this cat makes Tubby, who weighs around 25 pounds, look positively svelte! (Thanks to reader Susannah for the link!) I went to the pet store yesterday and bought a harness and leash for the Stanley-Bean (he’s a beanie-bean!), and after dinner last night we gave it a whirl. The harness claims to fit all sizes, but it probably meant all adult-sized cats, because as much as I tightened it, it was still pretty loose on him. Not so loose that it was falling off, though. So we took him out back and put the leash on him, and Fred walked him around the yard. It’s possible that he’s never walked in grass before, because he seemed a tad weirded out by it. Also, on the other side of our fence is a very busy road, and I think the traffic was freaking him out. He led Fred along the front part of the fence, sniffing at everything, and then they turned to walk back to the patio. Which is when Stanley thought “Hey! I shouldn’t just skulk back! I should run and leap! Into the air! Like a big mexican jumping Stanley-bean!” He began to run, and Fred moved faster to keep up with him, and then Stanley began LEAPING into the air, and each time he leaped, he reached the end of his leash and would HANG in the air for a few milliseconds before the leash and gravity would force him back down to the ground. He would run a few more steps and then, overcome, would once again LEAP. I regret hugely that I didn’t have the camera with me. While buying the harness and leash, I also bought a – oh, what the fuck’s it called? One of those things cats sharpen their claws on. A claw-sharpening thing. Argh! What the FUCK is it called? (A phone call to Fred revealed that it is called a scratching post.) So, I bought a scratching post for Stan-da-man-bean because every – EVERY! – morning he wakes me up at 4 by sharpening his sharp little claws on the chair in the corner. I was hoping that buying a scratching post would distract him from the chair. When I got home, I put it together and put it over by the bed downstairs where he likes to sleep. All the other cats sniffed around it and tried it out, but Stanley had a blind spot when it came to the new scratching post. Finally, I picked him up and put him down by the post, then grabbed his front paws and tried to show him how to use it. He looked a little scared, and didn’t want me to touch his front paws, damnit! So Fred and I dragged our fingers over the scratching post to give him some idea, and he looked at us as if we were quite insane, and hauled ass away from us. At 4:00 this morning, rather than scratching on the chair and waking me up, he tried something new. He attacked my feet. Little bastard.

He loves to sleep draped over the side of the bed. Fred won me that stuffed pumpkinhead at a grocery store machine. Stanley has taken quite a liking to it.