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16 September 2007 @ 07:56 pm
Ruby will put up with a lot, as long as you don't mess with the mouse.

Just... let it be.

(I don't get it.  She walks around all day with this big-eyed winsome "I love you. You love me back, right?" expression.  As soon as the camera comes out, she gets all Clint Eastwood on me.)
09 September 2007 @ 01:19 pm
Obviously, "dignity" is not one of those words.

For her part, Ruby is examining the difference between far away...

...and close up.

ETA: Stupid damn photo tags.
30 August 2007 @ 07:18 pm
I know it's been a while since the last update, but that's mainly because there's not much to report. The critters continue to be happy and well-adjusted; they're eating and they both have healthy little digestive tracts, from all available evidence; and they get along as well as any two cats I've ever known.

(ObCute Story: I went out of town this past weekend. I was gone for about 13, 14 hours -- far longer than I'd ever left them alone. Neither of them seemed to be at all upset when I finally got home, other than indicating that some canned food would be more than welcome... but as soon as I got into bed and turned off the light, they both jumped up and laid right on top of me as if they were saying, "You'll stay put and you'll like it.")

Anyway, to apologize for the long silence, I bring pictures:

The conspirators.
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This is why I never get anything done
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(I swear, Buford has lapdar. Anytime I sit down, he's right there on top of me.)

Ruby does not see the need for additional electronics.
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I've learned to keep a few places throughout the house available for Ruby to curl up in. She seems to like little cubbyholes, so I'd rather have some ready and available rather than worry about her crawling in somewhere she shouldn't. So far it seems to be working.
08 August 2007 @ 05:30 pm
I think I can finally say, without wishful thinking, that the cats both recognize their new names. I'm not necessarily claiming that they respond to those names yet, mind you. But when I call them -- as opposed, say, to calling out "Rutabaga!" or "Last call!" -- both of them definitely turn around and look at me. Every once in a while Ruby will amble over but she makes a point of demonstrating that it's only because I'm on her way to wherever she really wants to go. They also plainly recognize "Supper!" and "Breakfast!" and I'm pretty sure they're figuring out what "You lousy rotten beasts won't starve if I stay in bed five minutes past the alarm... okay, fine, I'm getting up, you little bastards" means.

I'm also finally breaking through Ruby's personal space issues. She's always hated being picked up, even in the shelter; she doesn't scratch or bite, but she makes it pretty clear that it's not her favorite thing. Since there are times in every cat's life when it needs to be picked up, I've been working to get her to a point where she'll endure it, if not enjoy it. What I've been doing is, I give her plenty of warning and have a nummy treat ready. I pick her up and hold her until she starts to tense up; then I put her down and give her the treat. At first I could only hold her ten seconds or so before she started squirming but we're up to a couple of minutes now. What's more, the other day when I picked her up she started purring and she actually snuggled into my arms. She still wanted down after a minute, but that's considerable progress.

Buford has gone from sleeping near me to sleeping right next to me. By that, I mean that he either drapes himself on top of me or he plasters himself to my side. The surprising thing is that Ruby has decided that's not a terrible idea. Usually she still likes a little distance, but she's getting closer. A few nights ago I woke up with Buford's head on my shoulder and his front legs wrapped around my arm, and Ruby curled around the top of my head, snoring in my ear. That'll be nice in December, but August... not so much.
02 August 2007 @ 09:38 pm
I finally got around to picking up new batteries for my camera and I thought y'all might like to see how the critters are doing.

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Here's Ruby on top of the New Pink Thing. She's just a little smug because she can fit inside it, but Buford can't. He tries, bless his heart, but his butt always sticks out. I'm still trying to get a picture of that. And no matter what it looks like, I don't actually put eyeliner on her.

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See, this is why I said that Buford is part cow. He loves the kitty grass.
25 July 2007 @ 05:01 pm
The kitties, bless their hearts, got into a wrestling match on top of me a few days ago. Oh, sure, they were having a fine old time... so why am I the one with a big old gash on her arm? They never scratch each other. Harrumph.

Life with the cats continues to go suspiciously well. I really wouldn't be surprised if they're planning bank heists in my absence and they're trying to lull me into a false sense of security. They'll probably make me drive the getaway car. (Damn my opposable thumbs!) I'm knocking on every wooden thing in range but so far, there has not been a single litter box incident; they don't chew electrical cords or climb up curtains; no one's ever tried to sneak out the door; and they've turned into remarkably non-fussy eaters. Granted, sometimes Buford just isn't in the mood for canned food but whenever that happens, he just seems to give a little kitty shrug and move over to the dish with crunchy food. In general, though, they both eat pretty much anything I put in front of them, and they're very cheerful about eating off the same dish. Originally I tried to be conscientious about dividing it fairly -- you know, since Buford is x% bigger than Ruby, he should get y% more food. That never worked out. They're both nibblers so even if I plopped the right dish in front of the right cat, they'd most likely eat some, then wander away and come back to whichever dish caught their fancy. Either that or they'd ignore me and both eat off one dish, then the other. I finally decided that I wasn't going to spend any more time hovering at mealtime (I think it was frustrating the cats as much as me) and since they're both maintaining healthy weights, I guess it's working out.

