Sunday, December 27, 2009


Perhaps at no other time of the year do we have rituals that are almost unyielding. From November 20th to January 2nd, we must consume certain foods, go certain places, do certain things at certain times. These rituals give your life structure and are integral to our sense of self and our personal well being.

Why so philosophical? If you have been allowed to share your life with a cat or a few cats, you quickly discover cats need ritual. They, unlike dogs, do not adapt well to changes in routine. Something as simple as moving a piece of furniture can disrupt a cat's life to where you'll see behavior changes. Mine adapted very well to moving the papasan chair to the back room and bringing up the Christmas tree.

Weekends, we have a ritual. Pilchard gets a major combing. This is an hour long affair, shorter if she gets antsy. I can, generally, remove a good handful of loose fur while she purrs up a storm, lies down, gets up, comes up to the comb and rubs her chin on it. When she starts chewing on the comb or bats at it, we are done. She is absolutely gorgeous afterwards; glossy, gleaming, satin-like; and I love to cuddle her, which, of course is not appreciated as she's very much an "I'll cuddle when I want to" cat.

A number of you have asked just how big is she? She seems to know when I want to do a size comparison with something you'll recognize. Both of them, actually, have figured out the noise of the digital camera and then make a conscious decision whether to cooperate or be more "catty" than usual. I was able to get Pilchard to stay long enough for this photo.
I don't know if this gives you a relative size. I tried measuring her but she refused to lie down and stay. This is 16 pounds of cat and it's muscle, not a belly. This was last Sunday and we had done our ritual combing about an hour before this was taken. Photos just will not do this cat's fur justice. She gleams. She's beautiful after a combing.

I haven't really established a ritual with Mija yet. She comes into the kitchen every time I go there, except when I leave for work. She sleeps with me and insists upon being in the bathroom when I shower. On those mornings when we can sleep in, she allows herself to be pulled under the covers for some cuddle time.

Rituals give our lives stability. I find I am every bit the creature of habit that my cats are.

Beverage: Dr. Pepper


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