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May 18, 2001--

I enjoy sitting in front of our computer nowadays. Tess, our littlest cat, comes and snuggles on my lap as I sit before at the keyboard. The little gray and white kitten purrs for the longest time as she gets comfortable for a nap. When we first got her last October with her sister, she would frequently climb on us while we were lounging in front of the TV for an affectionate bout of inactivity. Her purr box loudly proclaimed her appreciation that we'd consent to be the bedding for her. She doesn't do that very much these days. Instead, while I'm at the computer she comes into the office and jumps up on my lap, smooshes her face in mine as a loving greeting and purrs herself to sleep.

For up to 5 minutes she will continuously purr. It's almost like a roar. A soft roar. There are times I don't get much work done but I have more fun than I ordinarily do. She'll look up adoringly as she gets her cheeks scratched and her soft multi-shaded gray fur stroked. She'll lay at rest for a while, then her little gray ears will pick up hearing the faintest noise far off in the house. She'll rise up looking for it then scamper off to investigate. But I know she'll be back. Sure enough, a few minutes later, after assuring herself it's not food or a bug to play with or her sister getting into trouble, she'll come back into the room and jump up and repeat the process. She really is a sweetheart. That's when she's not tearing around the rooms ferociously playing with her toys, annoying her big sister.

Sister Chloe, the black and white "Miss Elegance," won't participate in this routine. However she has her own interests with the computer. She'll jump up on the desk while I'm working and will get very interested in the activity on the screen. She loves watching the cursor as it moves hither and yon. If there's video animating the screen she'll look enraptured, her head rocking back and forth following every motion. She will inch closer and closer to the screen if I let her until she's close enough to either put her nose on it or paw at it with her large white paws. I keep her at arms length and she'll stay put after realizing the futility. She has the same interest at times with animation on TV. Once Melissa and I started watching some nature show about a family of otters or ferrets. Their antics on the tube were very enticing to Chloe who sat enraptured on the floor below the TV craning her neck to watch. I thought maybe she'd like to get a little more comfortable so I moved a chair that was close by until it was pretty close to the set and put her on the seat. She got was now on the same level only closer and it was a riot watching the back of her head and those pointy ears follow all the action on the tube. And the sound the subjects made heightened her interest as well. She stayed there absorbed in the action for about fifteen minutes until a commercial interrupted the video stream. Then she got distracted and scampered away.

But she will still enjoy TV on occasion, mainly for the commercials. These days it seems to be the rage to produce commercials in an MTV mode, that is, a rapid fire stream of images, each barely lasting a second or two. This is highly obnoxious to most of us adult humans, who would rather gather in the fullness of each scene, but for the feline it is a major attraction. In fact if you have a video playing and you fast forward, Chloe will stay glued to the set watching the craze of images dance across the screen. It is great and inexpensive entertainment.

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