Roc Launches a Charm Crusade

April 15, 2021

By Karen

Lately, Max has been joining the rest of us downstairs in the evening. After Adele died, he assumed her duty of signaling when it was time for after-dinner treats and fish flakes by scratching on the bookcase where I keep them.

Max tends to rotate where he settles down for TV after that. Until a few weeks ago, he stayed in his bed near the sliding door. But now he’s back on the purple blanket on the couch.

This is where it gets weird. Roc has been joining Max in the friendliest manner he can muster. (This doesn’t leave much room for me to stretch out, BTW.) And Max is warily OK with it.

I took these photos on three different nights…

April 1, Max: “What the @*$%* does Roc think he’s doing? I was here first.”
April 6, Max: “I’ll just pretend he isn’t here.”
April 7, Max: “Mickey and the Teds have my back, but best to keep one eye open, just in case.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve had detente after five years. Years ago, when Cole finally discovered my bed and started sleeping there, Adele, who had been a firm fixture, immediately vacated. She moved to a bed I put on my dresser so she could give Cole the stink-eye all night.

Five years later, she did a 180 and became perfectly cordial to Cole. Unfortunately, by then Cole’s kidneys were beginning to fail and he only got to enjoy a year of Adele’s friendship before he left us…

Adele finally joined Cole on my bed

And now after five years, Roc suddenly seems to be trying to buddy up to Max.

I know you’re probably wondering if/how Tony figures into all of this. He’s making like Switzerland and staying neutral. While Roc has fur-on-fur contact with Max, Tony may be in his little bed on the hearth…

After I cleared my winter knitting supplies off it, Tony discovered the big chair (I crocheted myself a plush throw like the couch cat blankie — I DO NOT recommend that chenille yarn. It’s a bitch to work with.)…

You may remember, directly behind the big chair is the new gray perch I had to assemble from scratch. It’s become Tony’s spot. He uses every inch except that hammock at the bottom, and he’ll lounge on it for hours, day or night. I’ve even seen him using the sisal scratching posts after he saw Roc do it.

New Kitten in Our ‘Hood

November 30, 2015

By Max

I can’t really remember the last time Cats Working welcomed a kitten, because I was the kitten! Adele says she remembers it as if it were yesterday — because it still gives her nightmares.

About a week ago, Karen brought us home a “bundle of joy” she named Roc. He already seems vaguely aware of his handle because it makes him perk up and momentarily lose that “stupid kitten” look he usually wears. But that doesn’t mean he actually shows up when he’s called.


Karen’s been trying to catch Roc doing cute stuff (which he does a LOT), but filming a kitten is like trying to eat a bubble. You’ll just have to take our word that Roc did something really cute right before the shutter clicked on these…






As payback for his lack of cooperation, I’ll share his most embarrassing baby-butt pic. It’s sure to haunt him on social media the rest of his nine lives…


Don’t ask me why his neutering required a full shave. Maybe naked kitten booty is the fashion these days at the Richmond Animal League.

It didn’t take Roc long to appropriate my favorite stuff, like my kitty perch…


Check out that fierce right-paw claw action. It explains why I didn’t put up a fight when he next swiped my yellow Chewy…


His first night here, he pilfered a whole slice of turkey pepperoni from the coffee table he could barely reach. When Karen tried to pull it away to keep him from choking on it, he bit her finger and her chin hard enough to draw blood.


Adele and I have our work cut out teaching him the ropes. #1 = Don’t damage the human who pops open our Fancy Feast cans.

Speaking of Adele, she doesn’t hiss at Roc much. She even let him share a perch…


And watch her while she worked on one of her paintings on Karen’s iPad Mini.


Then they chilled together on the couch — TOUCHING…


Roc wasted no time getting on my good side, too…


But then he twisted my tail trying on my bed for size, leaving me short in the comfort department…


Annoying as a little brother can be, I have to admit he’s what I’ve always wanted. And who can stay mad at this face?…


A Kitten’s One-Month Milestone

September 14, 2011

By Max

Today marks one month since I joined Cats Working, and I’ve realized I’m a natural when it comes to this pet gig. It’s like the role I was born to play.

Since I arrived, I’ve been checking out every inch of the house… except the kitchen counter. I’m saving that for my final frontier because it has the most shock value.

The coffee table is a minefield. Karen keeps everything up here but a litterbox.

I’m about 5 months old now, so you probably want to see if I’ve grown. Here I am with my caterpillar, which I use as a body pillow now…

I hope my Cattey never turns into a butterfly.

I also have this new toy that hides goodies I fish out and throw around whenever the spirit moves me.

If there was any more junk in here, it would be a coffee table.

But I’m also into the classics, like this well-licked family heirloon named Sneaky Snake…

I'm tough on rats, but tougher on reptiles.

And I’m told Mouse on a Stick used to be Yul’s favorite when he was a kitten. It’s so old, a safety pin keeps it together.

My mom once told me it’s bad manners to meow with my “mouse” full.

We’ve got so many toys, sometimes I can’t make up my mind WHAT to play with!

Hmmm…. What am I in the mood for? Mouse on a Stick or Cat Dancer?

But don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not all fun and games around here. Every morning, I have “Leash Lessons.” Karen’s teaching me how to behave in public. I humor her because she give me treats. (Unlike Rick Perry, I’m not insulted by nominal bribes.) But when I think I’ve learned enough for the day, I use strong body language to say, “Class dismissed!”

For the life of me, I don’t know why dogs think this is so special.

I’ve also been learning the rules of the house. For example, Cole thinks the top of the blue kitty perch belongs to him…

“How many times do I have to tell you, kid, this perch ain’t big enough for both of us?”

But as soon as he’s not looking, guess who moves in?

Just keeping Cole’s spot warm like a good baby brother. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Adele’s been pretty easy to deal with, as long as I always remember to call her, “Your Royal Highness, Princess Baby Love.” She doesn’t even mind when I gobble my Fancy Feast like a pig, even though she KNOWS I’m doing it so I can steal hers.

Adele hates to eat alone, so she lets me get away with a lot.

When it comes to having issues with “boundaries,” Cole is our king. Sometimes he’ll let me “share a quiet moment” with him on the couch…

We could be bookends, right?

Cole even lets me join him on Karen’s bed, a visitation right Adele and Cole are STILL trying to hammer out after two years…

As long as I stay off Cole's blankie, we're good.

So there I am, keeping my distance, minding my own business, and the next thing I know, Cole goes all Raging Bully on me…

Cole's channeling Boris Karloff, so I pretend to be real scared.

In rural Virginia where I come from, tomcats never walk away from a good fight, so I have to give Cole a little what-for to let him know I’m no pushover…

We’re like that old TV commercial: “I don’t know where he ends and I begin.” (Don't worry. No kitties were hurt during filming.)

And in case Cole didn’t get my message, I go into the living room and whack his precious Kitty Cubes. Lucky for Cole, he wasn’t inside…

Take THAT, you big pink things! Nobody pushes Maxie into the corner!

When I’m a big cat, I figure I’m either going to be a pawn in Cole and Adele’s turf war, or I’ll put my paw down and end it. Only time will tell which it will be.

Here’s my favorite artsy self-portrait…

I’ll get back to you, Meredith, on how to “Look My Youngest” when I’m about 6 lives down, but don’t hold your breath. I’m just getting started!

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