Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:

  • My home that is warm while outside, much-needed snow is falling. Take that, extreme drought!
  • A feeling of buoyancy as I return to a new project idea I began outlining in Scrivener last month.
  • Twenty minutes of joyful hoop-dancing that brings me closer to the year-end goal of 24+ hours of hoop-dancing in 2022.
  • My weird friend, Marcel, who greeted me with this stare when I walked into Zippy’s office a couple days ago.

  • Anyone who took the time to read this post. 🌻

Sunday Confessional: I loathe the time change

I know there are much bigger issues to address than the inanity of turning the clocks back, but right now it’s on my mind. Why?

Because my cats are yowling to be fed . . . a full forty-five minutes ahead of schedule.

And because it’s pitch dark outside even though it’s only 5:15.

Not to mention how I’ve been disoriented all day because my phone auto-corrected to the time-change but other clocks, such as the one on the oven, didn’t automatically correct themselves. But I can never remember which already changed and which is still in need of being set back an hour on these torturous time-change days. (And yes, I know we should just go ahead and change everything at the same time but we have an old clock radio that’s extremely temperamental and Zippy has to psyche himself up to get that one working right).

Image by Gabe Raggio from Pixabay

Can we get a petition going to end this “falling back” madness?

#Caturday memories

Last year, I took a series of photos of Loki and Marcel so I could make a birthday card for our neighbor who takes care of them while we’re away. I went back to them now in search of a #Caturday image, and couldn’t resist this one of them half-heartedly struggling to be free of Zippy’s grip:

Or this image of weary resignation:

Or this photo of the brothers looking off in the distance, as if hoping help was on the way:

Ah, memories.

#Caturday with Loki

It’s a banner day on this #Caturday!
For once, it’s Loki rather than  his brother Marcel taking center stage.

It’s a challenge to get a good photo of a black cat, but yesterday Zippy did a fine job capturing the double-boxed cat (with his crappy phone-camera, no less!)

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Happy #Caturday

Marcel and Loki are indoor cats, but we allow them supervised time on the deck. The only rule is they must stay where we can see them and aren’t allowed around the corner where the bird feeder and bath sit next to the patio. Loki always immediately cruises down the deck and around the corner where he flops down and begins rolling around. Unfortunately, his outdoor time is nearly nonexistent because he still hasn’t made the connection between that behavior and getting put back inside.

Marcel, however, abides by the rules. Here he is this morning, strolling the deck railing, as Zippy and I stretched after our run.

I missed a great photo opportunity of him sniffing at the budding maple leaves, but did capture this tender moment between Marcel and Zippy.

Marcel is intensely interested in odors — ALL odors — and was fascinated by the post-run aromas coming off Zippy. Glad someone appreciates them because . . . WHEW. 🙂

Twofer Tuesday: feline edition

When the brothers began a joint grooming session this morning, their synchronized licking (back legs held high) made for a great photo, and I hurried to grab the camera. But by the time I returned, the session had come to an end.

Loki & Marcel. March 22, 2022

They’ve been napping there for hours (surprise-surprise) and the entire time, Marcel has kept watch over my project notebook. When I gently removed it from beneath his sleeping body just now, the pages were warm. I choose to interpret that as a positive review for my latest middle grade novel.

Sunday Confessional: lost and found

Today I took advantage of the last day of warm weather before the coming week of frigid temperatures and spent time outside cleaning flower beds. The last several years I’ve kinda been on a gardening strike and let things run wild. That laziness plus the neighbors’ enormous, beautiful pine trees that loom over our yard, distributing tons of boughs, needles, and pine cones, resulted in quite the mess.

In fact, as I excavated the debris I came across something I’d temporarily forgotten was there: our cat Lebowski‘s grave marker. I’d tried in vain to locate it in January when Zebu was here. Even though I knew where it was, I couldn’t find it beneath the layers of needles and cones. That saddened and made me feel a bit disloyal to my feline friend. So when my hand brushed against the slab of flagstone this afternoon, I experienced a moment of confusion followed by a flood of memories.

Lebowski was a wonderful cat.

The Dude in June of 2009

This photo is a bit misleading because he was an indoor cat although I let him outside with me now and again for supervised outings (and he spent his final months outside with me as much as possible). What isn’t misleading about this photo is that The Dude was a very large fellow.

I’m grateful to have located his grave again. Unfortunately, the words and dates we’d inscribed on the flagstone have worn away, but the marker is now in full sight and I intend to keep it that way. In honor of our magnificent Lebowski, temporarily lost and now found again.

It’s a cat’s life

Marcel lives the life I crave: sitting in a southern-exposure window, basking in the sunshine as clouds float past in the blue-blue sky.

November 19, 2021

This photo’s from November, but today followed the same script: Marcel sprawled along the sill, eyes closed as he soaked up the solar rays. Hey, if it ain’t broke there’s no need to fix it.

Twofer Tuesday

I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation. ~ W. Somerset Maugham

October 9, 2021

As documented earlier, Marcel and Loki “cooperated” with Zippy for a very good cause in that photo session and no felines were injured in the making of this photo.

#Caturday message from our sponsor

Tracy is taking this day to do whatever in the hell she wants. Sit in a patch of sunshine. Read a book. Rub my head or that of my brother Loki. Pet that frequently over-amped dog she calls Emma Jean-Jean. Have a snack or nap. Take another leisurely bootless walk. Create or not create. The decisions belong to Tracy.

October 9, 2021

I trust this isn’t a problem for any of you, right?

All right, I’m late for my own nap so I’ll wish you a good day. Be well.

Mood

All of it. Fangs, the barely hidden claws, and yes, the filthy window.

October 16, 2021

Not really sure why. This week was illuminating and productive in a number of ways and I accomplished a lot. Still, today’s been tough off-and-on, and right now I resonate with Marcel’s expression.

