Howard and Baloo sleeping with heads touching
This is Howard and Baloo together

Welcome to Nantuckat! This is the place where Howard and Baloo come together, because they always come together in real life. Below is a blog of their activities. They're adjusting. Slowly. But they are indeed adjusting. Definitely making progress! And if you scroll even further down, you'll see a picture section. How is this picture section different from their own individual picture sections? This one contains pictures of both of them together. Being together, doing stuff together. Together together.

What Are They Up To?

  • Howard and Baloo get adopted
  • Within 10 seconds after being brought to his new home, Howard decides that hiding isn't fun. He is the first cat to come out and sit on my lap.
  • Within 3 hours, Baloo comes out of hiding, if only for a few minutes to sit on my lap. He would periodically come out of hiding his first night home to sit on my lap.
  • At 1:30 in the morning (a mere 12 hours after being adopted), Howard and Baloo begin exploring their new room. They call to each other as they walk around, finding new things.
  • Although Baloo and Howard have their own room (formerly Rufus' room, formerly the guest room, formerly Sirbie's room), I chose to spend the first couple of nights with them. Both sleep on me.
  • Baloo has a ton of knots and mats in his fur. I got out Wensley's old shaver. I let both cats sniff it while it was off. Neither seemed to care. I turned the shaver on. Neither cats seemed to be frightened by the noise. I then proceeded to shave off Baloo's mats. He was very patient. He didn't squirm. He didn't cry. He didn't scratch or run away. He just let me shave his butt bald. After about a half hour of de-hairing, I turned the razor off. Baloo lay next to me. I petted him. As I petted him, I found another knot on the inside of his knee. I turned on the razor and tried to get that knot. It wasn't easy. Baloo was laying on his tummy; the knot was under him. All of a sudden, he sat up, put his paw on my hand, and made a little squirmy motion. I assumed he was getting restless from all the grooming. I turned the razor off. His squirming was actually the momentum he needed to roll himself over, exposing his belly. He wasn't trying to stop me from cutting off the last knot, he was trying to be helpful and letting me have easier access to the knot... Wow. He HELPED me cut out his mats. What a cat.
  • As soon as I leave the room, Baloo hides. Howard stays on the bed, but Baloo takes to his corner. As soon as I return, Baloo comes out of hiding to be with me.
  • The cats actually spend the "day" alone! This is the first time since we brought them home that they have spent any sort of time on their own. For the past few days, since I work from home, I have been in their room with them. This is the first day I went into the office. They spent about 6 hours by themselves. I don't think they moved from the spots they claimed when I left... All went well.
  • Howard and Baloo get access to the hallway outside their room. Howard discovers that the baby gate that blocks off the hallway from the rest of the house is jumpable... Within an hour after getting access to the hall, Howard leaps over the gate and starts exploring the rest of the house. The babygate comes down. The cats have the freedom to explore the house, if they wish. Howard seizes this opportunity. Baloo chooses to stay in his room.
  • Howard discovers life outside his room. In the bedroom down the hall, there's a big comfy bed. Baloo does not know this since he has chosen to stay in his own room. Howard enjoys being on the big bed with me. It's his sanctuary. He gets "Howard time" on the bed with me.
  • Howard discovers "kitty TV." Howard has discovered that the thing making scary noises in the room next to his is a giant rodent (a chinchilla named Fenn). He finds her fascinating. He refuses to leave his watch.
  • Baloo discovers the bed in the room down the hall from his room. Howard is sad.
  • Howard discovers "the cave" (a tent-like apparatus for Jeff's feet while he sleeps. He doesn't like the covers on his feet so he has a device to keep the covers raised, off his feet). It's dark. It's warm. It's private. It's a great, comfy hiding spot.
  • Baloo and Howard meet their first visitors - Dawn and Joel. They are a bit reserved but do their best to be affectionate and polite. When a loud noise interrupts their visit, Howard and Baloo run to me for comfort.
  • Baloo discovers where Howard has been hiding. Baloo enjoys spending time in "the cave" with Howard. Howard sighs.
  • Baloo discovers the nighttime routine. He waits for me to come to bed so he can have his treats. He then headbutts me, trying his darnedest to knock me out, and rubs all over my face (and drools), purring like a rusty engine for about a half hour. He puts his head on my pillow and purrs himself to sleep.
  • As soon as I walk into the bedroom, Baloo comes out of hiding from under the bed. In the past, if I wanted to get Baloo out from under the bed, I had to sit on the floor next to the bed and wait for him to crawl out. Now, he comes to me. For his size, he's actually stealth. I have almost stepped on him several times because I didn't realize he had come out of hiding and was RIGHT behind me!
