Steve Appreciation Post

I have been super busy and have not even had the normal amount of time to write vile things on twitter, so I thought I would apologize and post some Steve pics.

Steve and I have been together for about six years now (btw I have been officially sober for five years now- I missed my anniversary again and remembered the other day when I was cutting up cabbage for another run of sauerkraut and this time was using a bottle of dry white wine and some of it splashed in my face while tamping it and I thought “awkward” and realized I had once again missed my anniversary), and I have really lucked out. He continues to become more and more interesting every day and has really turned out to be a special cat.

He’s a very strong presence, which is great, as Rosie and Thurston can be quite overbearing, but he holds his own. He’s chatty, and you know when he comes in a room, but he is also super affectionate. He absolutely loves to be hugged, which just cracks me up. He likes to jump up on the arm of my chair, drape his front paws over my chest and keep his back legs on the armrest, and then will lie there for hours while I hold him:

It’s really bizarre (not to mention hard to get a picture in that position), but he loves it. He also likes to sleep on the side of the bed, and wake me up for attention:

He will sit like that forever while I gently rub the insides of his ears until he falls asleep and/or drools on me. At night, when I am asleep, he somehow manages to arrange himself so we are spooning, and I often wake up and he is sleeping in my right arm.

Steve has really turned into just an outstanding cat. I am a lucky human.

92 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I thought this was going to be about Steve in the ATL, and I was hoping I would be appreciated next.

    Pet bonds are the best bonds.

  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    Aww…Steve. Love that second picture. What a sweetie.

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    What a beautiful specimen. Not you John.

  4. 4
    Raven says:

    It’s a great sign when you forget or quit counting. I have to go back and look at markers to remember that I’m at 26 years. The Breslin-Hammil doc is pretty good and they just touch on Pete’s “A Drinking Life”. It’s good for a number of reasons but the primary one is that it’s not some whiny shit but a cold eyed look at the cost of drinking. Drive on brother.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    That second picture is Steve being, dare I say, sweet?
    That picture doesn’t scare me.
    I am so glad that you found Steve, Cole. The two of you needed one another.😍😍😻😻

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    👏👏👏 on both of your Anniversaries🙌🙌👊

  7. 7
    MazeDancer says:

    Aww, so sweet. What a good kitty boy.

    And congrats on five years, John. Well done.

  8. 8
    J R in WV says:

    My own giant white cat with red spots, Rufus, used to creep into our bed to lie across the top of my bald head late at night, to stay warm. He was Steve’s size, but short haired like most white and orange cats.

    While Wife was in the hospital, Rufus slid away near the age of 20, and then our smaller orange alley cat, Harvey took his place, quietly gliding into the bed to lie across my warm head. Alas, Harvey also passed while Wife was recovering from septic shock in the teaching hospital in Charleston.

    But for the loss of those sweet kitties, all was well, as wife is in the other room watching probably CNN, with plans to switch to MSNBC in a little while.

    Steve is a supreme cat, though, I agree with that!

  9. 9
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m reading this with Bianca sitting in my lap, which she only started doing about a year ago.

  10. 10
    Gex says:

    My Maine Coon had a very similar temperament and personality. They are the best.

    Steve certainly is a magnificent cat.

  11. 11
    zhena gogolia says:

    Steve is a beauteous cat.

    We still haven’t adopted since our dear ones died within a week of each other in Jan. 2018. Once you have no pets, it’s really hard to gear up to start again. I hadn’t been without a cat or multiple cats since September 13, 1985, so I hadn’t ever had time to “think about” adopting — they just kept coming. But when you need to actually decide to adopt, there’s always something in the way: first grief, then medical stuff, then trips, and just busyness. I think it’s going to have to be some kind of serendipitous situation.

  12. 12
    Spanky says:

    Yes, congrats on both anniversaries, and you are indeed a lucky hooman.

    I’m sitting out here in an uncharacteristic cool breeze. The radar shows t-storms coming from the nw, low clouds are coming from the south, and moderate (8000-10000) clouds coming from due west. Not sure what it all means, but something interesting may happen real soon.

