You knew it was going to be kittens, didn’t you?
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You knew it was going to be kittens, didn’t you?
Click on any photo to enlarge all.
After carrying around a pill to prevent migraines for over ten years, I for some reason left it behind when I came to the U.S., so of course this morning, for the first time in ten years, I started to feel a migraine coming on. As usual, it was triggered by a bright light —this time by a split between the blinds that allowed sunlight to reflect off the TV screen. Dizzy with the beginning of the headache, nauseous and a bit blind, I stumbled into bed, pulled a pillow over my head to block the light and lay for about an hour, willing the pain to descend from my forehead to my hands to warm them. When my hands warmed, I then became aware of icy feet and decided to see if I could warm them via migraine energy as well. I fell asleep in the act, but upon awakening six hours later, I am now noticing that my feet are warm as well—more likely due to blankets than to brainpower. Nonetheless, after the first half hour of trying to get myself regulated, this poem came into my head. I knew it would be lost if I didn’t record it and my computer was lying closed on my bed next to me, so I roused myself long enough to jot it down. Can’t control these rhymes even when bigger things are going on in my head. In this case, it started with mentally painting the image of a cat. Then the bowl appeared and he gazed into it. The goldfish came last and the poem grew out of the image. Wish I could paint or draw and I’d try to show you what I saw. Lacking this, here is the poem:
(Goldfish) Bowl Games
I watch them swim in graceful curves,
and though they’d make such fine hors d’oeuvres,
I wait and wait and wait and wait.
They have not served me one to date.
(By the way, this technique for ridding yourself of migraine headaches has worked for me three times now over a twenty year span. Prior to this, I just suffered for up to eight hours. Once I found there was a pill available to take in the first stages, I always carried one, but as noted above, had failed to bring it with me on this trip to the states, so my old mental remedy worked once again.)
A few days ago I bought collars with little bells on them for all the kittens. I put the first one on Roo, and it was a disaster! Her eyes went round and she went bucking like a wild bronc all the way across the patio. She tried to claw and scrape and bite the bell off. Then the other kittens joined in the chase and they went careening off into the dense jungle underbrush of the front yard. There was no way I could follow them there, but eventually she bucked her way out of the thicket and I grabbed her and tugged the collar off. Luckily, I had insisted on easy release collars, fearing that they’d get caught up in a tree branch or vine, so it was easy to free her.
It was not so easy to cut the bells off all the collars. It took heavy metal cutters and even at that, I had to twist and twist to get the little bells off, actually cutting them off their soldered link and then had the fun of cutting the sharp metal pieces off the loop still attached to the collar. I’d ordered tags with my phone number to attach to the collars–my guarantee that no one would think they were feral cats once they inevitably climb up the bougainvillea vines and make their way out onto the street side of the wall. I was to pick the tags up a few days later, and since the man who did the engraving insisted I put “recompensa” (reward) on the other side of the tag, I could visualize neighborhood children ringing my doorbell daily, kittens in arms. Ah well. What was a few pesos bribe, anyway? It was a bit like the insurance given to neighborhood thugs in the barrios of NYC in bygone days, and perhaps in the present. At any rate, I eventually got bell-less collars on all of the cats except for Roo, who to this day is a collar virgin. Within minutes, however, the opened collars lay scattered like breadcrumbs across the terrace. Only Frannie retained her collar. I gave up on the rest for the time being.
(Click on first photo to enlarge all.)
Ollie will stand in as spokesmodel for all the rest. Needless to say, he hated his collar with or without a bell. The bells, here seen isolated from their collars, will no doubt be welcome toys if not welcome jewelry for the cats.
I bought Yolanda one of those new (rather expensive) self- wringing mops at Costco. It is microfiber and the strings were looped at the end with a twist handle so you could just circulate the handle and the mop would wring itself without having to put your hands on the wet part. The other day I asked how she liked it and she said it was fine, but she had cut the ends off so it was like her old mop. Oy vey!!! At any rate, it is just as good a toy for the cats either way. Here Frannie does a little dance with Yolanda. Usually, she puts them out when she mops, but thought you’d like to see the fun.
