This could’ve been a truly awesome photo. Imagine a large white cat stretched out on the backside of the hanging shirts, staring through the multi-colored plastic hangers with yellow-green eyes. Imagine a self-satisfied expression on that white cat’s face as you struggled to understand how he got there. Imagine being frozen in place as he stared you down.
By the time I snapped out of my Marcel-induced reverie and returned with my camera, this was all I got. In fact, this subpar photo was staged. Marcel had already extricated himself from the hangers and jumped down before I could get a shot so Zippy picked him up and put him back on the dresser. (Confession: I was hoping he’d jam Marcel back through the hangers, but apparently my mate and I have different cat-wrangling sensibilities.)
Loki, true to form, remained chill throughout the activities.
A couple weeks ago a visiting friend (who’d recently suffered a head injury) asked if we had two black cats after seeing one in our backyard. After checking to make sure our indoor-only Loki was still inside, I assured the friend we had only one black cat. And, I thought to myself, “You’re seeing things, my friend.”
Last night I discovered he was right and I was wrong.
I’d just gone to bed when I realized I’d forgotten to close the black-out shade behind the curtain. I pushed back the curtain to do so and saw a dark shape against the window. I almost wet myself. Then the dark shape was gone and I thought maybe I was seeing things. But Zippy turned on the outside lights and there under the evergreen shrubs was a black cat with green eyes. The spitting image of Loki.
I owe Kaden an apology.
A freakish mistake
photo so blurred Loki’s eyes
I took a total of two photos today. First, I crept up on wild and crazy Marcel. SNAP!
Then, I pivoted to capture the rambunctious Loki.
National Geographic, you know where to find me.
Bouquet from the spouse
They’re beautiful, says Tracy
Cat food, says Loki
Exactly one year and one day ago Emma came to stay. Not a whole lot has changed since then, except that we still haven’t mastered not-blurry photos of her AND elder-dog Zoey now has one more “damn millennial” to shake her head at AND cat-brothers Loki and Marcel have mostly put aside their differences to join forces against the high-energy pupster AND strangers now stop Zippy and me on the street to inform us that Emma is so very cute.
As if we hadn’t noticed.
There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.
~ Albert Schweitzer
This box a year old,
their favorite habitat.
Cats and kids the same.
. . . if your cats won’t even look you in the eye
watching Loki fly on by.
Bet you can’t not smile.
If you look carefully, you can just barely see Loki’s tail curled around Zippy’s neck. Zippy’s stern expression to the contrary, he is basking in the adoration of his furry friend. Some people like to keep their cat-love on the down-low.
(The curtain opens to a calm scene. Woman reads in bed with Loki (black cat) on lap and Marcel (white cat) against her leg.)
Loki’s tail begins to whip Marcel in the head, which Marcel can ignore for only so long.
Woman: Come on, you two. Really?
Here are two cat butts
their feline heads gone missing.
Marcel up top, watching me closely while Loki, down below, does his best impression of a narcoleptic. A much better photographer than me would be able to balance the harsh sunlight with the white fur and black fur. Makes me long for the days in the darkroom when I could dodge and burn the image. But because I should be working on my writing project rather than messing with this, I’ll let it go.
Apologies for the glare. (HA! I made a pun.)
I wanted to end the year with a photographic image I’d created on the last day of the year. So I grabbed my camera and in the fading daylight, captured this image of Loki:
Whoa, that’s kinda scary and weird. Slightly disconcerting. An image that overstays its welcome fairly quickly.
And then I captured this:
Ahh. Delicate beauty that evokes peace and calm. An image that grabs my attention without gimmicky extra eyes or blurred pink tongue.
And that about sums up the philosophy I want to carry into the coming year. Every day is going to have its bizarre-scary-weirdass-infuriating-heartbreaking-unjust moments, but there will always, always be moments of beauty. It’ll be up to me to notice them.
Here comes 2017.
Played with the settings
now he’s not just a dark blob.
Black cats tire me out.
This morning I settled into a chair to work. A while later, I got up for a coffee refill and returned to find an interloper:
Loki bares his teeth to keep me from reclaiming the chair. (Actually, his black fur makes him ridiculously difficult to photograph which results in lots of these blurred “action” shots.)
In my family, we call that getting sharked. As in, “Loki just sharked my chair.”
Anyway, I was feeling generous so I moved to another chair, one that actually suited me better because it’s next to a window and big patch of warm sunshine, and worked there for some time. I then left to take care of something in another room and when I returned, found this:
Marcel claiming my seat in the sun.
Maybe I should bring the rocking chair up from the basement. I’ve heard that cats get real nervous around those . . .
Oddly enough, this seems like a fair representation of today:
I was very tired and so didn’t accomplish much. I felt a bit, you know, pointless. So it’s weird that this is the photo that jumped out at me from Morguefile.com when I went cruising for photos. But somehow these pointy-headed mannequins capture my mood.
Two positive notes regarding today:
- Loki and Marcel took turns curled up on me as I read and napped on the couch.
- No one used my head to play Ring Toss.
Every writer knows about the internal editor,
Your story sucks
Your writing sucks
You suck so why don’t you give it up already?
I utilize different strategies for getting past my internal editor,
but without a doubt
the most effective approach is to keep writing.
Head down, pen moving.
Guaranteed, that voice will eventually shut up.
At least for a while.
In my experience, the external editors are sometimes harder to ignore.
Marcel and Loki insert themselves into the process.
Think what a better world it would be if we all,
the whole world,
had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon
and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.
~ Barbara Jordan
Cats never strike a pose that isn’t photogenic.
~Lillian Jackson Braun
Okay, not all cats are photogenic all the time.
I am revising and needed an aerial view of two chapters.
I was making progress with that birds-eye view until . . .
Scattered pages and chewed pens are one thing,
but clawing at my words brings “critique” to a whole new level.
“Animals are such agreeable friends―they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ~ George Eliot
Whatever you say, George.