Category Archives: Cats & Dogs

midnight chocolate


midnight chocolate

just one crumb
of temptation

lying on yesterday’s
white floor

proof of last night’s sin
lapped up happily

by the
black dog



Temptation was the prompt word today.

Some Little Nonsense on the Subject of Copycats

“Coming and Going.” Although I am in the proximity of this dog and undergoing the same experience, you will note that I maintain my individuality by presenting my best angle to the camera in direct contrast to the dog rather than imitating him. And, as a side note, I was here first.

Some Little Nonsense on the Subject of Copycats

Some folks’ originality comes from what they view,
proving that old adage, “Monkey see and monkey do.”
And there’s another label coined from denizens of zoos.
A “copy cat” is one who mirrors everything he views.

But I find this last one puzzling, and so I’m asking you,
have you ever known a cat to do what you want him to?
Whatever he might see you do as he edges nearer,
is likely what he will ignore, not what he’ll choose to mirror.

It’s true that cattle move in herds and wild geese mimic flight,
and no one knows what sister acts mice practice in the night.
Yet all animals aren’t so easy, in spite of what you think.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

You cannot tell a cat to do what you want him to.
What you desire from that cat is what he will eschew.
Sit or fetch? Roll over? Those things hold no attraction.
Cats simply are not at their best when you prompt interaction.

So let’s dispel this rumor that cats are good at mimicry.
For though they like to bat at strings and other hanging gimmickry,
they don’t want to imitate any other creature.
For in the world of animals, each cat is the main feature.

The prompt today is copycat.

Look Up! (Eulogy for a Good, Good Girl)


Look Up!

She used to chase the shadows of birds across the ground
and dig where they disappeared
and never once thought to look up,
no matter how many times I tried to tell her to.

Chasing light across the pool, she’d pace
back and forth, along its further edge.


Her first playmates the cats,
she could not follow them up into the trees,
but stood instead, barking at the bark they clung to.
Thinking herself a cat, perhaps,
or all of them some new species in between,
she followed wherever it was possible to go.
Up the broad steps to the second floor,
across the terraza and just a small leap
to the ledge of the high sloping dome of the roof.
Up to its top to lie or stand and bark at all who trudged up our mountain
to intrude into her world.


She could see for blocks,
turning like a sundial with the sun
to change her focus, but usually starting at the point,
southward, that most invaders came from.
Neighbors led by unwelcome dogs on leashes
passed below her on their morning walks,
or farmers carrying hoes or machetes
up to the fields above.

Lines of burros plodding beneath her, facing uphill,
small herds of cattle
flooding down to the lake for water—
none escaped the attention of this reina,
who would bark directions to be on their way, fast,
and not to loiter.


No creature had greater staying power than she.
The cats, bored with the high view,
moved to the bushes and trees to hunt possums, squirrels and salamanders.
Only she stayed true to her original position
as she looked ever down from that high dome,
only deserting it a year ago,
when I locked the gate that blocked her progress up—
not because I judged it unsafe for a dog grown arthritic and less sure of her step,
but because of the new puppy,
untrained by cats and with feet less experienced than hers.


Feeling punished, perhaps, she traded her high domain
for a place beneath the terrace table

from which she watched the two upstarts
speed by to cavort in the lower garden
where she once chased bird shadows in the grass.

Version 2
She exercised her staying power one last time
as, looking down on a world reduced to only me,
never once blinking, she stared into my eyes
as I crouched beside the vet’s high table,
and looked straight back up into them,
the closest I’d ever been to her.

That table’s surface, straight and gleaming stainless steel,
was where she lay with her front legs spread-eagled
for the long hour it took to finally climb up that high dome again.
I wonder if she heard me as,
“Good girl,” I told her a hundred times that final hour, and meant it.
“Good, good girl. Look up now. And go on.
You were always such a good, good girl, watching out for us.
But now, look up. Go on.”


The prompt word today is “Original.”

Doggie Domaine #4: Much Ado About Nothing?

