Saturday, January 31, 2009

We come home to find Baby Wry and Royce playing a brand new game

I won't describe this game for now, for I am tired from all our travels and I just have to go to bed. But here is one picture from it. There are more. I will post a few more of them tomorrow and describe the game then.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Back home, photo post pending

Folks, the trip was an ordeal that, due to Sunflower's injuries, we had to spread over three days, but we are back home in Wasilla now, having canceled the Arizona leg of our trip.

Upon our arrival home, I took a few pictures of my cat buddies here and I will post at least one or two of them, maybe more, before I go to bed tonight - or more likely, before I go to bed sometime early tomorrow morning.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

For some reason, this picture would not load into the earlier post

But I like it better, so here it is. I visited the blog from the parallel universe and that other guy had put an identical picture there.

Friday, January 23, 2009

As Sunflower heals, Nabysko buys a cat shirt suitable to eat sushi in

And here it is, peeking over the sushi table. After Nabysko and I finished our Washington, D.C. sushi, we took a plate of terriyaki chicken back to convalescing Sunflower.

Sunflower injured

I apologize for not making any kind of post since we left Wasilla. On the evening of the Inaugural, my dear Sunflower took a bad fall and broke her kneecap and left wrist, and hurt both her other arm and leg as well.

She has since been incapacitated, and I have not been able to go out and find cats to photograph, as she cannot be left alone for the time that would take.

However, Nabysko spotted a calico today and when I get a chance - if I get a chance - I will go to its house and see if her people will share her story and allow me to take some photographs. If so, then I will, of course, share them with you.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Holocaust survivor who hates cats winds up living with one

Late tonight, Sunflower and I will drive to Anchorage, where we will meet Nabysko. The three of us will then fly to New York and from there we will drive to Washington, D.C. to witness what we can of a remarkable moment in American history. For me, this will begin six weeks of travel that will also take me to Salt Lake City and St. George, Utah, the Navajo and Apache Reservations in Arizona and then back into the Far North, namely Barrow and probably some other Arctic Slope villages.

I will do my best to meet and photograph cats met along the way, and to post pictures and stories as soon as possible. There could be some gaps, though. There could be some big gaps. I have been to D.C. several times, but I have only met and photographed one cat there - Sparky. I can't even remember what year, but it was before the spring of 2002, as that was when I went digital and quit shooting black and white film. 

So, to kick off my trip, I present the story of how Sparky wound up living with a holocaust survivor:

In 1936, Ruth Rappaport was a six year old Jewish girl living in Leipseig, Germany. Her family had a cat and Ruth was knitting a sweater which she had very nearly finished. The phone rang and Ruth ran to answer it. Upon her return, she discovered that the cat had completely unraveled the sweater upon which she had labored so mightily and with such love. “You can bet I didn’t care much for cats after that,” Ruth recalled. It only grew worse. Not long afterwards, fearing for her safety as the Nazi madness swept over Germany, Ruth’s parents sent her to live with relatives in Switzerland, but stayed behind themselves. Ruth never saw them again.

Her Swiss relatives had two Persian cats. “Everytime one of those cats saw me about to sit down, one of them would rush to the chair, jump up and bite me on the butt. You can imagine how that made me feel about cats.”

Eventually, Ruth moved on to the United States, where for a time she worked as a live-in housekeeper in Berkeley, California in a home owned by a Siameze cat. “The only place that cat wanted to do its business was inside my alligator shoes,” Ruth grumbles, more than half a century later. Ruth wanted her own room to be a pleasant place, and so she put some beautiful drapes up on the windows. The cat sneaked into her room and tore the drapes to shreds. Ruth put up another set. Again, the cat played its mischief upon them, leaving them in tatters. Again Ruth tried, with the same result.

No matter how many times Ruth attempted to sweeten her room with drapes, the cat shredded them. “After that, I never wanted to see a cat again. I was determined never to have anything more to do with a cat.”
For most of her life, Ruth kept that pledge. She became a professional photographer for the Associated Press and covered the 1949 war which led to the founding of the modern state of Israel. Later, she became the editor of a Jewish newspaper in Seattle. All the while, she steadfastly kept cats out of her life.

Eventually, Ruth wound up in Washington, D.C., where a friend owned two Maine Coon cats. One died, leaving the other desperately lonely. So her friend took in another cat, Sparky, which she hoped would cheer up the mourning feline and become its good companion. Immediately, Sparky fell deathly ill and had to undergo a long period of convalesance in an animal hospital. When Sparky recovered and moved in with the Maine Coon, the two cats hated each other. They spent their time together hissing, snarling, swatting and slashing. So the friend asked Ruth if she would watch out for Sparky for just a short time, until she could find a new home for him.

Despite her great misgivings, Ruth honored her friend’s request. She hoped the new home would be quickly found. “That was five and a half years ago,” Ruth told me, as Sparky meandered about her tiny back yard, disobeying each request she made of him. “I think Sparky is a very, very special cat,” she smiled, just as the cat began to dig a hole in a forbidden place. “I would never let him go.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thunder Paws and Clyde make an ominous observation

One day, the juvenile cats, Clyde and Thunder Paws, came to the front window to conduct their studies of the world and saw for the first time a most frightening beast.

It was an ominous thing to see, this dog that lived two houses away, but I was not worried as the dog lived in a cat house and had never been known to hurt one.

Yet, to Clyde and Thunder, the sighting of the dog was an ominous event.

And sometimes, kittens know more than their foolish humans.

