After spending much of the day at the vet’s office on Tuesday and feeling very crummy, Boudicca understandably needed time to decompress. After I brought her home late Tuesday afternoon, though, I was not sure if she would continue to have accidents until the antibiotic started to work its magic. One of the techs also noted that the boys might act aggressive or oddly around her because she smelled like the vet’s office, so that was something to watch for and prevent if it occurred. (Sometimes cats can pick on a sick cat or a cat returning from the vet.) In order to deal with this issue, I briefly separated Boudicca from the other cats and confined her in the bathroom, equipped with food, water, and a litter box. She had not eaten much that day and had been probably stressed out for much of the day, despite the techs and vet giving her assurance and affection when possible. She needed a break.

Although she did eat, drink, and use the litter box (no accidents), Boudicca was decidedly unhappy about being confined. She pawed under the door, and this action, combined with her persistent meowing, brought the boys over. I found the boys having a committee meeting in the hallway in front of the door, staring intently underneath the door frame and reaching their paws beneath. I’m not sure if they thought it was a game or not. Then Garrus–of all cats!–surprised me by pulling a Houdini move and springing Boudicca out of the joint. Jailbreak! I still have no idea how he opened the door because he has never demonstrated this talent before or since. Suddenly I had all three cats barreling down the hallway, with Boudicca in the lead, hissing her displeasure and her tail semi-poofed. When Boudicca tore out of the bathroom, Charlie thought, “Oh it’s time to chase! Yay! I love this game!” Boudicca promptly turned into Bette Midler a la Winifred Sanderson in Hocus Pocus, emphatically not game for such shenanigans. When I appeared to intervene, the boys scampered off to the bedroom, left Boudicca alone, and furiously repolished their halos for the rest of the evening.

The following day (Wednesday) was unmistakably calmer. We had no issues giving Boudicca her medication because we disguised it in a dollop of wet food, and the treatment seemed to kick in right away. She spent most of the day catching up on much needed sleep. She was so involved in her sleep that I could nearly see the z’s floating off of her.

Throughout the day I checked on her to see how she was doing. Every few hours she got up to nibble at her food, take a drink, or visit the Cat Genie, and I wanted to make sure she wasn’t having any problems or that the boys bothered her. Thankfully, both Garrus and Charlie figured out that Her Royal Highness had been under the weather and needed to fully recuperate, and in order to do so, she needed her space. They respected that like upstanding Gentlemen Cats that they can be. However, whenever I checked on Boudicca, Charlie would appear out of nowhere and squeak up a storm. Apparently he had a lot to say about something and wanted me to know! I made sure that both the boys got some attention so they wouldn’t get jealous.

On Wednesday afternoon I decided to sit on the couch and read one of my library books. I do this fairly often, and Boudicca is my dedicated reading buddy. She was already snoozing in her spot on the couch so I took my seat beside her. As I sat down–before I started petting her–she began purring in her sleep. It was so precious. Eventually she distracted me from reading by doing this:

I could tell that she was feeling less gunky when she turned upside down and slept like this. About an hour into my reading session, Boudicca woke up and, while quiet and polite, very determinedly insisted that I make my lap available for her.

“Maternal parental unit, I decree that it is lap time now.”

Boudicca claimed my lap and shortly thereafter I had to contend with feline paralysis. I was not allowed to move unless it was to pet her, give her kisses on her forehead (she asked for several so I had to oblige), hold her close, and tell her that she was a sweet, pretty girl and that I loved her. Cue copious amounts of purring (over two hours) and air biscuits. Very happy kitty!

Morning Snuggles

IMG_2076Apparently the cats missed us while we were gone over the Thanksgiving holiday. (Don’t worry; they were not left utterly alone. A dear friend and fellow cat lady checked in on them on Thursday and Friday and gave them an abundance of affection.) I was slightly worried that the boys would be skittish when we returned home but, thankfully, they were relaxed. All three cats sought us out for scritches and Boudicca was insistent to return to her regularly scheduled lap time as soon as possible.

This morning Boudicca woke Aaron up by walking across his face and pillow in order to curl up between us and our pillows. (For those who do not know, face- and pillow-walking is a common occurrence with cats. Some cats are more polite about it than others.) Commence snuggles, pets, and happy purring cat time! She was quite content to use my hand and arm as a chin rest and seemed quite pleased with herself when Aaron babbled at her, telling her that she was a sweet and pretty girl. (Boudicca seems to enjoy and expect compliments at regular intervals.)

