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? 🙂
As our friends know, we can’t get Penny to step in to the Zone of Death… and for those of you who don’t know her, Penny is our rescue Border Collie mix. One of her “issues” is she won’t willingly leave the carpeted area of our home to go in to another part of the house… essentially, she lives in the foyer, living room, den and the dining room… not a bad gig, really, but still…
Anyway, Pepper-Do-You-Want-Her? enjoys the full run of the house and until Calvin and Cherry showed up, she enjoyed SnuggleBunny time with GrandmaCat whenever she had the chance. It wasn’t unusual at all for me to find Pan, Dee and Pep snuggled in bed with Joanne in the early morning after I’d let Pep out of her crate (she’s a crate-sleeper). After we lost Pan, Pep had GrandmaCat all to herself, although it was clear she was looking for Pan all the while she was in bed.
Then Cherry and Calvin showed up and as they began exploring outside of “their room”, the house quickly became divided in two: Dogville was the front / carpeted half of the house and Catville was everything else… it was hard to tell who was more afraid of whom – the dogs or the cats! Anyway, it’s been nearly a couple of months now (geez, has it been that long already?) since Calvin and Cherry have been with us and, as you can see from this photo taken just yesterday morning, it seems things are working out ok.
This is the last nest of baby finches tucked in to the eaves around our back porch. If you look closely, you’ll see one of the babies with its mother. This was taken ~10 days ago and they’ve now all fledged and all of the nests (except the dove, outside our bedroom) are empty. This may be the post-season we clean our the nests / wood area, perhaps re-paint and see what happens next year.
Looking at Cherry, you’d think she was the sweetest, easiest-goin’ thing on the planet. She’s such a beautiful, petite and affectionate Maine that you’d be tempted to think she did nothing but SnuggleBunny with family members 24 hrs a day. But you’d be wrong – and in certain circumstances, maybe even dead wrong (!)… or at least much worse for the wear. I’ll explain.
Most of the time, Cherry IS the perfect model for easy-goin’, laid back cat. She likes to visit with whatever humans she happens to have around… and by “visit”, I mean sleep in their lap, across their keyboards, on their feet, pimp them for food or a scritch of her neck. But that sweet-as-Cherry-pie personality disappears in an instant when she hears Pepper or Penny bark (or when Pepper enters what she considers “her domain”)… In An Instant she changes from “Love You” mode to “LET ME THE HELL AT ‘EM!” and begins growling (Yes, GROWLING!) and she runs at full pace to charge the offender.
Springfield Al had just left our house (he stopped by for a quick visit – Thx Al!) and Cherry and I had just settled in @ our keyboard (she was draped across my torso / chest and snuggles her head up on my shoulder… purring loudly.) when suddenly Pepper-Do-You-Want-Her? began barking loudly. In An Instant (!) she began growling deep inside and leaped (Yep – LEAPED!) off my shoulder to the floor and took off for the front of the house @ a full run.
DAMN! DOUBLE DAMN!!! I better get her before she hurts someone. (In a minute I’ll tell you about what she did to Pep earlier this morning).
By the time I reached the kitchen, she was at the kitchen / foyer doorway guarding against intruders – imaginary or real – and didn’t budge an inch when I asked to pass by. (The intruder? Ellen… stopping by to check in – Thx, Ellen!)
And just about 2 hours earlier, I was in the kitchen making breakfast. When Pep heard me rummaging through the fridge she came to the kitchen door to see what might be handed over her way; apparently Cherry was in “her suite”, saw / heard Pep take a few steps in to the kitchen and in a second was moving by my side and facing off with Pepper.
Given the extraordinarily close relationship Pepper had with Pan and Dee – and that she’s clearly been trying to develop with Calvin and Cherry – Pepper stepped toward Cherry and was met with the GROWLING CAT FROM HELL as Cherry began to growl and leaped at Pep, landing just this side of the foyer entrance. (Fortunately for Pep, when she heard Cherry growl, she instantly backed in to the foyer and physical harm was avoided.)
So if ever you’re visiting us and hear a strange, guttural-sounding gRRRRRRRowl, I suggest you make only very slow movements and say the words, “nice kitty” out loud.
The other day as I was reviewing pics we’ve taken over the years, I came across these two… of Pandora and Cherry in the sunroom looking up at me with all the love you can imagine.
This pic of Pan was taken one day after I’d been playing guitar for a while. It was pretty normal for Pan to come in to wherever there was fresh music being played… she seemed to enjoy the activity level and just being with people.
I remember as I was readying to take this pic, she was turned slightly away from me so I said to her, “You know I love you, CatGirl”… and she turned back for me to take this lovely pic. What a creature was Pandora.
And this was Cherry about a week after she came to live with us. She had been out and about, exploring the house and found herself in the sunroom, just outside my office. She chirped / squeaked (it sounded like, “Little help out here, I think I’m lost.”)so I grabbed my camera on the way out to see her and this is what I found looking up at me:
That’s what Cherry is… she’s just a little pocketful of love.
As best I can tell, Cherry is 100% pure Maine Coon. Beautiful coat, a Maine Coon “chirp” instead of meow – unless she’s under duress… and an uh-mazingly sweet disposition… very, very much like Pan.
But, unlike Dee and Pan (who were 3′ 6″ long and – in their day – weighed 19-20 lbs), Cherry is just over 3′ long and I’m betting right now weighs about 13.5 – 14 lbs – entirely “normal” weight for a female Maine. (Pan and Dee came from huge stock and we fed them as much as they wanted to eat from Day One, so they had excellent nutrition and calories available for growth.)
Here are a few pics of her we’ve taken around the house… enjoy 🙂 (REMEMBER TO CLICK THE PICS TO SEE LARGER, FULL DETAILS)