  • The cats have picked up on the morning routine. About a half hour after I get up in the morning, the cats get a tablespoon each of canned food. They now sit on the bed after I get up (they would usually hide as soon as I got up) and will "patiently" wait until it is breakfast time. And then it was back to their hiding spots. But it's the first time they've waited until breakfast before hiding! We're making progress!
  • Howard finds a toy and begins playing on his own. It's a toy that was purchased years ago but neither Wensley nor Sirbie played with it. Howard enjoys whipping a little blue fluffy sparkly ball around. Baloo comes out of the bedroom to watch Howard in action. Howard decides to quit playing.
  • Baloo comes into the bathroom with me while I brushed my teeth! This is the first time he's followed me somewhere and the first time he's been in the bathroom with me. He's taking the initiative to explore.
  • Baloo comes out in the daytime! While waiting for his breakfast, Baloo sits in the doorway to the dining room, just as he has done only at night. But it's day. Baloo came out during the day!
  • Howard attacks the pillow on the bed. Baloo joins in on playtime by grabbing Howard around the neck and flipping him over. Howard tries to eat Baloo's feet. Baloo keeps sticking his paws in Howard's mouth. This is the first time the two have played together since they were adopted.
  • Howard stays out past breakfast time (normally once he's eaten, he crawls into "the cave" for the day). Not only is out after he's eaten, he continues to sit in the living room even after I've left the room for almost an hour (Rufus and I had playtime in Rufus' room).
  • Howard decides he wants to play with me. As we journey into what used to be their room (Rufus' former room, the former guest room), Baloo hears us and crawls out from under our bed in the bedroom down the hall. He wants to play, too. They discover the joys of Superballs. With non-carpeted floors, these balls really zing! And with an old house with uneven floors, these balls continue to move on their own... The three of us play TOGETHER! I shot the ball to Howard, Howard batted the ball to Baloo, who in turn would shoot the ball back to me.
  • In the middle of the night, Baloo plays all by himself! He found the balls we were playing with earlier in the day and decided to have a practice session.
  • Howard learns to take off his own collar. He gets nighttime crazies (where he attacks pillows and phantom mouses under the blankets). He popped his collar off while playing with his own tags. I put his collar back on him. He popped it off two seconds later. I put it back on him. He popped it off for the third time in a minute. I put it back on him. He looked at me with a bit of disdain. I believe I heard him mutter, "You're the man." Yup. I'm keeping him down.
  • Grooming day for Baloo. He gets brushed daily (which he enjoys and even points out spots - like his tummy - that need brushing). Today he got brushed, had a couple of knots removed (he acquires them so easily), and nails trimmed. We also had play time - a multitude of different stringy things - one with pompoms, one with feathers, and one with tassels. He gets bored quickly.
  • In the evening, Baloo decided that the top of the bed was as comfortable and secure as under the bed. He spent most of the late afternoon on top of the bed. I tried coaxing him out into the living room but he was fine where he was. A little later in the evening, Howard emerged from the cave and wandered into the living room... trailing Baloo.
  • Howard was up and waiting for me in the living room when I got up this morning. A few seconds later, Baloo came into the living room. I spent a good deal of time petting the both of them (Howard seemed a little sad that Baloo usurped his time). Baloo went back into the bedroom. I thought it would be for good but apparently it was just for a drink. He came back into the living room a few minutes later. Both cats out during daylight! Now that's a first.
  • After I dished out the morning's tablespoon of canned cat food, I heard a "thunk" from the living room. I knew that sound to be Baloo jumping off a chair in the living room. Baloo came into the kitchen to eat his breakfast! First, let me point out the first significant part of that sentence - he came into the kitchen. Wow. He's never done that before! He ate his breakfast in the kitchen (where he should be eating it) but then got spooked as I tried to comfort him (silly me) and ran back into the bedroom. A moment later, he was back in the living room with me... but his breakfast was still in the kitchen. Howard took his in the living room. Wow. Baloo learned something before Howard did!
  • In the evening, after Baloo awoke from his nap (which is taken in our bedroom), he actually came out into the living room all by himself! That's right! He made the big-boy leap to independence. Howard took his time waking up from his nap and eventually also joined us in the living room.
