Daily Photo Reprise: Permission From Your Elders, 2011

tortie cat and black cat
Jelly Bean asks permission from his elder kitty.

Jelly Bean politely asks Cookie’s permission if he can share her blanket for a nap. He’s using his most charming and proper demeanor—tail up with just the tip curved, whiskers and ears forward, eyes alert, patiently waiting, and you can’t hear it but he’s purring fervently.

I’m not sure what will happen if Cookie doesn’t respond within five or six seconds and JB goes to step two in his Manual of Charming Kitty Demeanor, which is to lean down and give her a gentle head-butt…

In case you aren’t acquainted, Cookie is 19 years old and has seen a lifetime of cats I’ve fostered. Jelly Bean is four, and a little naive, but very respectful.

Cookie likes to spend time in whatever room it is that I’m working, but I don’t always want her walking on my paintings or framing, as we are in the studio at the moment. I place a soft folded blanket on my work table for her. The Fantastic Four are so accustomed to sharing with each other it’s taken some time for them to learn that they can’t just go and lie down on Cookie and include her in their group baths. She has let them know this by sending as many silent but threatening body language signals as possible, and they have learned to understand, though I think they had to go and ask their mother a few times what Cookie’s problem was.

But Jelly Bean has studied his manual well and is the most charming kitty I have ever met, though he’s mostly been practicing on other cats. He is careful with his little big sister.

What Cookie will decide is probably clearly written on her face.

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