I was just lying here in bed, browsing around the neighborhood, with charlie tuna purring away on my shoulder as is customary, when in barged iggy for some pets and love. this is his m.o.– he’s queenly and standoffish until he’s ready and then by golly you’d better be ready. for several years this only happened while I was sitting on the couch, and preferably late in the evening– only recently, since the new mattress on the floor which george now braves, does iggy follow his lead and come to demand his pets from me here. he’s a funny cat– he was the lone survivor of some farm kittens whose mother died, and in those early days he was tiny and ferocious– nearly feral, I suppose, so in part I feel that living with him is a kind of slow process of taming. he’s got this long luxurious fur that’s crazy soft and clings like the dickens to anything– your nose, clothes, furniture, hand while petting, itself– and he requires grooming, as the shorthair charlie tuna does not (but likes it)– iggy looooooves to be brushed, which is a good thing, as he gets wicked mats– I’m unable to keep on top of them, but I try a bit and then throw up my hands to lion cut in the summer– it’s like starting from scratch, like a cat crew cut after a chewing gum episode. I tend to gently, lovingly manhandle my pets– I pick up the cats whenever I feel like it, cradle them like babies, carry them around for a bit, then put them down again, so they’re used to handling– I also give them their space to meander, but I feel that some amount of cuddling is required for any being’s optimal health– and I forget and am sometimes rudely reminded that others have different sorts of relationships with their pets– not too long ago while staying at a friend’s house I unthinkingly bent down and picked up her young cat and got a freakout and faceful of claws into the bargain, only belatedly realizing that of course she would maintain a more respectful personal space policy with her cat, she’s like that. I have a hard time not rescuing or adopting every stray I see or hear about– that is simply the cloth I am cut from– but having gone the rounds with way more big dogs than I can actually afford to feed and care for, I’ve now set a limit of three creatures at a time for myself. which is not to say that I wouldn’t love to also have a parrot and some goats and some chickens and several more dogs and some more of those awesome swoopy goldfish and a koi pond and a cow and a horse to ride and heck may an elephant or two. if I ever win the lottery maybe I’ll become one of those weird old eccentrics with a live menagerie. but for now I’ve got my boys, and they make my home and life much brighter, more companionable, amusing, hairy, and warm.