One thing about Buford, though... I'm starting to suspect that he's part cow. I bought a container of cat grass and he tore into it. I got a spider plant and he just sits for ages and nibbles contentedly on the little dangly babies. I'm going to have to track down some more cat-friendly houseplants, I think.

Ruby is slowly getting more social. She's curled up next to me on the couch a few times, and one night last week both cats hopped up in bed with me while I was reading. Buford, as usual, slouched right on my lap but for a change Ruby sat right next to me rather than at the foot of the bed. I was idly rubbing Buford's ears when Ruby started making little 'mrow' noises and nudging at my hand. So even though it left me without a free hand to turn pages, I started petting her too. She didn't put up with it long -- as soon as she felt she'd made her point, she moved back to her regular spot. I don't think she'll ever be a lap cat but in her own snooty way, she's pretty loving too.
21 July 2007 @ 03:35 pm
First, let me set the scene.  Against the wall: the couch.  In the corner at a right angle to the couch: the comfy green chair.  Ruby likes to sit on the back of the couch to survey the world -- i.e., the living room -- and I generally sit in the chair to watch TV.  Usually she likes to hop up on the chair and gradually make her way to the couch, but if I'm sitting there she'll usually go around me.  The past few nights, though, she's taken to casually walking across my lap on her way to her perch.  I thought that alone was a considerable thaw on her part, but last night she hopped up, walked across me, and paused with her feet on the arm of the chair.  Then she turned around and hunkered down with a definite kitty/Buddha smile, and presented her chin for a nice little rub.  She only stayed about five minutes, but it was a very happy five minutes for me and, one would hope, for her.

I also learned something about Buford.  He is never, ever, to be given catnip.  Why?  Because he is apparently the feline equivalent of a mean drunk.  Seriously, my sweet mellow cuddlebug turns into a yowling scratching mess if he gets near the stuff.  He was actually trying to tear up the carpet to hoover up the little fragments.  I thought the first time might have been a fluke but I guess not.  And Ruby, for her part, couldn't care less for the stuff so I don't see any reason to get any more of it.
18 July 2007 @ 05:29 pm
Hmm.  The more I think about it, the more I think  "The Daily Foible" would be a great name for a newspaper.


Ruby likes to sit at the corner of the couch and bat a mouse under it.  She tries to get it just far enough under that she can scoot around and swat from the other side.  Since she is, for lack of a better word, a cat, she's pretty lousy at judging the distance.  I got tired of trying to squeeze my arm under there -- it's got maybe three inches clearance -- so I keep a long-handled duster next to the couch so I can just sweep the mice out a few times a day.  Thing is, Ruby's apparently concluded that it is a Magic Mouse-Making Stick.  I keep finding her hunkered down worshipfully in front of it, staring intently at the fluffy end.  Sometimes she'll reach out a paw and poke at it. 

Besides that, every time I leave the house she's started jumping on the table by the front window to watch me pull out of the driveway.  I'm starting to think that while Buford is still (and probably always will be) the more openly affectionate of the two, Ruby just might need me more than he does.  She's the one who sits in front of the bathroom and meows if she thinks I've been in there too long, and she's usually the first to greet me when I come home.  She doesn't want attention often, but when she does she really seems to crave it; she does figure eights around my ankles and cries until I bend down to pet her.  She even lets me pick her up and hold her for about ten seconds before she starts squirming, which is a considerable improvement.
12 July 2007 @ 07:26 pm
We're one month into living together, and everything is going suspiciously well. No, really. They're eating well, and after a brief bout of hair-induced coonstipation they're both quite healthy in the innard department. (Apparently their previous owner never brushed them, and of course they didn't get much grooming at the shelter, so I'm slowly getting them used to it. Ruby loves being brushed -- she starts purring and licking me -- but Buford is taking a little longer to get used to the notion. Still, every little bit helps.) They play together, and they eat off the same plate and generally get along.

It's interesting, but in some ways their personalities have switched from when I first met them. At the shelter, Ruby was the one who craved contact and Buford was content to say hi to me, and then explore the room. Now? As I've mentioned, Buford is a complete attention whore. It's hard for me to sit down without an orange blur zooming into my lap after a few minutes. I've gotten pretty good at typing around him. Ruby, though, has been demanding her personal space. She likes to be near me, but usually at arm's length -- she'll tolerate a few strokes and then she'll politely dodge my hand and move away. But I've noticed that she's most affectionate at two times: when she's just woken up, or when she thinks I'm asleep. If I go to her when she's asleep and start petting her, she'll purr and stretch and present her chin for a good rub. And as I mentioned, she loves being brushed. She also likes sitting near me when I read in bed, but she won't get any closer than my feet. As soon as I turn out the light, though, she'll wait until I stop moving and then she'll edge closer. This morning I woke up at about 4 o'clock; Bufe was curled up at my left shoulder, and Ruby was cuddled into my right side. So I started rubbing her ears, and she was purring and kneading and scooting closer... then I think she realized, "Oh, crap, she's awake!" She got up and went back to the foot of the bed, washing herself and occasionally glancing at me as if to say, "You were dreaming. It never happened." But since the first rule of cats is, "The cat always controls the relationship," I'll let her set the pace.
08 July 2007 @ 05:51 pm
It looks like they've learned how to share the pink bed...

They've been cuddled up since noon, and I'm wondering if I should wake them up for supper.