The good news is that this feeling won’t last forever. In fact, just looking at my silly kitty’s face has lightened the gloom.

#Caturday gift

Tomorrow is our neighbor’s birthday and because B is the kind soul who cares for Loki and Marcel when we’re out camping, I wanted a photo of them for a card. It’s tough getting good photos of a black and a white cat (at the same time) because Loki tends to fade into the shadows. After several unsuccessful photo shoots of them napping on the bed and lounging in their box-condo, I asked Zippy to hold them.

October 9, 2021

It was a full minute of squirming, shedding, feline shenanigans, but I was able to capture this shot. I’m especially pleased Marcel’s looking directly at the camera because B has high hopes that one of these times when she’s cat-sitting, she’ll finally get Marcel to happy-drool. He’s been holding out on her.

Our dear neighbor takes her cat whisperer duties very seriously.

Pondering

I feel a bit like this today as I work to fully realize one of the main characters in my work-in-progress:

Marcel. February 5, 2020

I know who the character is and what he’s about. And yet, two drafts in, he’s still a bit of a mystery. Most of his petals have unfurled, displaying his basic essence, but others remain closed to me. But just as this geranium flower eventually bloomed in full, so shall my character. And like Marcel, I’ll be there. Ready and waiting to absorb all that’s revealed.

Marcel Monday

Marcel loves to sit in this window at night so he can watch and stalk the moths attracted by the light. Last night he generously paused long enough for me to take a few portraits.

July 11, 2021

Right after I left the room to put away the camera, there was a kerfuffle. According to Zippy, Emma became agitated when Marcel clawed his way up the screen to get at a moth and for some reason, Marcel thought that was a good time to jump down to the floor where the agitated Emma-pup waited. In a flash, Marcel went from predator to prey. Fortunately, Zippy intervened and all was well in this animal kingdom.

Wonder if Marcel would’ve posed for me with such disdain if he’d known the indignity in his very, very near future.

Sunday Confessional: all birded out

I’ve about had all the bird drama I can stand for a while. There’s a scrub jay nest in our across-the-street neighbor’s pine tree and when Zippy and I returned from our run on Friday, we heard a cacophony in that yard. A fluffy white and gray cat (often seen roaming the neighborhood) was being dive-bombed by screeching scrub jays. Why? The cat had a fledgling in its mouth. I screamed and ran at the cat who dropped the baby bird and ran away. While Zippy stood guard over the stunned bird, I ran across the street to our house and looked up the closest bird rescue site. “Temporarily closed.”

I did a little more research and determined it would be okay to put on gloves to pick up the bird. So that’s what Zippy did and then placed the baby in a shoebox lined with an old t-shirt. We couldn’t spot the nest so he stuck the box up in the tree, wedged between branches, as the parents watched.

Adult Western/Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay, probably one of the parental units.   June 13, 2021

A while later, the cat returned and this time I kept following it. It crossed the street, nervously checking over its shoulder, again and again, to see if the angry woman had given up. When another neighbor told me where the cat lived, I went to that house. No answer. Throughout the day, Zippy and I checked out our windows to see if the cat had returned. We didn’t see it again.

Yesterday (Saturday) morning, just as Wildebeest and I returned from walking Emma, there was another raucous uproar in the neighbor’s yard. This time, the fluffy white cat sat calmly (no bird in mouth) as the parent jays dive-bombed it. Again, I ran  at the cat and chased it away. After another no-answer when I rang the cat’s home doorbell, I went home and wrote a very civil note, explaining the situation and asking that the cat be kept inside.

We haven’t seen the cat at all today. I did, however, see the fledgling on the ground presumably after testing its wings again. It seemed fine. Fast forward six hours. As I sat reading, I heard yelling and yelping. I ran outside and heard the next-door neighbor say “baby bird.”

This time, the unfortunate little fledgling had the bad luck to end up in Rainbow‘s yard.

Rainbow frolicking on December 18, 2021

The good news is that when Rainbow’s human yelled for her to drop the bird, Rainbow listened.** Zippy again donned the gloves, caught the baby who was much more feisty this time, set it in another box I’d prepared, and wedged it in the tree as the parents watched.

I’ve never wanted to be able to fly (possibly related to my fear of heights), but I’m wishing very, very hard for that little scrub jay to soar overhead. The sooner the better.

** Especially good news in light of the fact our neighbor believes she inadvertently adopted a “serial killer” when she adopted Rainbow. Recent victims include a chicken and a prairie dog.

#Caturday at the movies

Marcel thinks that if he blocks the screen with his considerable bulk, I will focus on him instead of Netflix or Hulu. And maybe that ploy did work a couple months ago when this photo was taken, when I was feeling more tender-hearted and giving.

Marcel doing his best to make me even more visually impaired than usual.

Tonight is a different story. He has been warned.

#Caturday: big foot edition

Marcel and I are spending the day in bed where I’m thoroughly engrossed in reading Erin Entrada Kelly’s excellent WE DREAM OF SPACE. Well, “thoroughly” is a bit of a stretch. I tend to get distracted each time Marcel starts waving around his ginormous back feet.

February 27, 2021

Still and all, a happy #Caturday (as indicated by the curled toes).

#Caturday from days of yore

June 20, 2019

Here’s Marcel watching a scrub jay through the window screen, flowers blooming in the background. A photographic reminder for me on this January day that no season is forever. Soft spring air is in my future.

#Caturday with Marcel

Here’s another installment of Marcel and the ever-blooming geranium.

February 5, 2020

This photo is from February, but could’ve been taken today or yesterday. The familiar serenity of the image evokes peace and contentment.

Wishing a good #Caturday to all the feline-lovers out there.