You Learn Quickly, Grasshopper

Of the many reasons why I’m glad Linus came in from the cold, one of the best has been to see how his presence rejuvenates Cookies. Linus is probably only about 2 years old and still has a kittenish desire to play. And play. And play. He’s very happy to grab a toy and play by himself, or have us play with him. But his favorite thing to do is wrestle with Cookies. When they first started to play together there was a dominance hierarchy edge to it, but now that they have settled in with each other the play aspect of it has fully taken over. Is that the cavalry thundering through our living room?  No, it’s just the cats chasing each other. Other times, epic mixed martial arts-style smackdowns take place any time, anywhere, including in our bedroom at 4:30 am. Sometimes Cookies rolls onto his back to get things going, as if to say “OK, young apprentice, give me your best shot!” And then it’s on like Charles Bronson. If Linus pauses, Cookies will whap him with his paw: “Grasshopper, Sensei says you’re not finished!” And the wrestling starts all over again. Since Linus moved in Cookies has lost weight from all the activity and has a mischievous sparkle in his eye. He’ll randomly take a victory gallop through the house, leaping on and off tables and couches and then finishing with a grooming session. It’s hilarious.

It can be tough to capture these play sessions in photos, but the other day I happened to have a front row seat. I felt like I needed to strut around holding a sign indicating what round we were in since it went on and on. Here’s what transpired.

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Cookies had decided my saddle pad was better suited for cat, rather than horse, purposes.

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Linus, however, was feeling feisty and had other plans. First he attacked my foot. Then he set his sights on the saddle pad . . .

Cookies: "I'll have you know, grasshopper, that this saddle pad is spoken for!" Linus: "Talk to the paw!"

Cookies: “I’ll have you know, grasshopper, that this saddle pad is spoken for!”
Linus: “Talk to the paw!”

It's on like Saigon.

It’s on like Saigon.

Cookies: "Have you had enough?"

Cookies: “Have you had enough?”

Cookies: "Bow to your sensei!" Linus: "Not yet!"

Cookies: “Bow to your sensei!”
Linus: “Not yet!”

Dueling death stares.

Dueling death stares.

Linus: "Let me show you the Flying Hind Feet of Fury!"

Linus: “Let me show you the Flying Hind Feet of Fury!”

Linus: "Sensei, have you had enough yet?"

Linus: “Sensei, have you had enough yet?”

Linus: "What if I just poke you here, like so?"

Linus: “What if I just poke you here, like so?”

Cookies: "If you say please, grasshopper, you may share my saddle pad." Linus: "Thank you, Sensei. I kind of messed up your fur with that last poke. Let me groom it for you."

Cookies: “If you say please, grasshopper, you may share my saddle pad.”
Linus: “Thank you, Sensei. I kind of messed up your fur with that last poke. Let me groom it for you.”

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