The subjects at the Institute are not always involved in experiments. Yes, they work hard for the scientists observing them, but they enjoy many types of work breaks that serve to renew their vitality for the workday. The subjects take regular nap breaks, exercise breaks, laptime breaks, snack breaks, grooming breaks, and of course, their favorite type of breaks—breakfast and dinner breaks. The following video shows a typical nap break in the Institute office. Velvet, Socks, Rebecca, and Zippy are enjoying a long rest after rearranging papers on the desk.
My arm is sore. Socks continues to bring back his favorite toy and I continue to give in and throw it for him. We have reached a record for one day—47 throws and fetches. He should be ready for a nap now. Oh, my aching arm!
The Directors of the Institute for Kitty Cat Research have observed that the study subject named Zippy (aka The Zipper and Zip) is a deep thinker. For instance, in this photo she is thinking about whether to pounce on Citikitty or to pounce on Socks, both of whom were napping within striking distance. Does she want to start a fight or a chase this morning? Should she jump on Socks who likes a good wrestle or on Citikitty who will flee up the stairs and into the walk-in closet?
Zippy pondered the pros and cons for at least thirty seconds. Immediately after this photo was taken, she decided that a rousing fuss would be a good start for her day. She made a flying leap onto Socks’ sleeping form and a hissing tussle took place with paws swinging. In a flash, Socks and Citikitty ran up the stairs with Zippy in pursuit. It seems The Zipper’s strategic thoughts paid off and she got to enjoy both of her favorite forms of entertainment.
The directors of the Institute were concerned that our study subjects could not get from cupboard top to cupboard top without walking on the cabinet surfaces (a no-no on the food-preparation surface). To correct this situation, we nailed a board to the cupboard tops to span the gap.
We had to put a treat midway on the board to lure the subjects across the new “highwire.” Velvet and Socks were the only ones adventurous enough to walk across. Velvet likes to rest at the midpoint.
The Directors at the Institute are often observed by the very subjects they are committed to observing. For instance, I was cleaning a freshly applied hairball pukie from the carpet when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Rebecca staring at me while resting her head on the stair railing base. Coincidentally, the hairball happened to be the same orange color as Rebecca.
After a 29-day vacation, we were thrilled to see the kitties and they were happy to see us. This is the evening we returned. Socks and Velvet were on my lap and Zippy was on my foot. Ruby was behind me on the sofa chewing my hair. We were sandbagged in that night with kitties all around.