Our orange cats, Mel and Olive, share virtually everything: food dishes, water bowls and sleeping quarters. They also look alike, with the same pumpkin hue and tabby markings. Few people can tell them apart.

But truthfully, color is the only commonality. These two cats live worlds apart.

Mel has a hankering to hike (chronicled here.) He has ambled the length of the drive and crossed Chet’s hayfield oodles of times. He’s also completed the neighborhood loop (a mile-plus in length) and is undaunted by high grass, violent weather or strange animals. 

Think marathon walker, feline style.



This penchant to perambulate can be infuriating. Often, Mel wanders directly in front of us, and on a moonless night, we trip over him three or four times.

But on other occasions, his presence is comforting. Like the night I walked the dog late, in the pouring rain. I was feeling glum and sorry for myself, until I noticed Mel, trailing my puddled footprints. Sodden, Mel plodded faithfully along.

Then there’s Olive, the picture of inactivity. I’ve mentioned her before (and blogged about her listlessness here.) Her sloth-like behavior is epic; she channels a limp dishrag.


Cayden & Olive, a couple yrs ago


Most recently, Olive’s been driven to sleep on our bed. She lurks by the house and waits for opportunity: an unattended door. Then she sneaks inside and darts up the stairs to our room. If she’s detected, she beelines for the narrow, inaccessible slot under the bed frame… and emerges when the coast is clear.

Olive is maniacal in her quest to sleep on our bed.



But the kids are equally maniacal about ejecting her from the house.  


Brynn & Olive, a week ago


And after scrolling through my photo library, I’m not so sure that the cat is the manic one.

Maybe it’s not the cat…

It could be the kids…


Hadley, at 18 mos, with Drippy, 20 yrs old