes it, as in he'll push his rump under your hand and start to assume the 'Down Dog' position. Oh, he still does active 'facepalms', where he purposefully pushes his face into and through the palm of my hand; self-petting, as it were. Murray is discovering new ways and means to be indolent. I believe he has decided on attempting mastery.
I just went downstairs and checked the back door...Cleo was sitting on the top step awaiting entry. She is soaking wet all over....Murray? He's comfortably curled up on the bed with Swimmer.
They've just finished another harrowing several days in close proximity with the toddler child monster. They are getting a mite bolder, in that they actually came down from upstairs to the main floor, where the 'squall' was, while she was about. The toddler child monster is still regarded with a great deal of suspicion, though.
Cleo'n'Murray on the workbench in front of the treevee.
Okay....so, at one point, we thought that Cleo might like an eyrie to hang out on, so we obtained a cat tower with a carpeted flat top tray, a carpeted open tube, a rope wrapped stand and two naked wood columns. She passed over it in her interest to go outside and, lo, Murray decided he like the top tray because it placed him in handy arms length of servile humans, as well as ideal placement in the dining room front window to watch Siddhartha, the huge neighbor cat, come and go, and keep an eye on the SQRLz in the big tree.
Once Cleo had satiated her outdoor urges, she began showing more interest in the top tray and Murray, who'd adopted it as his own, was being squeezed out. So...we traipsed back to the pet supply shop and picked up a second cat tower.
Witness, the Twin Towers:
With Murray ensconced in his fave place.
And, of course, an obligatory cute pic of the now 'not-kitten' Murray hissef:
He is now slightly larger than Cleo and a LOT bulkier. He is now nine months old.
I also obtained a carpeted barrel stand; a 'cat stand', for next to my computer chair. No pix yet, but I'm sure that eventually it will show up. Murray, after initial Murray-like apprehensions, has found that if I tap on the stand, that I'm willing to provide attention and so he hops right up. I've found Cleo sleeping it it and once she was curled in on the top level, while he was barely tucked into the lower level (also carpeted) and draped out the opening, snoozing....a stack of cats.
Murray has definitely decided that he likes anything which places him within arms reach of the humans (excepting toddlers). He avidly seeks out 'down dogs'.
So...We were gone for more than two weeks and left the household in the clutches of the Toddler Monster and her adult hoomin keeper. From reports back from the adult hoomin, Cleo managed to adapt quite quickly. She is fast and can keep out of the reach of the Toddler Monster, but she's still curious.
Murray does NOT like the Toddler Monster, particularly her screeching. So, evidently, Murray spent a great deal more time outdoors, coming in for food (and probably used the litter box) and slept in the hen nests on the porch of the garden shed. Until....the big storm with lots of rain and thunder and everything. Murray decided that indoors was better. By the end of our absence, Murray had come to sleeping on the bed with the adult hoomin, after coming in late.
So, when we arrived home at about ten p.m., local time, Cleo was indoors and greeted us amiably. Swimmer had to go to the balcony and call Murray...who came and when he strolled in to the house he saw me and his eyes went huge. He went to his tower and solicited attention. He spent more than the next 24 hours within sight of me. He is happy to have his hoomins back. And the Toddler Monster disappeared again just days after the return of his hoomins. All is better is Murray's world. He's busily collecting undelivered pets, scratches and snuggles in arears.
We had drifted away from playing fetch with Murray, but a find of a cache of small mousie toys has led to a revival of fetching. We note that he particularly likes to leap from the bed to the overstuffed chair in his run to retrieve the toy. When he tires, he just doesn't return the toy. I've seen him carry it around the house, too. He seems to like to bobble with the mousie toys to kill time.
Of course, the floor of the house is littered with innumerable kitty toys. All covered with cat spit, I'm quite sure.
Yeah...We picked up a battery-powered off-centered weighted ball with a 'ferret' attached as a present for the fuzzwads when we were in Prague. When the ball is powered up, it moves in erratic motions about the house, dragging the faux ferret behind. Both cats were initially interested, but they both gave up on it when it became trapped. Murray went back to bobbling his fetch-mousies; Cleo asked to go back outside.
Today, Cleo officially became a killer. She brought home her prey, a bushtit which she'd caught in the midst of a slogging downpour. And then brought it inside. I have birdie chunks on the dining room carpet.
There is no way to keep her inside. There is no way to keep her from hunting. Sorry, birdies. Rats and mousies...take note.