                        Doggie Domaine #4: Much Ado About Nothing?
Probably no one in the history of the world has made so much out of a 6 1/2 by 7 foot room, but for some reason, I am fascinated by this change in my world.  From every door I look out of in the back of my house, from my terrace, my entrance hall, my pool, my bedroom––the view is altered.  Tonight when I got home late from my three hour “Thriller” practice, a new art center opening and dinner out with friends, I opened the door to see what progress had been made.  Before I’d left, I’d taken this picture, which I love:
But now, tonight in the dark, I opened the door onto what had begun to really look like a room and I felt my entire life shift a bit.
All three dogs came running up to stick their heads in the door and for the first time, Diego and Morrie came rushing into the house through the new room.
IMG_6743Frida, however, merely stuck her head in the door, looked around,
Version 2and departed.  Whistles, offered treats, calling her name–nothing worked.  She absolutely refused to enter through this new route!
IMG_6747So while Diego and Morrie settled into their cages,
Frida’s bed remained empty until I opened the bedroom door for her.  Just 5 feet distant from the “new” portal to the house, nonetheless, it was familiar––an accepted and recognizable part of her life.  She entered.  All was right with the world.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: New


Have you ever noticed how a cat always seeks the newest thing in the house to sit on?  In this case, my overnight bag in my nephew's house, under my nephew's cat!

Have you ever noticed how a cat always seeks the newest thing in the house to sit on? In this case, my overnight bag in my nephew’s house, under my nephew’s cat!

Nothing so irresistible as a new puppy.

Nothing so irresistible as a new puppy.

I repeat. . . .

I repeat. . . .

These young ladies are very happy in their new home at La Ola, a home for abused girls in Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico.

These young ladies are very happy in their new home at La Ola, a home for abused girls in Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico.

And, of course, it is inevitable that I’d close by saying Happy New Year!!

Sunday Stills Photos Challenge: Pets

Pets on the Beach (And Elsewhere)


I don’t know why, but of all the pictures I’ve taken of my dog Frida, this has remained my favorite. There is just such attitude to her walking out of the fame just as I snapped the picture!

DSC00623 - Version 2

i’ve watched this little dog every day at the beach. He runs back and forth, barking at pelicans, but never catches one!

DSC00627 - Version 4

And this, of course, is why!


I took a half dozen shots of this early-morning fisherman with his two well-behaved dogs, but this one, taken from a half mile down the beach, remains my favorite. The fact that you can barely make them out in the scene but that they remained the center focus for the fifteen minutes or so it took me to reach them is all in mind when I look at this photograph..

DSC00043 - Version 2

This streamlined little guy prances by several times a day, following his master, who seems to somehow be associated with the fishing boats and frequently goes to consult with the fishermen. Love his tongue!

I love it in this photo that not one foot is on the ground!

I love it in this photo that not one foot is on the ground! (Not just a crop job. Different photo, but same tongue, same attitude!)


Okay, okay…I know you are wondering why I never showed a closer-up of that long shot. Here it is—the faithful companions.



This elderly man has been visiting the beach every time I have. He sits all day in the palapa restaurant next to my house. Once we played dice. He said he’d only play for money! Ha. Another time he told me his job was artificially inseminating horses. Later, Lora Loca, the proprietor of the cafe, told me this was a lie. I guess the aged have to get their thrills somehow! Someday I’ll probably be doing the same.


This is Bobino, a beach cat I adopted 4 years ago, the first time I rented this beach cottage. He refused to come home with me when I left so Daniel, who has the place next door, adopted him. He is kept well-fed by fishermen. Here he is scoping out his next meal through the deck posts of my porch. A second later, he was streaking off and yes, the fisherman did give him a little fish. One day as I walked under a tree next to my porch, a fish fell out of the sky and landed at my feet. Whether it was fishes from heaven, the grackles up in the tree or Bobino who presented me with this prize, I’ll never know. But, for the future: I don’t eat fish!


This adorable stranger waited so patiently for the remains of my breakfast at Guacamole’s, one of my favorite beachside eating establishments, that I hope I gave them to him!!



Okay, I know I’ve published this photo before, but I miss my dogs and it took so long to train them to be this polite while waiting for their meals and there is a sort of “waiting to be fed” theme going here, so here they are again: Frida and Diego. Not at the beach, but in my mind as they vacation on the two-acre lot of a friend who has two other dogs and a big field filled with sheep to bark at next door.

For more pets, go here: