My mother-in-law’s cats

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My mother-in-law — well, bonus mom, ’cause she’s not technically an in-law yet — has two cats. Xander and Willow. (The names are a coincidence. I swear.)

Awww, who’s a pretty kitty?

Willow is a pretty mellow ginger kitty who has set himself up as my NaNoWriMo mascot. By which I mean he likes to sleep on the back of the couch that I sit on to write when I’m at my boyfriend’s house, and whenever I’m not clicking away on the keyboard I get kitty claws on my tits.

He generally keeps to himself, but does ask for pets and cuddles. Aside from a bit of a foot fetish and a weird, pervy side that involves licking himself in places while staring at my bonus mom lecherously, he’s a pretty normal cat.

Bad picture, so I tried to fix it in post. This did not work so well.

Xander is a Bengal, and he’s neurotic but sweet. He also has chronic sinus infections, so we call him Darth Xander. We also call him FaceHugger, because if you sit down with open body language in the house, you will get a face full of Bengal within three seconds. (He likes to press his forehead against the human clavicle/cheekbone/neck area, because pressing down on the sinuses feels good during a sinus infection. Don’t believe me? Try a showerhead massage on your forehead next time you have a sinus headache.)

The upstairs bathroom has rules: keep the lid on the toilet down or Xander will fling whatever he can reach into the bowl. Also, the wastebasket keeps the door propped open, or one or both of the cats will slam the door closed. He drinks water using a paw to scoop it out of the bowl, generally directly after he’s used the litter box — then, if he’s by the bowl while you’re replacing the water, he’ll freak out and run away if you put it down too fast. He loves playing with Nerf gun darts.

He’s also scared of muffins.

I spent the weekend at my boyfriend’s, because that’s what I do on weekends. Boyfriend and I decided to watch something on the TV in the family room. The door to the front hallway and stairs was slightly open. Halfway through whatever we were watching, the door slammed by itself.

Or, rather, Xander decided to join us, and slammed the door as soon as he walked in. He then proceeded to run around in circles, yowling like a gorram fire engine, panicking because he was trapped in the room, for a full five minutes.

“I’m not letting you out because then you’ll never learn,” said Mr. Katje.

Eventually Xander stopped yowling, and sat down on a chair and stared intensely at us until we let him out.

Having cats around means my endorphin levels are always high. From all the laughter.

Pets: a natural high.

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