  • I bought a "cat dancer" toy. This is a toy that hooks to a door (or wall) that has a wire dangling from it and at the end of the wire is a little knobby thing. The point of this toy is self-playing - a cat can hit this toy and it will bounce up and around. It's kitty exercise. I bought this thinking Howard would like it. He saw me take it out of the package and was definitely intrigued. The wire part is very springy. But he quickly lost interest in it. Baloo, on the other hand, was the first to play with the toy once it was attached to the closet door. He actually leapt into the air! Can you believe it? He spun, did some flips. Ooh, boy. We may get him a few pounds lighter yet!
  • Baloo and Howard definitely have their own idea of routine. I do certain things each morning and it amazes me which cat has caught on to what part of the routine. Baloo knows breakfast time. He came into the kitchen for the second straight morning when he heard the can open and the dishes clink. Howard took his in the living room (again). After breakfast, I tried to play with the boys. Baloo prefers to sit in my lap as I play with Howard. Howard really wasn't into Superball today. I gave up and cleaned the litter boxes. Howard was right at my side as I cleaned them, inspecting my work. After I had finished cleaning the boxes, it was THEN playtime in Howard's mind. Silly me. I tried to play with him before cleaning his litter boxes. That's not how it went yesterday. Huh. I guess I'll have to remember that. Boxes then Superball time.
  • Baloo came into several rooms he had never been in before tonight. Well, I'm sure he had been in them before on one of his nightly explorations. This was the first time he went in because of me. He explored Rufus' room while I petted Rufus (in his cage) and gave him his treats. Baloo wanted his own treats. He then came into Fenn's room as I petted Fenn and gave her some treats. He sniffed out all the little things on the floor. I had to explain to him that nothing in that room on the floor would be edible (it's all tiny chinchilla poo pellets that fly out of the cage, which is why Fenn's in the only vinyl flooring room). Finally, it was Baloo treat time. He was very happy.
  • I bought a TON of Superballs. Howard and I spent some time whipping them at each other. He play in the hallway between the bedrooms. I sit at one end. Howard sits at the other. I've learned to read the angles and bounce them off the wall (rolling it along the floor - not like I'm beaning them at him) so that the ball lands right where Howard is. He then zips them back at me, sometimes straight at me, other times actually playing the angles off the wall so that they'll return to me. He's such a smartie! That's what, 7th grade geometry?
  • I have discovered how to hold Howard! He's been a bit fidgety whenever someone picks him up. I discovered it was just the way (and probably the who... cough... Jeffrey) he was being held. He likes to face the person who's holding him and be held close to the chest. I've always been a little leery of doing that with new cats - as they face you, so, too, do their paws and claws. So much easier to smack ya if they're in close proximity to your face.
  • Howard likes to pretend he's French. He likes his cheeks kissed. He likes one side kissed, then the other, and sometimes he goes back to have the first cheek kissed again. He really likes his cheeks kissed.
  • As I was starting to prepare my own breakfast, I looked up and saw Baloo sitting in the kitchen doorway. He had heard the commotion and knew that any minute now he would be getting his breakfast. This is the first time he's been proactive about feeding time. As I dished out his quarter of a can of Fancy Feast, he rubbed all over the back of my legs. Howard ate breakfast in the kitchen for the first time! Sadly, it wasn't his idea. He was still in "the cave," even as Baloo was half-way through his own breakfast. I coaxed him out of the cave. Once out, I picked him up and carried him to the kitchen. He ate in the kitchen on his placemat. For a moment, I thought Baloo might steal Howard's breakfast. Baloo had finished his own and Howard was just beginning. But Baloo carried on and went off to bathe off his morning food.
  • Howard discovers the window perch... with a little help. Although he has been in the perch before (there is a picture in Howard Prairie with him sitting in it), for some reason he seemed to have forgotten about it. Today, as I was holding him, he decided the action outside was better than the action inside. I put him in the perch and he has been there for about an hour, watching squirrels and cars go by. I guess I'll have to start feeding the birds and squirrels again.
  • We got out of bed extra, extra early this morning for our flight to Cancun (see St. Travelsburg for stories and photos). Howard chatted up a storm as we prepared to leave. I think he knew we were leaving and this was his way of trying to convince us to stay. It broke my heart.
  • This is the first time we left the cats for any length of real time - Saturday morning until late Monday night. We had pet sitters. They reported they only saw Howard, no Baloo. When I walked into the house Monday evening, I called out to the cats, walked around a minute, and then headed to the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom, Baloo was sitting on the bed. He recognized my voice and had come out of hiding! A few minutes later, I had both cats wrapping themselves around my legs, weaving in and out between my legs as they rubbed all over me. They were happy I was home!