  13. 13
    Spanky says:

    @Gex: Maine Coons are the best. Our Spike is sorely missed even 12 years after our parting.

    Wheezer had all the Maine Coon fixin’s, but at 2 years old he’s lost his ruff and plushiness. I sure hope it returns for the winter.

  14. 14
    opiejeanne says:

    He’s a great cat. I’m so glad you two found each other. Truly special.

    We adopted Annie nearly 7 years ago as a kitten, and she’s an entity. a Personality. She does tricks! Sometimes, when she feels like it, but at breakfast she has been trained to slide a paper napkin off of the counter and onto her stool, in anticipation of a bacon crumb or two.

    About two years ago our older daughter left on a very long camping trip around the US and left her tuxedo cat with us. Henry. He’s nearly 15 now. He’s a lovely boy. When we go to bed each evening he gets on the bed between us and purrs and sings to us for a couple of minutes, saying goodnight we guess. Then he goes down to the foot of the bed and curls up.

    They were just chasing each other around upstairs and it sounded like a herd of buffalo. They don’t like each other when we’re looking, but we find them napping side by side in the afternoon, and the chasing game is hilarious. It sounds like they’re swinging from the chandeliers and dropping 12 feet when they land, even though neither is possible..

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    @Amir Khalid: She has to compete with those guitars! Don’t think Bianca hasn’t noticed.

    @zhena gogolia: So a pet has to find you. (Or pets.)

  16. 16
    satby says:

    As time goes on our companion animals learn our rhythms and we learn theirs. It ends up being a dance of love that kind of sneaks up on you.
    Congrats on five years John. Well done you.

  17. 17
    BSR says:

    Delurking — I had to shake my head and rub both eyes – has it been that long since you got Steve? I guess so – I think I started reading this blog about a year before that. I remember Tunch and your sobriety beginning, so that’s probably right. Suddenly I feel older. Time flies – but I’m glad you are enjoying your furry buddy!

  18. 18
    Miss Bianca says:

    I must have had the only Maine Coon in the universe who wasn’t chatty and snuggly – unless she was hurt or sick. Like she was when I first encountered her as a tiny feral kitten weaving her way through a busy rainy City Market parking lot. Boy, did I get suckered! No more purrs for me after she was doctored up and weaned off her eyedroppers of milk. She was silent, aloof, and rather disdainful most of the time. She would condescend to sleep on the bed next to me, however. She was probably just old enough when I rescued her to have passed the threshold for easy socialization with humans. A bitchy kitty, to be sure.

    Still miss her, tho’.

  19. 19
    seefleur says:

    Mr. Cole once again proves his menschness by appreciating the fact that his Maine Coon cat is the poster cat/child for awesomeness. Years back, we had a Maine Coon female (smokey grey and tiny for a Maine Coon – weighed in at around 7 lbs, but looked like she was at least three pounds heavier due to her fur plushness) named Mao. Her full name was Cat Tse Mao because her vocalization was literally a “mao” not a “mew” or a “meow”. She was very dignified and stand-offish for the first 5 years of her life – and then around the time she turned 6, she became a cuddle bug. Sadly, by the time she was 7, she had a kidney issue that turned out to be cancer and she was gone in a short 2 month time span. I still miss her. Our current two male cats are love bugs (in their own weird ways) but Mao the Coon Cat Queen is unmatchable.

  20. 20
    opiejeanne says:

    @Miss Bianca: We had a Maine Coon cat who would not sit on anyone’s lap but loved to sit beside us. Tommy. He was a cat who found us. 15 pounds, which is why the vet thought he was a mix. They can get up to 30 pounds.

  21. 21
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Baud: you have no idea how disappointed I am I this post. Have had a long week locked in a hot room with a bunch of teamsters and just dropped my Last, Best, Final Offer on them after three years (!) of bargaining a four year contract.

    Don’t tease me like that, Cole!

