Four Legs Good
Here's a quote from Marley & Me, by John Grogan: "Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day."
There's some chastening truth in that quote. Many of us humans leave our pets behind in the morning (or whenever our working shift starts) and don't see them again for nine or 10 hours - apart from on our computer or smartphone desktops, where pets reign.
|There he sleeps: Connor wraps himself in blankets.|
At those moments, who doesn't wish they could spend more of the time - even all of the time - with their pets rather than with bosses, clients and colleagues?
Some of us, by choice or circumstance, get to be around their pets for most of the time. You may be in this position yourself.
"It's well known that the back of a couch or chair is among any cat's favourite places - thanks to the view and the general feeling of mastery that it gives."
What ageless wisdom that is. Well, not so much "ageless", more "one month old". I wrote that sentence when delving into the strange phenomenon of dogs that love to climb on the back of couches and then sleep there. I had discovered that couch-riding among dogs was amazingly, and furniture-destroyingly, common.
Cats do their damage differently - not so much with bulk as with claw, as you'll see in today's collection of couch and chair riders. But cats won't give up their couchback position. It's too grand, too glorious, too comfy - too close to the heat pump.
Harvey seems to know just how superb he looks. He's grown a lot since this photo, but he's still a couch-lover.
I have a message for the All Blacks. It comes from the Mostly Blacks - a team of patriotically coloured pets who are itching for their team to bring home that Cup of glory.
They've got together to send cheers and words of wisdom to the nation's team by way of this Rugby World Cup special edition of Furry Friday.
Well, not so much words of wisdom, as to be honest they don't have much of either. It's more a series of patriotic and inspiring poses that can only fill Richie and the men with confidence. Here's what the Mostly Blacks want them to hear...
Wear the black jersey with pride.
There are quite a few things that I envy about pets.
Their lifestyle, obviously. Luxury and lavish dollops of affection, with no responsibility - except, if you're a dog, to protect your family with the might of your bark.
|Nuka is completely without tension.|
The thing I most envy about pets, though, is their ability to relax. It's their super power. It's the thing that sets them apart from me.
I am never relaxed. I don't mean that I'm always completely tense in every muscle - that only happens when I'm peeling potatoes. I mean that some part of me is always wound taut, tensed against a worst-case scenario that I'm not even aware of. Even when I sleep, my jaw goes rigid and I wake up with brick-like facial muscles.
Cats always look at home, and never out of place. It's as though every cat feels it was born with an all-access swipe-card that can never be cancelled and whose balance they'll never have to check.
Hence, they go where they want and claim any space that suits. In that chosen place, they'll look perfectly comfortable - until there might be a suggestion that it shouldn't be there. Then, a cat can become haughty and territorial - just as it can with certain toys and favoured objects.
So welcome to this collection of cats making a claim - to space or to something precious.
Meet Mr Bingley, acting out a science fiction movie scene. Open the pod bay door, Mr Bingley.
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