Snufkin Aged Thirteen
Winter and Spring, 2009
Lincoln, Nebraska


Taken with my first camera phone.
(January 2009)


Left: Glad to be indoors.
(January 2009)

I took perhaps twenty pictures before I got these two. The camera has a slow shutter speed and no flash, which makes indoor photography even more difficult than usual.

After two or three good pictures I gave up, to Snufkin’s great relief. If the phone had a flash, I would still be snapping away.


A more typical result, unfortunately.
(January 2009)

Apart from the cell phone photo shoot, 2009 started out very well for Snufkin. In January, she had a very thorough semi-annual check-up at the vet’s, during which she received fulsome compliments on her figure, coat, face, and (unusually) behaviour. As a reward, she got a little cushion (really a pet carrier liner) for when she sits on Reina’s desk.


Snufkin knows how to make the most of a small space.
Burgundy is a good colour for her.
(February 2009)


In addition, Snuffy got a major gift for her lucky thirteenth birthday: a brand-new cat tree.

The new tree took a month to assemble. It arrived with a defective lower platform: the pre-drilled holes for the “fleece tunnel” were too far apart. The next two shipments both contained an upper platform, with only one pair of holes, instead of a replacement lower platform. Finally, the right platform came — but the holes for the posts were slightly too far apart (see the crookedness of the rear posts on the lowest and middle levels). By this point I had tired of making weekly phone calls to Drs. Foster & Smith and their warehouse, and decided it was good enough. Two of the defective platforms actually came in handy when I needed to add some height to help the top post reach the ceiling.

The lower platform on this tree is several inches higher than on the old tree, especially with the extra platforms underneath. So this little staircase, which used to be by the bed, helps Snufkin onto the lower platform. She uses it consistently in both directions, except when high on catnip. By the bed is a new ottoman half its height, which she uses occasionally when jumping down but rarely when jumping up. Snufkin is still a graceful, accurate and powerful jumper at age thirteen.

(February 2009)


The old tree was moved to a sunny spot in the living room, and I waited eagerly for the birthday girl to investigate her present.
But Snufkin was furious and sulked on the old tree for a full day, refusing to go near the new one.

“I hate the stinky new tree. I’m never, ever going to use it.”
Staging a sit-in on the lower platform.
Wondering whether to move the sit-in to the crow’s nest. (She did not.)
(February 2009)


I was resigned to Snufkin’s needing time to accept the new tree (as happened with her first tree). But by the very next day, she had changed her tune. “Hey, nice tree!” she seemed to be thinking, not at all sheepishly. Soon she was running up and down the little steps many times a day, having completely forgotten her boycott (and the old tree).

(February - April 2009)


Snufkin watches a squirrel from her new tree.
(April 2009)


Some visitors to an earlier bird feeder, during the days of the old tree:


Snufkin's head and ear are visible at the bottom of the squirrel pictures.
(Summer 2007)


As usual, we conclude with a glamour shot, of the very lucky cat who has two trees.

Happy Thirteenth Birthday, Snufkin!
(April 2009)

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