Calvin and I both watch the PBS special on crows last night. Calvin sat with undivided attention for about 15 minutes and watched this … at times he would hunker down as if to hide from them so they didn’t see him.
Short version: It looks like (at least) Calvin has come to appreciate the basket by the front door.
Hal version (with pictures):
Come this Labor Day weekend, we will be in this house for 12 years. From just about the day we moved in until Pandora passed away, we’ve had a basket by the front door… and the basket often had a cat in it who was busy watching the front yard activity through the windows. When we left the house and later returned home, more often than not there was a Maine Coon waiting for us. Except during the most difficult times of their illnesses, Pan and Dee would wait in their basket each morning as I went out to pick up the paper; when I came back through the door, there would often be a shin-rub waiting for me. Likewise, when Joanne came home from work each evening, there would be Pan or Dee, making sure she made it home. If they weren’t awake, they were curled up in the basket… always with a set of fuzzy Maine Coon ears pointing out of the basket.
But with Pan’s passing, the basket was an empty reminder… sometimes painful and sometimes heart-warming, as we were reminded of Dee and Pan. With the arrival of Cherry and Calvin, we eventually we moved the basket to the sunroom where they could bask in the sunshine coming in through the skylights… until today.
When I returned from lunch today, Cal was extremely vocal and wanted to play so we brought out some toys and played “bird” – hopefully I’ll get a chance to film him leaping through the air catching “bird” and post it here. After he tired, I headed out to the front room and opened the door for some fresh air and sunshine… whereupon he threw himself on the ground, making a sort of whoopee cushion noise just like Dee used to do when she wanted attention and to be petted. After I crawled down to the floor and massaged his shoulders and back like Joanne does, he stretched out in front of the door and began to groom himself and fall asleep.
Recognizing an opportunity, I retrieved the basket from the sunroom and placed it in front of the windows where it has been for ~12 years. In a flash, Cal climbed in and… here you go:
Ellen stopped by on Friday to catch up on a few things before we headed out for the weekend. While we were standing in the kitchen at the intersection of kitchen / hallway to sunroom, Calvin was in the sunroom watching us as we talked. Figuring he needed to be part of whatever was going on, he picked up a mouse, brought it to us and dropped it at Ellen’s feet.
I said to Ellen, “He wants to play fetch”. So she threw the mouse to the sunroom. Calvin retrieved it, brought it back and dropped it at her feet. She picked it up and threw it again. He repeated the process… for a total of 7 times.
Ellen (who has had many cats in her life) said, “That’s gotta be a record, I’ve never had a cat retrieve so many times.”
Yep, that’s Cal… if you’ve got a mouse / bird, he’s your man of action.
These past two weekends have been busy and a little disruptive around here.
The weekend before last, I was in in LA w/Owen and Olivia, and the weekend just past found Joanne in San Diego (Happy Birthday, Marly!) and me away visiting my father (Happy Birthday, Pop!). While I was in LA, Joanne was the pet-wrangler, and while we were both away, Springfield Al stayed at our house and, according to him, he was absolutely charmed by Cherry and Calvin.
From what I hear, Al, Cal and Cherry (together) spent more than a few minutes in SnuggleBunny and purr-mode… as it should be. Al told me that Cherry and Calvin were very present – and affectionate – with him… how cool is that?
Thanks, too, to Ellen for stopping by and participating in house / garden / penny meds maintenance… all are very much appreciated; in fact, I hear there is an abalone dinner in your near future 🙂
The Power of the Purr – pretty neat, huh, Al? 🙂
I (am pleased to say) that over the past few days I’ve received a couple of emails from two HCN volunteers we’ve worked with in bringing Cherry and Calvin into our home. Both emails were bright’n’shiny and (in part) thanked me for posting pics of Calvin and Cherry since they’ve been with us.
The pleasure is all ours, truly. Thanks for being there to help creatures in situations like Cal and Cherry to have a humane, safe and **nourishing** place to be if they can’t be in a loving, private home.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
While being an “animal volunteer” must have its rewards, I’m sure it has its very difficult times, too… money / time are always @ a premium, you – no doubt – have to interact with creatures / owners who are in difficult situations… sometimes non-recoverable… and when creatures are adopted out, then what(?) – how are the animals doing, how are the new caretakers doing with “your” creatures, the ones you nursed back to health and gave comfort to… only to see them leave.
