Chapter 70: COVID Chronicles

By Karen

Day 87

Happy 1st Birthday to Tony!

June 6 may be D-Day in the rest of the world, but at Cats Working it’s T-Day — Tony’s birthday. It’s hard to believe the little five-month-old kitten I got back in October has grown into this fine fellow…

In fact, I don’t know if it’s just because I knew Tony’s birthday was approaching, but I swear he’s having a growth spurt. If his body does catch up to his ears, tail and paws, he’s going to be an enormous cat.

The day started off peaceful enough, with Tony on the kitchen table guarding the chives from any marauding mice…

But Tony must have sensed something unusual was brewing because he went up on the second beam and began pacing around. I caught him just as he decided to come back downstairs. He doesn’t use Max’s bookcase shortcut yet…

A little while later, Tony dashed back upstairs onto the first beam and I was amazingly able to catch him performing this leap for the first time. The 1st Beam > Kitty Perch maneuver used to be Max’s signature move, but he hasn’t done it in a long time. He seems now to prefer the larger landing area of the bookcase…

I felt bad that I didn’t shop to get Tony a birthday present. Then I remembered my stash in the treat bookcase and found a brand-new stick toy. Tony (and Roc) were startled, but I think pleased, by this squeaky blue mouse with radioactive eyes…

But it must have gotten Roc thinking. I saw Roc kicking Tony’s present around the living room a bit later, then he disappeared. The next thing I heard was a crash in the kitchen.

But first, some context. When Roc and I were visiting Granny and Grumpy’s every Saturday back in the day, I carried his favorite toys, food and anything else I needed to bring over there in this green Kipling bag. The bag and my purse have been sitting untouched on this kitchen chair since we started the lock-down in early March…

The crash was my purse hitting the floor…

Roc had dug into the green bag to retrieve HIS favorite Jackson Galaxy stick toy. There was a time when he didn’t go anywhere without this thing. He hasn’t seen it in three months, but he knew where to find it.

[DISCLOSURE: The scene of Roc’s “crime” is a recreation. When I found the Galaxy stick on the floor, the toy at the end had scattered everywhere. I restrung it, but Roc made that process so difficult by almost sitting on my hands, I couldn’t get any photos.]

Once I got the pieces back on the string, instead of retying knots at the end (which had come undone in spite of being glued), I wrapped a thick wad of electrical tape at the end, which turned out not to be a hot idea. Roc took only seconds to snag the tape and send the pieces flying again…

So I restrung it AGAIN, put more knots in it and begged Roc to be gentle with it. Does he look like he’ll obey me?…

BONUS: Here’s Roc and Tony hanging out last night on the sardine can scratcher. It’s upside down to give them fresh scratching surface…

And here’s Roc this morning basking in a sunny spot from the skylight…

MAX UPDATE: After showing zero interest in binging on Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles with me last night, Max returned to the Man Cave. He’s sitting beside me now, but flatly refuses to do a photo op.

5 Responses to Chapter 70: COVID Chronicles

  1. Sue Walsh says:

    I love this blog! Tony is one lucky kitty to have you & his brothers to keep him entertained!
    He is growing into a big boy & is so adventurous & handsome.
    Happy birthday Tony! xoxo

  2. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Sue, and thank you for the kind words!

    Hope you don’t mind if I tell my readers that you were Tony’s foster mom when I met him. He was a confident and happy-go-lucky little guy in your house with your cats and dog, which I’m sure helped him dive right in here and immediately make friends with his new brothers.

  3. Mary Hunter says:

    I love seeing pictures of all the cats, but especially Tony. Happy birthday Tony! The cutest!

  4. Randi says:

    Happy 1st Birthday Tony! I wish you many more happy years with your mom and brothers – and good health. I can see you enjoy your new home. 🙂 The first time I saw you up on that beam I almost fainted, but I can see it is pretty wide. You sure have reason to be proud – that leap was very impressive!

  5. catsworking says:

    Tony says “Thank you” to Mary and Randi for the good wishes! (Mary, he really appreciates you calling him the “cutest.” He agrees. I’ll say he’s the most photogenic for sure. Black cats always come out looking like blobs.)

    Randi, the beams are nearly a foot wide, so there’s plenty of room for the cats. They will even pass each other walking up there. The first and third beams have ductwork inside, the second beam is just for show.

    Every cat falls off a beam, but only once, and when they’re kittens. I’m trying to remember, but I think Tony fell off the second beam within days of getting here. Luckily, he didn’t hit anything on the way down. It didn’t seem to faze him a bit.

    Roc is the only one who ever goes out on the third beam. It’s a test of kitty nerves because it’s beyond the balcony, so it’s a precarious stretch coming and going, not a straight walk out from the balcony like the other two. But that beam is directly under a skylight and has the best tree view.

    Tony has considered trying third beam several times, but always backs down — so far.

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