Author Archives: Charles Huss

Photo Friday: Group Nap


Our cats don’t always get along so it is a real pleasure to see them napping so close together.

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Catnip, Take Two


If you read Monday’s Post you know I tried bringing two catnip plants into the house. That was a major failure but you have to learn somehow. I decided to keep the plants outside and just bring a few leaves in at a time, which I did Tuesday. That went better from my perspective but I’m sure the cats preferred the entire plants. Plus, as usual, Chris spoiled it for Floki and Frankie.

Naturally, the silver lining seemed smaller and the dark cloud bigger when I went outside yesterday and saw this.

It seems that a stray cat or other animal found my plants and decided to dig out the dirt. Heavy sigh.

Catnip Houseplant Fail


I have know for a long time the benefits of houseplants, especially in cleaning the air but I procrastinated about buying plants for the house. Part of the reason was because I am a procrastinator and the other reason was that I wasn’t sure which plants were safe for cats and which one of those grow well indoors.

It occurred to me recently that catnip was definitely safe for cats and, according to Google, it also grows well indoors. With that in mind I bought two catnip plants yesterday but realized when I got home that I only had one pot and that had a crack in it, so today I bought two pots that I thought would be hard to tip over. When I got home from work I put the plants in the pots and brought them inside.

I set them down at the door and they were immediately the focus of attention of our three cats. Frankie, almost immediately, crushed one of the plants and Chris, well, watch the video to see what Chris does. It’s not good.

The plants are back outside. I guess I will have to break off leaves and bring them in a little at a time unless someone has better advice.

Happy National Siblings Day


Happy National Siblings Day to all of you who have brothers and/or sisters. We don’t have any true siblings in our home today but you may remember sister and brother Abbey and Alex.

cats and fish tank
Abbey and Alex

Shortly after adopting those two we adopted brothers Tigger and Flash.

Tigger (gold) and Flash.

I, too, have a brother and sister but it has been ages since we have had a photo together. The last time we were all in the same state was 20 years ago when my dad died which was not a good photo opportunity. Here is one from 1975.

Pay no attention to the hair.

Photo Friday: Jelly Belly Chris


Today I am combining Photo Friday with Jelly Belly Friday. These are all photos of Chris taken at various times this year. Chris is a cat that rarely shows his belly inside the house (unlike Frankie) but he almost always rolls on his back as soon as he goes outside.


Chris’s routine is to roll around first, eat grass second, and then explore the area around the house. Frankie’s first priority is to explore and he is not content to staying near home.

Chris may be overweight but he is certainly not shy about showing his belly to the world. Who else has a cat not afraid to show their belly?

Photo Friday: Those Eyes


Since Floki is a Siamese cat, he has the trademark cross-eyed look. Here it seems that his left eye is looking at the camera while his right eye is checking something else out. I believe the condition is caused by a slight misalignment of the retinas so he really is focusing on just one thing.

I think it adds to his cuteness. What do you think?

The Struggle for Dominance


One morning last week I noticed Chris had blood on his face which I assumed was a result of a fight with Frankie.

I know it was Frankie and not Floki because those two have been in a struggle for dominance since the day we adopted Frankie over four years ago.

I learned long ago that the ancestor of the domestic cat was the African Wildcat. The males of that species tend to be loners so there is no need for an alpha but domestic cats have evolved, or have been bread, to live in groups. I don’t recall reading about the hierarchy of domestic cats but there does seem to be alphas and betas. Chris is definitely an alpha. You may recall the video of Chris the day we adopted him. Even though we had four other cats, Chris just took over the house.

Before Chris, Tigger was our “alpha” but he wasn’t really an alpha. We called him “The Accidental Alpha” because he seemed to bumble into the job, kind of like Baby Huey. You can see him around 38 seconds into the video just lying there watching Chris. I don’t know where our other three cats were but nobody came out to challenge Chris.

The first cat we adopted after Chris was Puck. When we brought Puck home Chris was happy to see him but Tigger avoided the meet and greet.

Frankie’s arrival was different and it caught us by surprise. We assumed Chris would be happy to have a new cat in the house since Chris loves everyone and everyone loves Chris. Not so. We introduced Frankie, as usual, exactly the wrong way. We never had a problem before so we assumed we never would. Frankie didn’t take over like Chris did but I think that Chris and Frankie both sensed a threat in the other. Maybe one alpha can tell another alpha right away.

The problems continued for several weeks.

It took about a month before the two of them could get along even a little and to this day they are like frenemies.

Puck, on the other hand was a good example of a beta cat. Chris and Puck got along very well and never fought because Puck always let Chris have his way. Sometimes I would catch Chris holding Puck down by the scruff of his neck and Puck would let him do it. I even saw Chris dragging him across the floor a few times like that.

Chris does that to Floki now too. I assume it is a way of showing him who the boss is. Even though Floki is not after the alpha job, he still struggles against Chris more than Puck did. Considering how badly he struggles when we try to clip his nails, I am surprised Chris is able to hold him down at all.

I had to cut the video short because I felt like I should separate them.

What about you? Do you have an alpha? Do you have two alphas? How about a female alpha?