The lessons, when learned, can be hard - so damn hard.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Identical cat incident takes place in parallel universe

I took a picture of Royce and Wry today that I thought I might drop in here, but I was web surfing and I came across that site from the parallel universe - you know, the one done by a fellow named Bill Hess whose family members look exactly like mine, and whose cats even have the same names as the cats who live here.

He had blogged about his cat Royce and his grandson Kalib and the picture that he had taken in his universe was identical to one I had taken of Kracker Cat Royce and my grandson Wry. What he wrote was exactly what I was going to write.

"Why bother?" I thought. "I will just post the link and anyone with enough ambition can hop over to that site from the parallel universe and read about what happened to me here there."

So here it is:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clyde flies

Clyde flies.







Thursday, January 8, 2009

How Little Clyde Texaco loved the car! How Little Clyde Texaco hated the car!

Little Clyde Texaco loved the car!

He loved to walk upon it, to leave his little footprints spread about the hood.

When the sun was warm, he loved to crawl inside - there to sleep, and dream the dreams
a cat dreams.

Once, on a fine summer day, I drove off to visit my friend, a good person who had done something bad and was now locked up in the state penitentiary. I thought I was alone, but I had not been driving long when I heard a great, yowling “Meeeeoooow.”

I was not alone.

Clyde had fallen asleep in a still car, but now he was awake in a rolling car. Clyde did not like to be in a rolling car - only a still car.

I stopped in Palmer to get a pizza for my friend, then tore off a piece of ham and gave it to Clyde, hoping to calm him. Clyde declined my offer. He would not touch the ham. He yowled loud, just as lady climbed out of a car parked next to us, a car with a dog inside. The lady smiled. Her dog went nuts.

I turned the key, then drove on to the prison.

I left Clyde and the torn piece of ham in the car while I took the pizza in to my friend. Both Clyde and ham were there when I returned. It took 45 minutes to drive home. All the while, Clyde howled and yowled, and scurried all about the mini-van.

He even scurried onto my shoulders and clambered atop my head.

He almost made me crash, four times.

Once home, I opened the door. Clyde hopped out.

He saw that all was calm.

The car was parked.

The sun was warm.

Quickly, he hopped back into the car, snatched up the ham in his sharp little teeth, devoured it, crawled into the back seat, and there fell fast asleep.

Clyde loved the car - as long as it remained still.

Perhaps Clyde’s fear
of cars
was well founded.

This photo
was taken
just as Clyde was growing
into a young stud.

He was forced
to go for a ride.

Despite Nabysko’s attempts
to comfort him,
he did not enjoy 
the voyage.

He was dropped off
in a strange place
and left 
with frigtening strangers,
who put a needle into him,
causing him to fall unconscious
and then one
took a knife to him.

When finally he came to,
Clyde found he had awoken to a world
in which his dreams of studhood
had all been lost.

He did not let go of the dream easily.
Despite what the vet said,
he still marked territory
and sometimes peed
no one 
wanted him 


Excuse extended

Well, it's just about 2:00 AM and I am finally getting to this. But I discover that I want to get to bed. I have to clean the litter before I do.

I will post the Clyde pix before the day ends, though. I promise. But first I will see if I can get some sleep, then I will get up and eat some eggs. Sometime after that, I will post the pictures, early instead of late, so I don't get in this jam again and I will tell you about how I inadvertently took Clyde to a prison. He felt mighty trapped, too - didn't like the experience at all.

I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast, but Thursday I have what I want, rather than what is good for me. Eggs is what I want. With bacon.

Chicago comes to me when I do and puts her paws on my lap. I then place a small bowl with a little bit of milk on it on the leg that her paws are not on and she laps it up.

I do this even when I eat eggs and bacon.

If I eat cantaloupe, I must share that with her. Chicago craves cantaloupe.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another excuse

Folks, I have a couple of pictures of Clyde, ready to go, and I know just what I want to say with them. But it is late, or rather, early in the morning and I have a bad headache.

So I am going to go to bed, and see how many cats join me.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thunder Paws studies the world, grows in strength, stature and wisdom

As the precocious kitten, 
Thunder Paws, 
grew in strength and stature, 
he spent much time gazing out the window, 

He considered the world, 
and all things in it. 

Thunder Paws dwelt 
upon the question 
as to why things
were as they were, 
and what, if anything, 
an orange and white cat 
could do 
to make them better 

- if not for everyone, 
at least for 
the orange and white cat.

And sometimes, during Thunder's studies, 
he observed some truly amazing things. 

Rye was among those things, 
as was his fingers, 
reaching toward Thunder 
from the other side, 
yet, unable to be touched
by the paw
of a kitten.

This gave Thunder much
to ponder, 
as he was
a cat
who wanted
to understand
the workings


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Please bear with me even once more again

I am way overdue for a post here and, in fact, I just now picked two pictures that I planned to post before going to bed, and I know exactly what I want to write with those two pictures.

But I am so exhausted that I cannot put the words together the way that I want them, so I am going to hold off, until tomorrow. I will try to get to it early, which for me is late in the morning. But maybe I will try to get an even earlier start - say, mid-morning - because I have much to do tomorrow.

But then I have much to do everyday.

But I don't have to buy a car everyday, to replace one wrecked by a tail-gater. 

I will get the two posted though, and then, if you haven't realized it already, you will come to understand just what a smart cat Thunder Paws was. He was brilliant. And sensitive, too. Articulate.

What a cat!

I will illustrate this in my next post. The one that I was going to put right now, if I wasn't so tired.