Whenever the Downton Tabbies realize we’re awake, they usually come into the bedroom to investigate and receive rubs too. Garrus hung out on the floor, despite our repeated attempts to invite him up. (When we got out of bed, he received plenty of attention in the living room.) Charlie, however, did not need much coaxing to jump onto the bed. This morning he wanted all the affection he could get from Aaron and purred enthusiastically away, so loud that it drowned out Boudicca’s purrs.

Aaron: Good morning, little man.

Charlie: Hi Dad! Hi Mama! It’s lovey time, yes?

Aaron: Yes. Would you like to visit? *gives scritches and pets*

Charlie: Oh yes! This is my favorite thing! (NB: Charlie has many favorite things.)

Aaron: Now can I pick you up?

Charlie: Maybe. But you’ll have to convince me to get unstuck from the comforter.

Aaron: *disengages Charlie’s claw snags and places cat in his lap* Now what do you think about lap time? *gives back strokes, scritches, and rubs accordingly*

Charlie: This is lap time?! This is awesome! It’s so snuggly and comfy! This is my favorite thing! *BIG PURR*

Cat Parent Achievement Unlocked: We have successfully introduced Charlie to the practice of lap time. He stayed in Aaron’s lap for about 10 minutes and didn’t wiggle all over the place! Success!

Unfortunately, Charlie decided to move out of Aaron’s lap just before I was able to snap a photo.

All in all, this was an excellent way to start off a Saturday morning!

Lovey Time

Are your cats more affectionate at certain times of the day or are they all-day love sponges? What do they do to elicit your attention? Where do you they like being pet the most?

In my adult life I have had four cats and each one has his or her own “lovey time”. This lovey time is not necessarily tied with feeding time so it’s interesting to note the differences. Each cat has his or her unique preferences too.


Particularly before we got the boys, Boudicca starts off her day by greeting us and asking for a visit. If she thinks she can get away with it, she flops between us, purring away and acting as though she owns the place. She loves long strokes from her head to the end of her tail, scritches on her cheeks, thumb rubs on the top of her head…any form of affection, really.

Garrus lately has demonstrated that he too is a morning cat. Once he realizes that we’re awake, he usually swaggers into the bedroom with his tail high in the hair. Occasionally he’ll jump on the bed and receive a visit before or after breakfast but often he gives us walk-by tail hugs once we get into the kitchen. His favorite visiting spot is the ottoman in the living room. For some reason he seems more comfortable when we sit there, allowing him to approach us if he wants and receive back strokes and neck scritches. He likes it most when we scritch the side of his neck and chest simultaneously. Garrus also gives head bunts, particularly if he is on the bed.

Charlie is a busy, kittenish boy and, like Garrus, is still settling into life in our house. When we wake up and have breakfast, he is usually snoozing in one of his tower spots (either the penthouse kitty condo or the platform directly above it). If we give him pets while he’s up there, he opens his eyes and often flips onto his side or completely upside down to expose his belly, allowing us to give him belly rubs and remind him how handsome he is. But, like a sleepy kid who doesn’t want to get up for school, he generally doesn’t really wake up and want to engage with us until at least an hour later. When he’s up, he’s raring to go–squeaking, trotting around the house, looking for toys to play with, and eagerly greeting Garrus. Sometimes he’ll have a morning scamper session, sometimes not.

Somewhere between ten minutes and over an hour after Aaron has left for work, Charlie tends to trot over to my office for a pit stop visit (frequently squeaking his arrival) and start his morning bird-watching session. (Keep in mind that, according to The Fur Person by May Sarton, a cat sitting on the window sill or seat is doing the feline equivalent of reading the morning newspaper.) When he’s on the window seat in my office, he happily flops over for a belly rub or bunts my hand and squeaks at me. Sometimes Garrus joins him, sometimes not; a few times Charlie has managed to sneak up onto the window seat and share it with Boudicca, apparently without her knowledge. Of course, Charlie is just as likely to receive exactly two pets from me before he darts off to fish his latest favorite toy from under furniture or convince Garrus to join him some shenanigans.


Boudicca is happy to receive adoration at any time of the day. She loves it when she gets brushed and will purr enthusiastically and pirouettes as she walks back and forth so I can brush each side equally. Although she is doing this less as she gets older, Boudicca does like to follow me around the house and complains when I leave her (sleeping) presence without her permission. She is absolutely elated when she gets spontaneous lap time when, say, I decide to read on the couch. (I can’t very well read unaccompanied by my dedicated reading buddy.) Boudicca is a pleasant napping companion and offers purring comfort if I am dealing with a migraine. She’s such a sweetheart.