  22. 22
    something fabulous says:


    I volunteer at an animal rescue, and just last weekend incorporated “Don’t that just shave the cat’s ass” into the lexicon there. (We have a senior gent who needed the full lion cut and was NOT happy about it. I said it to Spunky and, then, of course, the humans nearby needed to know what I had just said to him, so I told the whole story. Am pleased & proud to announce that it has officially taken off as a phrase.) DTJSTCA!

  23. 23
    Skyweaver says:

    @BSR: I’m delurking as well for the same reason. I’m surprised it’s been that long. Steve wasn’t originally his name, I remember. John and his animals have a friendly little place in my heart

  24. 24
    opiejeanne says:

    @opiejeanne: This is Tommy. That was not a small planter. That was at our house in Anaheim.

    Cat in the Pot

  25. 25
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @J R in WV:

    Steve is a supreme cat

    I’ve been called a “righteous cat” before, but this works too.

  26. 26
    guachi says:

    We have five cats. They all do just enough to stay alive one more day.

    If there is anything for about having too many cats it’s that it really highlights how different they are.

  27. 27
    TenguPhule says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Have had a long week locked in a hot room with a bunch of teamsters

    Balloon Juice after Dark will never be the same.

  28. 28
    Miss Bianca says:

    @opiejeanne: That second photo of Steve up top looks just like my aptly-misnamed Angel. She sure was a pretty kitty.

    ETA: So is Tommy!

  29. 29
    lollipopguild says:

    @Steve in the ATL: So you are now Steve in a hot room with Teamsters.

  30. 30
    HumboldtBlue says:

    My boy Salad was stretched out between my feet getting some belly rubs. He got two new catnip tea bags and is beside himself.

    And congratulations on six years John, I still drink enough for the both of us.

  31. 31
    TS (the original) says:

    What is wrong with my computer – or is it FYWP – I see no pictures other than on John’s twitter

  32. 32
    Melusine says:

    And Steve is very lucky to have a hooman who appreciates him for his magnificent self. As do Lily and Rosie and Thurston, each valued in their own special way. The pics of Lily’s new bows after her vet visits always get me.

    You’re a very fine talking monkey, John Cole. Animals always know.

  33. 33
    Timurid says:

    I’m reading this thread with a lap full of purring cat…

  34. 34
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @TenguPhule: tune back in at 11pm eastern! Except that I will hopefully be asleep, before my early morning flight to BFE, Ohio

    @lollipopguild: whatever it takes to get a deal done!

  35. 35
    No One of Consequence says:

    Mr. Cole,

    Congratulations, there are many who are proud of you. I count myself among them. We have a similar story, though I never served. Nearly the same age, many of the same tastes.

    I am a canis fan of the rescue persuasion, and have no experience with those of the feline persuasion, but I live vicariously through you and this blog of jackals and jackal-adjacent hangers-on.

    Additionally, I would posit to the assemblage, that Steve was in fact pointed at you from Tunch. As a gift, from a knowing friend. Admittedly, I do not pretend to have operational knowledge of the feline metaphysics involved, but if it moves in ways similar to those I am familiar with of the canis persuasion, then I believe it to be a likelihood.

    Godspeed, you tolerable human, you.



  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    Police responded to an overdose call. They discovered Trump-shaped ecstasy.

    Truly the world has gone completely mad.

  37. 37
    TenguPhule says:

    I see the latest career to be replaced by robots is the priesthood.

    Well, that’s one way to end the child abuse, I suppose.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    Bumf*ck East?


    More applicable to a long week locked in a room with a bunch of hot Teamsters, perhaps.


  39. 39
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: Bumf*ck Egypt, as the saying goes. See also Dash Riprock,

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    Strolling to the end of a White House driveway on Wednesday ahead of his departure for a veterans event in Kentucky, Trump began speaking while still walking toward a crowd of waiting reporters. “So the economy is doing very, very well,” he said.

    With fears of a recession stirring and public confidence in the health of the economy dropping for the first time in Trump’s presidency, it was a sound message to project to a skittish nation. But that was as good as it got.

