Subfloofminal (floofinition) – 1. An animal who makes little impressions on others.

In use: “Dixie was such a loving dog with her people but was shy and withdrawn to the point of being subfloofminal. Many visitors claimed they didn’t know a dog live there, for Dixie always spirited herself into hiding when company arrived.”

2. Doing something for an animal without the need of conscious thought.

In use: “Petting Herc was subfloofminal; the big dog would steal onto a nearby space where Donovan’s hand could find Herc’s head, and that’s what Donovan always did, as if the pooch commanded him telefloofically.”

Monsters and Food

They’re different, how they eat, these four felines that found our home and demanded sanctuary.

Tucker and Boo are big, upwards of sixteen pounds, with the frame to support them. They remind me of football fullbacks. Tucker also has large, white front paws.

Papi and Quinn are both small. Papi is ginger and lithe as a lion. Quinn, weighing in at under eight pounds in his entire life with us, can be mistaken for a miniature raccoon.

It’s a male group. My other insists that if we had a female among them, we’d have more order, and a tidier house. These four seem like the messiest beasts we’ve ever had. They also fight and anger more than any of the others did. None, save Quinn, can walk around the others without threats, warnings, or chases ensuing. It’s wearying.

Commonalities are limited. Besides being male, Tucker and Boo are cats with unknown pasts while Papi and Quinn both ran away from their homes and started living at our place. Three of the four have lost one of their canines. Years ago, Quinn showed up here at home with one missing one day, while Tucker had one removed. Boo has had one missing since he joined the household. Papi is the only one with all his canines. He’s the odd cat out.

Their eating highlights how different they are from one another. Papi, the newest, is a licker. He’ll lick his pate from one side of the bowl and up the other. Then, since it’s going up the side, he’ll quit and turn to the kibble. This is what caused me to notice their eating habits. Pepper, the neighbor’s cat who we feed on the front porch, is a licker, too. I’ve watched her. But when the food goes up the side of the bowl, Pepper walks around the bowl to where it’s moved, and begin eating from there, licking it into the other direction. My wife says, yes, Pepper is a female, and she’s smarter.

Tucker is a chomper. He grabs a piece of pate and chomps it down, no problem. Boo likes to relocate his food from the bowl to the floor and eat it from there. Quinn is a licker like Papi, but as he licks and moves the food forward, he leans forward to get ahead of it. Sometimes that means he gets food on his ruff.

Where do they learn these things? Their other commonality are their shadow styles. Like many cats, they like to follow along, to see what you’re doing. They act as if they’ve never seen these things before. “You’re on the toilet? Well, let me watch and see if you’re doing anything different.” Maybe they’re monitoring our health, or we’re part of a science experiment.

The toilet is just one place of fascination. Doors are others. “You’re opening that door? Quick, let me take a look.” Never mind that it’s the closet door, and we went through this yesterday. Perhaps I should learn from that, and adapt their stance, that you should never assume that it’s a closet today, just because it was a closet yesterday. Even if it is a closet, how do we know there aren’t monsters inside?¬†We must¬†check.

All of them also shed fur. My wife swears that our other cats never used to shed fur the way these four do. It’s her ritual to go around in the morning, picking up fur and muttering to herself about how much more she could get done, if she wasn’t picking up fur all the time.

They’re an interesting and exasperating quartet. Each manages to endear themselves, too. I guess that’s why they’ve chosen to live here and put up with us.


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