  • Baloo has a morning routine. As soon as I wake up, I call out, "Baloo!" and he comes running into the bedroom (if he's already up) or comes out from under the bed. He hops onto the bed and flops across my throat. He gets petted for about 15 minutes and then I get up. It's then Howard time, although Baloo hasn't fully grasped that yet. He thinks it's always Baloo time. Howard gets his tushy rubbed and his cheeks kissed.
  • I was gone for almost a full eight hours today (grrr... don't get me started about why I'm not working from home anymore). A minute after I came home, Baloo came out into the kitchen to greet me. Aw, he missed me!
  • Howard's nighttime crazies cause him to impersonate Spiderman. He likes to climb all over a chair in the living room (see the picture where he's perched on top of the chair). He likes us to call him "Spideycat."
  • Baloo continues to come out a minute or two after I come home from work (which is the only good thing to come about having to actually go to work).
  • Around 7:00, Howard awakens from his nap and comes out into the living room. Around 8:00, the nighttime crazies hit. He and Baloo like to play. Howard can entertain himself by climbing all over his perch and throwing a toy around. His favorite is a chew toy tied to a string. He likes to carry it around and then suddenly flops in the middle of the floor and attacks the toy.
  • Baloo discovers the kitchen counter (although Jeff doesn't believe me when I tell him)! He actually jumped up on the counter all by himself... and then quickly jumped back down. He's been eyeballing the counter for a couple of days now. His curiosity got to him.
  • Baloo chases Howard ALL over the house during nighttime crazies. Baloo is the instigator when it comes to Wrestlemania. His fighting move is to roll Howard over to his stomach so he can grab Howard's neck to bite it. Howard likes to bite Baloo's ears. It's all in good fun. They really are just playing.
  • I have a cold. The cats are either trying to be extra sympathetic or they're trying to suffocate me. Howard sleeps on top of me while Baloo shares my pillow.
  • Howard is learning a morning routine. After breakfast (which I make him in the kitchen now), he gets up in the window perch to watch the birds and squirrels.
  • Baloo has firmly established his own nighttime routine. As soon as I prepare for bed (which involves playing with Rufus the rabbit for a half hour), he goes into our bedroom and waits on the bed for his treats. And as soon as he's eaten his treats, he knows I'm getting into bed so he waits for me by my pillow. I have to quickly pick him up (can you hear the "oof"?), plop him off to the side, flip open the covers, and scramble under them before Baloo has a chance to return to his waiting spot (and if he's by my pillow, it means I can't get into bed). I hate to pick up him a second time. So winded after picking him up the first time. He's heavy! And then as soon as I lay down, he flops across my neck and purrs himself to sleep. A half hour later, he jumps off the bed to play with Howard.
  • Since Baloo likes to be where Howard is and being out "in the open" (aka the living room) isn't so scary anymore, Baloo is joining Howard in his morning routine. After they eat their breakfast, Howard jumps in his window perch. Baloo climbs into the pink, cushy cat bed next to the perch. They both have their idea of entertainment. Baloo likes lounging; Howard likes watching the world go by.
  • As I was saying good-night to Fenn, I heard a meow call out down the hall. I cooed back. The meow sounded again, this time closer. I replied. Suddenly, there was Howard standing in Fenn's room, howling at me. He rarely goes into Fenn's room and this is the first time he sought me out. What did he want? To play. Howard and I played with several different string type things (a long fluffly pompom string, one with a cord with tassles on it, and one that was solely feathers) for quite awhile.
  • Baloo likes cheese. I became his new best friend after I gave him a piece of cheese. After he finished eating it (he was sitting next to me on a chair in the living room), he stood up on his hind legs and wrapped his paws around my neck. He hugged me for giving him cheese!
  • I am the new Howard. Wherever I go, Baloo goes. He particularly likes it when I go into the kitchen, which is fast becoming his favorite room in the house.
  • Howard has fully established his nighttime routine. He likes to play. For the second straight night, he came into Fenn's room as I was scratching her chin, crying. He wanted to play. We then spent a half hour playing flying string, rolling around on the hall carpet. He likes to dig his claws into the carpet and pull himself around. Baloo tried to play but was a little confused and concerned about all the action. He gets how to play. He just lacks the confidence to join in because Howard's just so crazy (and good).
  • Howard reminds me of Ogden. After noticing that there was a serious gathering of birds outside, I put Howard in the window to enjoy the commotion. Just as I plopped him on his perch, a van drove by and turned into the alley. Howard watched that with zealous appreciation. He then proceeded to watch the cars out on the road, totally ignoring the birds and squirrels. Ogden loved to watch cars, too, because a good deal of his early life was spent in places where there wasn't much nature (college dorms, apartments) but a lot of transportation action.
