Sunday, December 30, 2007

By Request

One of the regular readers of this blog (her name rhymes with "Flipparchia") has requested cat photos. If you're opposed to cat blogging, please look below for the more familiar rants. This white guy is Howie. He's about six months old. He's very affectionate and insanely playful. He loves all the other cats. He doesn't understand the meaning of the word "fear." Or the word "no."

This handsome gray fellow is Norman. Norm is easy-going, friendly, and seldom gets into trouble. Norman, too, loves everybody, but he especially loves Mrs. Archaeopteryx. He's happiest lying in her lap, snuggling with her and nipping at her nose. Although he's huge, Norm has a oddly high-pitched voice (maybe it has to do with his "operation.")

This is Clovis. Clovis may well be the smartest cat alive. She knows how to open every closet and cabinet, including the one where the cat treats are stored. Although she has no interest in eating all the treats, she doesn't mind opening up the cabinet so the rest of the herd can have their way with them. Clovis thinks it's fun to open drawers and loudly remove all the contents, especially when people are trying to sleep in the same room. Clovis only gets along well with Norman. She tolerates Howie, and picks on Pearl.

This fuzzball is Pearl. At age seven, Pearl is Senior Cat in our household, but doesn't take the title all that seriously. She doesn't much care for the other cats, but will tolerate Norm and Howie. Like all our cats, Pearl was somebody else's throw-away. She showed up on my porch one Sunday morning while I was in graduate school, I opened the door, and she made herself at home. She didn't have white whiskers until we got the other cats.

Turns out there is a line between being contented pet owners and crazy cat people. That line is the line between three and four cats. If you have a cat, and are thinking about getting another one, that may be okay. If you have three, and have that thought, think again.


hipparchia said...


they're lovely photos. thanks. a very happy new year from our [fluffy!] house to yours!

Archaeopteryx said...

Same to you! Also, thanks for making me feel less like a crazy cat person (by comparison).

I should point out that photos just don't do Howie justice.

hipparchia said...

cats are living works of art. it's difficult for mere photos to do any of them justice.

hipparchia said...

[de nada. those of us who are nutty about our pets are, for the most part, much less dangerous than many of the other nuts inhabiting this planet.]

Keifus said...

Hmmm, Schmipparchia? Tripparchia? I'm sure I can figure this one out.

I find the intercat relations to be fairly interesting. We've got paranoid and jumpy old Pumpkin (who's decided that she values the humans if they don't move to fast), and the kitten tries constantly to play with her. It usually involves rolling around and biting, but it's not like the fights with the neighbors outside. Then they sleep together. The Christmas tree water made them both a little crazier than usual.

Catnapping said...

day are soooooooo kewt!

got any iguanas?

Archaeopteryx said...

Hipparchia, I think your last comment is truer than you know. If you love an animal, it's not too hard to extend that empathy to wild animals. If you love wild animals, you begin to understand that the world needs to stay in one piece, in good working order, for them to survive.

K, the Christmas tree water made me a little crazier than usual. Or whatever that was I was drinking last night...

Cat, no iguanas. Unless you count the big rubber one up on top of the bookcase. I'm afraid to keep a small animal in the house; Clovis would almost certainly figure a way to get it out of its cage, microwave it, and serve it to the other cats.

hipparchia said...

iguanas grow large enough to eat cats, don't they?

meanwhile, i'm pretty sure that my crew would skip the microwave step and serve small-animal tartare.

i realize that my outdoor-cat advocacy [for both pets and ferals] comes across as not valuing wildlife, but i do. in fact, it's only in the last 4 or 5 years that i've become the almost-domesticated blogperson that you now know.

two reasons i don't worry about the effect of cats on bird [and rodent] populations as much as i "ought to"---
[1] cats fill [only partially, i realize] the niche left vacant when we killed off [or drove off] the bobcat.
[2] the studies i haven't seen: what percentage of the outdoor-cat population [especially feral kittens] becomes snake food, rat food, raccoon food, coyote food, hawk food, crow food, food for the few remaining bobcats...

you're absolutely right that we need to keep the world in good working order, including working for the survival of all those bird-flu-carrying sparrows! :-)

Robert Scheidler said...

Not exactly on topic, but I just saw this on Randi's site and thought of you guys:

From reader Steve Bauer, in Portland, Oregon, more on the “psychic cat” from

I have had the same cat for twelve years. Every night, the cat sleeps on my bed. Every morning, I wake up alive. I hereby offer said life-giving cat for rent, at a price to be agreed upon, and if any person who rents said cat from me fails to arise in the morning, I will cheerfully refund the price paid to the representative of his or her estate.

Anonymous said...

Hellcat would NOT agree!