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jdbphotos. Click on first photo to enlarge all and read captions.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, “in the catbird seat,” it means to be in a position above the action or perhaps in control. This is what I am when I’m in my studio, which has one wall entirely comprised of windows looking out on my garden and another window to my right that looks out over my spare lot down below and ultimately at the lake spread out on a lower plane with Mount Garcia and Colima Volcano behind it on the other shore.
In the Catbird Seat
After a year of no time at all in the studio, I’ve spent 4 days there in the past few weeks. It feels wonderful, even though the last day I spent there was entirely spent organizing, sorting, putting away, reorganizing.
My studio is a separate small building I had built in the garden below my house. My dogs, unaccustomed as they are to my being there, followed me down, no doubt remembering I keep a bag of dog biscuits down there. Fortified, they wandered off, but eventually returned to spend the morning outside my door––Morrie plastered horizontally across the base of the locked screen door, Diego perpendicular to him, stretched out along the brick walkway.
The kittens, relegated to the front yard and house, have seen neither the back yard nor my studio. I fear what my dogs, intent on doing away with every soft fuzzy creature that enters my yard, would do to them, even though they’ve been seeing them for almost four months now through the glass, bars and screens that form most of the walls of every room in my house.
That is why I was so distressed when I heard the plaintive meow of one of the kittens coming from the wrong direction. Not from the side of the house where they have a walled-off outside run all their own, but seemingly from the street behind the studio or from the empty lot down below me. I listened closely, hoping it was just my one hearing-impaired ear that was misdirecting the direction from which the sound was coming; but, when I stepped out into the yard, I could hear it clearly.
I called out to Pasiano, telling him I thought one of the kittens had made its way out of its safe zone.
“No, senora,” he insisted.
“Yes! Listen,” I insisted as the loud meow came again––several times.
He shook his head, laughing, and gestured up into the pistachio tree, from which one bird was cawing an insistent bird call, another creature mewing back an insistent interspecies reply. It was a bird, he told me. He led me closer to the tree and as he did, a black bird flew down from that tree to a large castor bean plant in the spare lot. The bird in the tree cawed and chirped. The bird below in the spare lot meowed back,
It was a magpie that had evidently been hanging around the kittens for too long. A mother knows her kids’ voices and this was a perfect replica of my kittens’ bossy demands to be fed.
When I told Yolanda about this strange occurrence, she laughed and said she had done exactly the same thing two days earlier, sure one of the kittens had escaped.
Now this story, as unbelievable as you might find it, has a precedent in my family. When my 11-year-older sister was a tiny girl, she was in the habit of coming to the back door and calling out, “Mommy, Mommy! This occurred so many times during the day that my mother had told her that unless it was an emergency, she should come into the house to find her instead of expecting her to drop whatever household task she was doing to come to the door. Betty heeded this request perhaps one time out of three, which was an improvement, at least.
One day, my mother heard he calling out to her, but when she came to the door, no Betty! She went back to her work on the other side of the house, only to hear he call out again. Once again, she went to the door, but no Betty. This time she called her in from her play, gave her a scolding and told her not to do it again. But Mommy, she hadn’t done it, my sister insisted, but in that way Mommy’s develop, my mom just shook her head and said, well, not to do it again.
Barely had she gotten back to the kitchen however, when she heard my sister demanding her presence again. This time really angry, she stamped back across the house to the screened-in porch to see—absolutely no one standing on the front door stoop. This time, however, the mystery was quickly solved. In a large cage on that screened in porch was a magpie with a damaged wing that my father had brought in from the ranch. Even as my mother entered the porch, he had called out once more in my sister’s voice, demanding her presence.
Most mimics only get themselves in trouble due to inappropriate material. This mimic was most adept at passing the blame. True story, as is the more recent magpie story above.
Stages of Growth
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A bud one day, a flower in two days more. Watching everything grow so quickly during the rainy season brings the miracles of nature constantly to mind. The kittens of three months ago are now nearly cats. The hibiscus of three days ago is now one more plaything strung out across the bedroom floor that is their playground. They bring in every one they find. I think they think they are little mice!
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Now, go here to see Cee’s flirty dahlia and other flora! https://ceenphotography.com/2017/09/22/flower-of-the-day-september-23-2017-dahlia/