During the day, Garrus is generally more interested in snoozing, playing with Charlie, and sunbathing in the afternoon. It’s a mixed bag whether another lovey time fits into his schedule during the day. If he’s been able to sunbathe for a while and feels particularly relaxed, he has been known to be amenable to unofficial afternoon lovey time. Charlie divides his time between sleeping and scampering, but he does seem to enjoy brief visits while he lazes in his spot on the cat tower. He is also a fan of pit stop visits in my office, where he announces himself (squeaking), approaches me at my desk, and allows between two and eight pets before moving off. If he has the window seat for himself, he may roll onto his back and enjoy a belly rub, but he’s still fairly wiggly.


Boudicca used to habitually race to the bedroom and jump on the bed when Aaron returned from work, talking all the while until he flopped on the bed to visit her. (If someone babbles at her during a visit, she would feel obligated to contribute to the conversation.) Post-work visits have occurred less consistently since the boys fully transitioned out of Aaron’s office and have free reign of the house, but if the bed is unoccupied by the boys, she purrs contentedly as Aaron talks to and pets her. Boudicca also enjoys receiving a post-dinner visit on the bed, especially if the boys do not get on the bed and thus interrupt her visit. If I pick her up to love on her, she generally purrs, goes limp, and halfheartedly makes air biscuits (periodically spreading and curling her toes). It’s pretty cute.

The other highlight of Boudicca’s day is her regularly scheduled lap time in the evening as we sit on the couch and watch a TV show or play video games. Keep in mind, when Boudicca gets into my lap, she can sprawl from nearly my knees to my chest. Lap time means a partially or totally liquid and boneless cat with a throaty purr immobilizes my legs until she decides to get up and try to steal the boys’ food. (About five minutes later, after we’ve prevented her from eating Garrus’ food, she comes back and asks to be invited up or placed into my lap.) Throughout lap time Boudicca expects pets and occasional smooches right between her ears. (She’s not spoiled at all.)

In the evening, the Downton Tabbies seem to be more interested in playing than having a visit, but they will occasionally pause for scritches. Lately we have been working on introducing the boys to lap time and encouraging them to engage with us through shameless bribery with treats. With and without the enticement of treats, Charlie has sporadically jumped up onto our laps, much to our joy. Garrus has ventured onto the back or the arm of the couch but not our laps…yet.


Nala also had morning and evening lovey times. She didn’t want to get onto the bed with us, or did so rarely, but for several years we’d find her sitting patiently next to the cabinet by the fridge. Aaron stands there to grind coffee and Nala felt it was her duty to (A) greet him enthusiastically with her bratty-sounding meow, (B) sit nearly on top of his feet as he ground coffee, and (C) wait for Aaron (her Chosen Person/boyfriend) to give her the adoration she wanted. This was one of the cutest habits she did.

During her morning lovey time Nala felt obligated to polish everyone’s ankles thoroughly by rubbing on them and then tickling us with tail hugs. She was also insistent that Aaron give her a second visit before he left for work. Whenever Aaron gave her attention Nala habitually purred and snuffled as a way to express her joy. (When I say snuffle, imagine a combination of a raspy purr, a tiger’s chuff, and loud exhalations. She primarily made this noise in Aaron’s presence and it was both odd and adorable.)

While Nala enjoyed getting pets and belly rubs from me as well, she was clearly less excited about my visits after she totally defected to Aaron. When Aaron came home from work, she was quite assertive about how eager she was in receiving a visit on our bed or at one of her favorite spots (her bed, a box, etc.). She also liked to sit on or between his feet as he washed dishes or loaded/unloaded the dishwasher. She was quite effective at getting in the way while simultaneously being really cute about it!

In the evening Nala generally hung around in her latest favorite spot in the living room and waited for additional visits from Aaron or, oh joy, lap time with her Chosen Person. (Sometimes the girls competed for available laps. Boudicca and Nala generally did not like to be on our laps at the same time but would sometimes tolerate it if they were facing different directions and had adequate space between them.) During lap time Nala typically became exuberantly content and snuffled loudly as she kneaded on the crocheted blanket or towel on our laps. When Nala kneaded, 85% of the time her face resembled that of a stoned Yoda and then she drooled in slow motion. It was gross but also amusing and incredibly endearing at the same time.

On the weekends, Nala liked to lounge in whatever box Aaron had in his office and periodically pester him for affection as he played video games. Occasionally she convinced him to let her up into his lap, upon which she would snuffle rather raspily along the lines of “My human is paying attention to me! I love my Chosen Person so much! He’s mine, mine, mine!”. I’m fairly certain that in Nala’s mind, she was Aaron’s girlfriend and I was demoted to their pet!