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I'm starting to think that Ben got very upset by my having left him for four days.

What I have learned about Ben is that he's cuddly on his own terms.  He comes to you, not the other way around. Petting him when he's lounging around will earn you a swat--that is Ben Time, not human time!  Back, foul primate!--but if he comes up and wants snugglin', he's a lovey beast.

And I knew that he was kinda my cat. James gets some passing affection, but rather less tolerance, and doesn't get the bathroom escort mission, either.

But sheesh, ever since we got back from PA, Ben's in my lap constantly--onto the desk, down the keyboard, commence snuggling. He's done it twice since I started this post. Ten, twenty times a day, I get cat. And then I have to pet him and rub his throat and snoogle the top of his head, and then he purrs. And after awhile I dump him to the ground, and he wanders off, and five minutes later he's back. If I play Xbox games, he's right there, draped over one leg, supervising my pinatas. (For James, he will observe from the end of the couch, perhaps even allow his tail to come in contact with gamer thigh, but that's it. I begin to suspect he's a one-person cat.)

Athena thinks I'm an utter traitor, of course, but let's face it--like the proverbial gorilla, a sixteen pound cat snuggles anywhere he wants to.

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I don't know why, but the sight of a rook with boots in an autumny landscape makes me smile. =^_^=

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That's my last name. My brother's toying with the idea of getting a tattoo of it. I just like the painting.

My oldest cat always comes up onto my desk if she can manage to sneak into my room. If I don't pet her she sits on my arms and rubs her head against my hands. If I continue to ignore her, she starts pushing stuff OFF the desk, such as the lamp, pencil holders, glasses, and breakable figurines.

My youngest cat does the exact same thing!

You fix that by pushing the cat off the desk and returning to whatever you were doing. Once they learn to get attention by getting in your way and mistreating your things, they'll keep doing it.

The cats in my current home love to steal my lap, but they know they're not allowed on the desk in front of me.

Yep, sounds like you have been Claimed. :) Dear Ben! He probably wants to make sure that THIS one doesn't get away!

Today I had Momo, our little grey we got almost exactly the same time as you got Ben, sit on the computer under the desk and keep patting my knee. She wouldn't stop until I had actually held her paw, and kept holding it for about five minutes. She's so cute it's scary sometimes.
Oh, and she also does the shoulder-hug thing, only she smushes her entire face into your hair and just sort of hangs there like a really ethical fur scarf. Always the let shoulder. NEVER the right. Put her on the right shoulder and she stops purring and squirms over to the left. Weird.
Does Ben have a preferred shoulder?

and just sort of hangs there like a really ethical fur scarf

For this line you win the intarwebs for today!

I agree with the claiming point above. You're his! Of course, there's this tiny problem with the fact that maine coons *start* at about 15 pounds and increase in size from there. He's what? Two years old? Which means he's still got a good 5 or so pounds to go - get ready to have serious static exercises on your thighs with him sitting there! ^_^

What I have learned about Ben is that he's cuddly on his own terms.

It's a very maine coon behavior. My kitty's been alone (except for the house sitter she doesn't like) for a week now. I suspect she'll follow me around for the next 3-4 days straight...

Since my lap is usually being occupied by my laptop, Panzer contents himself to sprawling out across my legs or rubbing his cheeks on the corners of said laptop. I can only assume that it scratches some itch better than fingers since he seems to prefer rubbing on the laptop. ^_^;;

Cats have scent glands in their cheeks. Ten to one he's claiming the laptop or you, not scratching an itch.

Ben sounds like such a lovable guy. My dearly departed FurBeast would do the same thing when I'd return from a long weekend away. First she'd give me a sound talking to about my errant behavior, then she'd become a large furry growth attached to some random part of my body for a random number of days. (Usually in proportion to the length of my absence.)

My roomate is away on vacation and her darling cat is so sad and lost without her here. He takes some pets and loves from me, but he misses her so. I have a feeling he'll be all over her when she gets back.

My cats are both like that, each in its own way.

Random stop by comment, but I seem to remember you were a fan of the fallout series, so thought you might like to see this

I wish Merlin was as affectionate. He is the kind of cat that will not be cuddled under any circumstances. It's just those one or two occasions every three months that he'll jump up on your lap and sleep -- unless you touch him, then he will jump right back down. Whenever I have left him for any period of time, he is horribly offended and won't even cast me a glance, not even beg me for food..

Could there be pictures of Ben, please. I love kitties, and would like to see what he looks like, as you talk about him so much. Athena would be fine as well. Kitty LOVE!!34

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