Thursday, February 12, 2009


It's been interesting watching the boys as they have settled into our household. It's fun to watch their individual personalities emerge as they become comfortable.

Kaos adapted almost immediately, but that's not surprising. He is a confident, laid-back cat with an insatiable curiosity and absolute confidence that he will be accepted, admired and treated well wherever he goes. He has never met a stranger: He likes to go up to "new friends" and give them a thorough sniff, check out any packages they may have brought in, stick his nose in their coat or shirt pocket, and offer his ears for a quick scratch. If you pick him up, he curls up into your arms and looks around from this new, interesting vantage point. Kaos is by far the most agile of our cats, but he therefore takes the greatest risks, occasionally leading to some spectacular crashes. It doesn't phase him in the least, though. He'll just keep trying 'til he succeeds. This is how he has learned to balance on the railing at the top of the stairs, perch on top of my closet door and lay down across the top of the clothes hanging in my closet.

Perhaps his most impressive trick, however, is balancing on the "cannonball" tops of our four-poster bed. This bed, a 1920s or '30s era reproduction of an antique set, has eyeball-level posts that culminate in balls about the size of a softball. Kaos can perch like a circus monkey with all four paws on one ball. He then bounces off of the matress and lands on another ball, leaps to the top of the shelves next to my side of the bed or launches himself directly onto whichever of the other hapless cats happens to be trying to nap on the bed. It's hardly a stealth move, but he still manages to catch them occasionally off guard.

Razor has been slower to settle in. This may be partly because he was in foster care longer, so it may have taken him longer to decide that this was truly his "forever home," but I think a lot of it is just his personality. Razor is a friendly cat, but not as exuberant as Kaos. He assesses situations before crashing into them, but his curiosity gets the best of him (especially if he sees Cinnamon or Kaos getting attention), and he likes to meet and greet visitors. He has only recently allowed me to start picking him up. He will relax for a minute and purr loudly, even letting me pet his head and snuggle him under my chin, but usually he will want to get down pretty quickly. I let him down when he asks so that he will let me pick him up again. Gradually, the lap time has gotten longer.

Razor does love attention, but likes to be in control. He loves to catch me when I'm reading and get behind me on the sofa or chair, then creep down my shoulder and walk across my lap between my eyes and the book, sometimes pausing long enough to draw his tail under my chin. Just passing through...

I call these his "drive-by" cuddles.

Razor is actually probably the smartest of the cats. He's the one who figured out how to work the toddler latches on the kitchen cabinets and still enjoys breaking into the food locker. He also likes to carry things around the house, so when something odd (a bottle of baby aspirin/Baby Jesus from the nativity set) turns up someplace where we usually don't keep it (under the dining room table/in the fireplace), I have a pretty good idea who is responsible.

Recently, he has started following me into the bathroom in the mornings and demanding belly rubs. He flings himself down on the bathmat in front of the tub and rolls around on his back, purring loudly, until I stop whatever I'm doing and rub his belly. Sometimes he will respond by clamping up on my hand with all fours, but usually once he has me in his grip, he just washes my hand.

His favorite game, though, is wrestling with the other cats. Kaos is his favorite target, and sometimes we will hear Razor walking around the house yowling, calling Kaos to come out and play. He doesn't usually bother with stalking: He just walks right up to Kaos and starts grooming him, then grooms a little harder, then pins him down to really wash those ears, then puts him in a headlock and pins him to the floor. Not very subtle. He does the same thing with Cinnamon, but she is quicker on the uptake and faster than Kaos, so she usually worms her way out of his grip before he can advance too far (she grew up with a bigger, older brother who used the same technique, so she's an old pro). So far he hasn't really tried it with Tweak. She still intimidates him.

I am so glad that we decided to get both boys instead of one or the other. They keep each other entertained and are a great outlet for each other. If we had just one of them, either of them would drive Cinnamon and Tweak crazy. As it is they can take out their aggressive play on each other and leave the other cats to join in or observe at will. It's a nice arrangement.

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