    What followed might have swept away all previous Trumpian benchmarks for incoherence, self-aggrandizement, prevarication and rancor in a presidency that has seemed before to veer loosely along the rails of reason but may never have come quite so close to spectacularly jumping the tracks.

    Over an ensuing half-hour rant, Trump trucked in antisemitic tropes, insulted the Danish prime minister, insisted he wasn’t racist, bragged about the performance of his former Apprentice reality show, denied starting a trade war with China, praised Vladimir Putin and told reporters that he, Trump, was the “Chosen One” – all within hours of referring to himself as the “King of Israel” and tweeting in all caps: “WHERE IS THE FEDERAL RESERVE?”

    Tomorrow will probably be worse.

  41. 41
    chrisanthemama says:

    Who’s a good boy? Yeah both of you magnificent bastards (if I may be so bold). bless

  42. 42



    Constitution Ave., Donnie.

  43. 43
    Sab says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I like Kent OH. However, It’s supposed to rain cats and dogs and also water tomorrow.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Shana says:

    @opiejeanne: Who was the wag who said “whoever said the fog comes in like little cat feet never lived below one”?

    Our 10 year old cat has been sick for the last couple of days. I took her to the vet yesterday and they hydrated her, gave her an anti-inflamatory and kitty Pepcid but she’s no better. She goes back tomorrow for an x-ray and blood work. Keep a good thought.

  46. 46
    Elizabelle says:

    @Shana: Good thoughts. Be well, kitteh.

  47. 47
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Sab: good thing I packed a raincoat! Restaurant recommendations? Caveats: I don’t eat red meat (owing to the environmental damage caused by cattle farming) and I don’t like sushi.

  48. 48
    CaseyL says:

    I can’t get over that incredibly expressive face. Such a handsome boy!

    You’re lucky to have one another, and that goes for the entire menagerie.

  49. 49

    @Steve in the ATL: Yeah, that’s the one. Were the pics of the Valley that I linked to this morning that type of photos that you were talking about?

  50. 50
    MelissaM says:

    Sweet post! Steve’s a lucky cat as much as you’re a lucky human.

  51. 51
    Aleta says:

    (Miss him terribly)

  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    If you knew sushi like I know sushi

    (In actuality, don’t care for it either except as an excuse to slather big gobs of wasabi on something.)

  53. 53
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: yes, EXACTLY what I meant!

    BTW, has anyone ever topped 71 comments for an On the Road post? My one got far fewer comments, and it was totally awesome!

  54. 54

    @Steve in the ATL: Wait, there’s 71 now; I’ll have to go back and check…

  55. 55
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: I have no use for lazy chefs who can’t be bothered to cook the damn fish.

  56. 56
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: if only your Grindr profile were so popular!

  57. 57
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    All the more if they’re wearing flip-flops, I’d imagine. (The chefs, not the fish.)


  58. 58
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Steve in the ATL: worst start to a Penthouse Forum letter ever

  59. 59
    Joy in FL says:

    @opiejeanne: What a beautiful cat!

  60. 60
    TheronWare says:

    Steve looks as though he’s changing the channel on your tv in that second picture ha!

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Sab says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Treno Ristorante in what used to be the old train station on the river. I think it’s on Franklin. Supposed to have a good wine list. I haven’t been there but LOTS of people I know and trust love it. Can’t get my spouse five miles out of town and Kent is at least fifteen. I used to love its predecessor in the same spot when I worked in Kent. Higher end Italian, which NE Ohio cares about. We aint all chef boyardee or Luigis (that pit in downtown Akron.)

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Ruckus says:

    16 years here. I’ve gone long enough and had slowed down even before I quit that I just count years, when I think about it at all.

  65. 65
    MomSense says:

    Maine Coon cats are the best. I still miss mine.

  66. 66

    @Steve in the ATL: 72 now, I always try and go back to respond.

  67. 67
    Raven says:

    @Ruckus: I ran hard right up to the end, fucked up all kinds of shit and put it down.

  68. 68

    @Steve in the ATL: Grindr, wutz that, I’ve got Flickr.