So (in part) our posting pictures and tidbits about Calvin and Cherry and about our TBC activities / perspective is to continue offering evidence that your work and efforts matter:
Clearly, they do.
So, to HCN / pet adoption volunteers (are you listening, Janice, Jeanee and all others? :), thanks for caring for the creatures who are in need of (what I’ve learned volunteers often call) their Forever Homes.
(Aside: As I completed the 2nd par, Calvin began calling to me from the sunroom that he had a mouse – one of Pan’s that he’s fond of – and wouldn’t I come play for a minute? Sure thing, the writing will wait – playing with “Mouse” is important work. When I went out to the sunroom, he actually had all 9 of Pan’s mice scattered around, as if to say, “What’s it gonna be, food-guy, gray, gray with white tail; white w/no tail, white w/tail; brown with big fuzzy, long tail; green w/white tail; pink w/white tail; blue or maroon w/tails – we’ve got ’em all… take your pick.”
How could I refuse? I rolled them all in the now-shrinking bag of “kitty stash” Sis gave Pan and Dee years ago, then threw them out for him to chase.
When it was clear he wanted more action, I picked up the stick with “bird” on it and in <30 seconds, he was doing backflips 2′ in the air in his efforts to catch “bird”. (I’ll video and post this next weekish.)
So, pet volunteers… thanks for your time and effort – we’re very appreciative. I will (likely) continue to post Calvin and Cherry pics at least 2x weekly going forward… so please continue to stop by as you have time / interest.
Today, on the three month anniversary of Pan’s passing, once again The Blankie is back in action doing what it does best: serving as a feline comfort zone. I’ll explain.
I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but years ago – 10, maybe? – each morning I began the day by drinking my coffee and reading the morning papers on the couch… with Pan always by my side on The Blankie. And, depending on my schedule, at times I would sit on the couch throughout the day – and evening – and Pan would always follow me out to sit by my side (and often sleep) on The Blankie. Over time, it was the most natural thing in the world for visitors to our house to find Pan and I sitting on the couch… me, reading… and with my left hand resting on her back, Pan by my side… gazing at me, sleeping or – if we had company – sitting upright in a Sphinx-like position, gazing at our visitor.
After Pan passed, I left The Blankie in its center-cushion place – directly to my left… it just seemed the natural thing to do. When Calvin and Cherry came to live with us, I had hopes that one of them would find it to their liking and we could share some time together. Despite my assurances to them that The Blankie was TwoBigCats approved and certified, neither of them showed the slightest interest in The Blankie… or the couch, for that matter.
Late in the afternoon, Springfield Al stopped by to visit and caught me – well, actually, the entire pack – napping. Calvin and Cherry being who they are, came out to the front of the house to see what all the barking was about. IIRC, Calvin cruised by Al to acknowledge his presence and shake his tail at Al, while Cherry remained slightly out of sight. Al stayed about 10 minutes, then headed out the door to catch a bit of a nap, himself.
And that’s when it happened. After seeing Al out the door (thx for latching the screen on the way out, Al!), Calvin came in to the front room and took the off-road course to the sewing machine perch @ the window. He looked out the window for ~1 minute, then looked at me @ my end of the couch. I patted The Blankie and said, “You know, two very special cats have spent many years on this blankie – maybe you would like it, too.”
That did it. He walked over to The Blankie, planted himself on it and curled into a half circle and closed his eyes… I instinctively reached out to pat / rub his shoulders and head as I had done with Pan sooooo many thousands of times over the years, and he began purring deeply.
We both woke with a start an hour later when Joanne called from work to say she was on her way home. When she drove in the driveway, then walked in the front door, Calvin remained on The Blankie… apparently content in his new-found resting place.
Strange coincidence that Calvin (or Cherry) would choose the three month anniversary of Pan’s passing to discover The Blankie, but it is what it is, eh? I hope Cal (and Cherry) continue using The Blankie.
Luv you and miss you, CatGirl.