Part of Obi’s job duties is to greet the people at the door. His methods are quite different from how Oliver welcomed people when it was his job. And he has customized his greeting so The Boy and I get different experiences.
There are the go-to techniques that are included with both greetings. It begins with a roll on the dining room rug while we take off our coats. If we are fast enough, there is a preliminary belly rub in this area. The welcome then goes to the living room.
After being led to the living room, Obi will stretch on the rug and expose his belly. A well-trained human, I will scritch the belly. It is a trap. Obi will lock his arms around my hand and chew on my knuckles while bunny kicking my wrist. Not hard – this is a game. Then, looking in my eyes, he gives my knuckles several kisses and kicks a couple more times. He’ll get up, rub a hug against my leg, and if we want to we’ll do it again. But more often he’ll show me his new favorite toy while I get comfy on the couch.
After the dining room greeting, The Boy will follow Obi to the same spot on the rug. There, things are different. Obi will stretch to his full length and expose his belly for petting. The Boy will pet him in long strokes. Obi will roll over. The Boy repeats the pet. At least once a day The Boy takes this opportunity to brush Obi’s hair – it is so thick it HAS to be brushed or he gets matted. Obi is very helpful in this process, rolling and stretching and offering all sides for brushing. I confirmed tonight that he even purrs.
If you don’t have a cat you might assume that this is normal. It is not. Oliver hates to be brushed. Luckily – since he’s 14 pounds and pretty impossible to get to do anything in which he’s not a willing participant – he has linty soft fur that doesn’t mat yet. With Poco there was almost always bloodshed. Mine. And boy did she ever mat. They were once so bad I had her shaved. They didn’t shave her legs or head…she looked like a lion in wooly chaps. A very, very crabby lion.
The Boy’s welcome procedure takes four to ten minutes. Mine takes about three minutes.
Oliver’s welcome, as I said, was much different. Of course, he became Chief Executive Kitten before we lived with The Boy so there was only one routine. It consisted of him standing in the entry way, usually getting bonked in the nose with the door, and starting with questions. “Where have you been? How was your day? Did you buy cat food? How about tuna?” And the daily report “I saw a bird. I took a nap. Thirteen cars drove down our street today. I like tuna.”
Oliver’s go-to trick is the shoe scritch. He attacks shoes like a scratching post. This is fun if you are wearing shoelaces because it makes some noise and obviously feels good on his fingers. Also, he’ll untie your shoes for you. To make sure you know he wants you to stay. It feels less good when you are wearing sandals and he pinches your skin between his toes and the shoe.
Oli will still do the shoe scritch but, since he is no longer in charge of greeting at the door, sometimes we go days without one.
I have Kitten Slumber on the bed behind me. Time for one last nap to get ready for bedtime.
Bonus! The falcon cam is back! If you like birds, this is a great time suck. Watch a couple of peregrine falcons as they prepare this scratch box, lay their eggs and raise their hatchlings. http://www.peregrinefund.org/falconcam/