  69. 69
    Raven says:

    Inslee bailed.

  70. 70
    Ruckus says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    A bitchy kitty, to be sure.
    Still miss her, tho’.

    Same for my last dog, cocker spaniel rescue named Bud, who was about 12 when I got him was, nick named Ornery Bastard. Great companion, but he EARNED the moniker. In several ways earned it. Miss that ornery bastard.

  71. 71
    Mainmata says:

    I remember well when Steve entered your life, that big burly, in your face cat. Maybe a replacement for Tunc to some degree?

  72. 72
    Aleta says:

    My dentist has her own independent practice, and she puts bland art on the walls, mostly boring photos. God knows what she pays for it, probably paid to some corporation too. Today I thought, when I’m back in town in Sept. I’ll show her 🐾BillinGlendaleCA’s site. Much much better wall art.

  73. 73
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Just One More Canuck: give me a few minutes to finish this bottle of wine—I’m sure I can do worse

  74. 74
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Raven: doesn’t look like any guitar I’ve ever owned!

  75. 75
    raven says:

    @Steve in the ATL: i showed it to a wildlife biologist friend, I thought he was kidding.

    The guitarfish are a family, Rhinobatidae, of rays. The guitarfish are known for an elongated body with a flattened head and trunk and small, ray-like wings. The combined range of the various species is tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters worldwide.

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    About 3 yrs before I quit the doc asked me how much I drank. I said 3-4 a week, without thinking. At that time it was more like 8-10 a week. It just didn’t hit me that I’d been picking them up and pouring them down that much. The more I got to thinking about it the more often the words “Holly Shit,” would slip out of my mouth. I was working an average of about 60 hrs a week, traveling 6-7 months/yr, eating out on expense account, having a drink while waiting for a table, it just never seemed like a lot. Of course some people I worked with made me look like I’d never had a drink in my life. Started working out, lost 20 lbs, thought damn, this is better, stopped drinking. I was right for once. What are the odds that will ever happen again?

  77. 77
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I have faith in you

  78. 78
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Just One More Canuck: #faith

  79. 79
    Quiltingfool says:

    Thank you for the Steve photos! We need lots of animal pictures to help us cope with the crazypants crap going on around us.

  80. 80

    @Aleta: Ah, thanks. Yeah, medical offices have the worst art or just advertisements.

  81. 81
    Gammyjill says:

    Cole, you’re both magnificent bastards. And congrats on your sobriety anniversary. Keep up the good work.

  82. 82
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: when I first met my wife, she was way impressed by the artwork on my walls. I explained to her that it was (1) dye transfer prints of photos of tricycles and whatnot by my bugfuck crazy uncle, and (2) props from my dad’s cover career as a tv producer. Nevertheless, i persisted and she married me.

  83. 83
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    You mean “Want to come up and see my etchings” really works? Hoocudanode?


  84. 84
  85. 85
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: well, it does if you have a large [redacted because this is a family blog. Ok, it’s totally not but come on let’s not be crass!]

  86. 86
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    Fairly certain saying a large martini shaker doesn’t run afoul of any boundaries.


  87. 87
    catclub says:

    We have a very large orange tabby so I think maine coon, also. He sits with my wife, 1/3 on windowsill, 1/3 on arm of chair, 1/3 on wife’s arm.
    he comes when it is time to sit in that chair and read/ watch the tablet. he has also become more and more chatty.

  88. 88
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: I’m not James Bond! It’s a large pink Himalayan start grinder. Like, really large.

  89. 89
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    Pace W. C. Fields: “Operated by a large Himalayan, who I also keep handy.”


  90. 90
    MoxieM says:

    That is lovely stuff, and really, what gives life meaning. Truly. And so many congrats on the 5 year anniversary! I don’t come here to have my heart moved, and yet it happens.

  91. 91
    bk says:

    My tuxedo cat with the milk mustache does something similar. He climbs on my lap and puts his front paws on my shoulder and leans his head against my ear. This way he figures I’ll rub his back toward his tail. He is right…

  92. 92
    Tams says:


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