HERE I AM STRUGGLING to get a service business to startup. Keep pulling on the cord, and all that happens is the thing tumbles a few revs and the exhaust hisses at me. No spark. Here I am working my fingers to the bone to get a story — just one story, any story — up for Kindle, with the idea of following it up with more on a regular basis. Had stories on my site(s) for ten years to no reaction, no comment… (see one-stroke metaphor above). And the stuff I post that people seem to like the most? Pictures of my cats.
Go thou and figure.
But I ain’t complainin’. After all, I do get to keep the company of cats. Such as Chester (whom I am not permitted to nick-call Chaz, although the temptation is strong) at right.
Or Earnie (below), who likes to sleep curled up on my chest.
Or Jane, who is sweet and affectionate, but most independent and not given to lap-cat behavior.
Some notes. These are mostly for Janet, who fostered our trio and recently lost a fur friend of her own, and no doubt hungers for news.
I spend the most time with Earnie, and so get to observe him the most closely. (Earnie and Chester are playing hockey with a piece of painter’s tape in the entryway just now. Had to stop to watch a singular powerplay.) From the day he came to live here, Earnie has reminded me of nothing so much as a miniature Boston Terrier. Yes, his ears and muzzle are more pointed than the dogs’ are. And it might be seen as an over-facile comparison, based almost solely on the coat markings — solid black above, solid white below, with boots and mittens. (Well, elbow-length opera gloves, if you can get past the gender-bending metaphor.)
But I must insist that there is a firmer basis for my simile. There’s something about Earnie’s body conformation — his stance and shape — that strengthens the likeness. The above shot is one of the first I’ve been able to get of Earnie that shows even a little how young and tiny he is. (Well, has been. He’s growing pretty fast. Toni came back from a few days in Michigan and commented on how he’s filling out.) His body is short and stocky in relation to most kittens I’ve known. At first, I was willing to allow it might just be that he’s younger — by quite a bit — than Chester and Jane. But that’s not it, entirely. He really is more square and stumpy where most kittens –once they get over roly-poly-ness — tend more toward lanky, like gawky teenagers. And his back end resembles the dog’s a bit more, too. He has a — forgive me, Lord — a wide stance. He’s kind of bow-legged. But at the same time, he has narrow hips (And a fat little belly!), so he has a kind of a tapered appearance from the back like the terrier. Plus, he doesn’t badoop as much.
(That’s our — Toni’s and mine — description of the kind of hopping gait of teeny kittens. They don’t run so much as they badoop. Rapid movement being accomplished by a rapid repeated cycling of the maneuver, described as badoop-badoop-badoop. Watch one run down stairs sometime, for an example.)
Earnie actually runs — albeit with a short-legged terrier’s gait.
Chester seems to have a bro-crush on Loki. He follows the older guy around and catpiles with him on the bed in the afternoons. Evenings, he likes to spend with me on the couch. We switch places from end to end as the evening progresses.
Chester seems to think he’s a Kennedy — entitled to lord it over the rest. But, since he weighs, like, five pounds, at best he can pick on the other kittens. The bigger cats just snort dirisively at him and go, “Yur Doon It Rong” when he attempts his cute little dominance moves. Earnie’s pretty feisty (comes of being the youngest of three, doncha know — gotta fight to survive) and the two of them are always doing that play-fight chaffering that sibling kittens will do (even if they’re not really littermates, which Earnie and Chester aren’t).
Jane, on the other hand, really is a lady, and a bit of a peace-maker, it appears. (She occasionally attempts to mediate spats between Karma and Aqua.) (Toni (on Aqua): “I wouldn’t have thought she could move that fast.”) So Jane, in her reactions to Chester’s attempts to assert dominance does this, “Relax and think of England” thing until Chester becomes really TOO annoying, and then she squirms free and trots off, leaving Chester looking cross-eyed at any observer with just the perfect “Wha’ hoppen?” expression.
If I can’t seem to get pictures of Earnie (and Chester, too, really), that accurately portray how young and small he is, my frustration with Jane is that I can’t seem to capture her incredibly beautiful coat. In photographs, it looks like this silvery-shimmery thing, albeit flat and two-dimensional. In life, the coloration is warmer. The gray is like a grayscale quadtone, with rich highlights and undertones, The lighter markings are creamy, rather than pure white, and seem to be cut into the darker background — sort of like a fade haircut. The whole has a kind of rich, country feel to it. It’s very hard to get it right under a flash, and it’s just the wrong time of year for good natural light in the house right now.
Earnie has decided he wants to play with a USB cable. I have to persuade him that’s not a good idea. Have a great day!