  • For the first time ever, I think, Baloo wasn't afraid of me approaching! I walked right by where he was laying (alongside the path to the kitchen) and he didn't even flinch! He doesn't like people walking at him (I suppose feet at head level can be scary) but today he was fine with me passing by.
  • Poor Baloo! Howard got daytime crazies (running around the house, leaping out around doorways). Baloo wanted to play with him and kept trying to sneak up on him but Howard was content to go crazy by himself. Looks like Howard likes to play by himself or with me. Poor Baloo!
  • Baloo is my kitchen buddy. Any time I go into the kitchen, Baloo camps out on the floor. Aw, it's nice to have company!
  • Baloo woke me up this morning by howling really loud, louder than I've ever heard him (he has a very quiet meow). I had overslept. My alarm didn't go off. Good ol' Balouie. It was at least a half hour past his latest breakfast time. He was hungry and he wasn't going to stand for it any more!
  • I laughed so hard tonight. When Howard and I play, we use a piece of string tied to a stick. At some point, Howard likes to grab the string and run off with it to kill it. I simply drop my end (the stick) and let him run away with it. As he was running with the string in his mouth, the stick trailed behind him. Baloo saw this and jumped on the stick. With Baloo holding the stick down, at some point Howard wouldn't be able to run away with the string. As Howard reached the end of the tauntness of the string, it yanked him back and he went flying. He wasn't prepared for the sudden stop.
  • Howard rolled his eyes at me tonight. When I told Jeff this, he replied, "Again?" Howard is always rolling his eyes at me. Tonight was warranted. I sing a song to call Howard over to me each night. I think he just comes over to get me to shut up, which is totally my intent. The song consists of one word - Howard's name. It's got a catchy tune, even if the words are a bit redundant. Anyway, after many verses (which are all the same) of the Howard song, Howard finally came over and sat on my lap (actually, he curls up on my chest, even when I'm sitting). At some point in the evening, I began singing the Howard song again. Howard was already sitting as close to me as he possibly could. I suddenly felt pretty stupid. I was calling Howard and he was already there. I stopped singing. Howard looked up at me, rolled his eyes, and went back to sleep. I believe he also muttered, "Dumbass."
  • Poor Baloo! Tonight, Howard sneaked up onto our bed. He jumps up on Jeff's side, peers over Jeff to see if Baloo is on my side, and if he's not, Howard climbs over Jeff to curl up with me. Often when he does this, I call out to Howard. This alerts Baloo as to Howard's whereabouts. Baloo then jumps up on the bed, too. Howard normally gives me a very disappointed look. Tonight, I did not call out to Howard. He was able to curl up with me without Baloo interfering. A little while later, Baloo walked through the entire house, calling out for his friend. He walked into each room with a pitiful cry. Howard would not respond. On the second pass, I felt bad for Baloo. He sounded so sad, calling out for his lost friend. I had to call Baloo. He jumped on the bed and saw Howard. Baloo was so happy! Howard was not.
  • As Howard and I played, Baloo sneaked up on Howard, intrigued by his swishing tail. Howard's tail is Baloo's favorite toy. I totally see the appeal. Howard's tail is skinny and always darting about and that white tip is a beacon. Normally, Howard hits Baloo on the head when Baloo starts playing with his tail, almost as if to say, "That's mine and it's attached, dumbass!" Today, Howard pulled his tail from Baloo's mouth... and began playing with it himself. He had a ball attacking his own tail. I think he's finally starting to see the appeal of his own tail.

  • I have never seen a cat play with a piece of string before by themselves. Not only do I now have one cat that does this, I have two. Howard loves to drag a string around in his mouth, taking it to a corner to "kill" it. Baloo likes to attack a piece of string that's simply lying on the floor, not moving, minding its own business. And they'll play with the string together. Tug of war. The two cats actually play tug of war. It's not for dogs anymore.
  • The cats were looking out the window - together - from the perch today. Howard sat in his normal spot (the main part of the perch); Baloo sat shotgun on the lower shelf. I wish I had taken a picture but Jeff has the camera.
  • Howard's trying to heal me. I have to wear a brace on my leg due to a torn calf muscle. The "boot" scares the cats. They're finally getting used to it. Today, Howard slept with his head on my leg. It was an awkward position for him. I have to think he was doing it for me. He definitely kept my leg warm!
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