Category: Critters

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The Cats of University Heights: Carl

The East side of the neighborhood sure has an abundance of lovely smokey grey kitties, living close-by one another. Yesterday, I met Carl, his owner, and dog in a yard near where Mission and Mississippi meet. Down Mississippi, beyond Monroe, Ohana lives within sharp-eyeshot. At the end of the street turn onto Meade towards Alabama and somewhere you may meet Amanda. Along Alabama, there reside Laramie and Smokey, at houses diagonally across the street. I am no cat breed connoisseur and must ask: Are any of these Russian Blue?

Carl’s official nickname is Monkey because of his curled tail. Hehe, a block-and-a-half down and over on Alabama roams a tiger-tabby whose real name is Monkey; the old-timer and street’s dominant male turns 14 in March. Along Monroe, just down from Mississippi, lives Bruce, who goes on long walks with his owner and dog. Ha! Carl tags along, too, but only for short distances, because his master doesn’t like the cat crossing the street. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Lola

When walking to the grocery store, and expecting to carry back a hefty load, I usually leave camera behind—as was the case this morning. So I had to rely on iPhone X when meeting Lola and her owner, along Polk Ave. between Georgia Street and Park Blvd.

As I trudged up the hill, a lady approached her property fence to the sounds of a meowing cat greeting her from behind a mesh-like security door. I asked about her kitty, who came out into the small yard and promptly attacked a tiger-tabby that neither of us humans had seen. The intruder immediately fled, and Lola returned to rubbing against anything and everything, issuing sweet meows. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Token

Early afternoon yesterday, my wife and I spotted a handsome Bengel-like furball whose portrait I shot with iPhone X in a yard off the alley coming from Cliff Street to Adams Ave. Disappointed with the results, I later returned with Leica Q but ended up at a nearby apartment courtyard capturing another kitty, a blackie.

He rolled in grass neaby the front gate, presenting outstanding opportunity for lovely candids. But as I slowly approached, the feline fled two-thirds-away across the lot. Just after I composed and shot several photos, one of the residents came up to the gate. She knew the shorthair, who belongs to a neighbor, and said the animal is called Token. I presume, thinking of the cat’s color, that his name comes from South Park character Token Black

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The Cats of University Heights: Fresh

Our second, sighted window watcher on Jan. 16, 2018 follows-up Seer (my nickname), along with 10 others since the series started in October 2016: CharmCoolCurious, Glass, KitSeeker, StarStill, Twain, and Watcher. Another, Burglar, climbs into one.

The house next to the American Market, on Cleveland Ave., is a recent renovation and subsequent rental. I dub the kitty in the Featured Image Fresh, for being a neighborhood newcomer. Hehe, she also looks out on freshly growing oranges. I captured the portrait, while walking home with groceries, using the iPhone X second lens to 2X zoom. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/706 sec, 6mm; 1:12 p.m. PST. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Seer

Meet the first of two additional window watchers, whose portraits were captured on the same day, Jan. 16, 2018, but in vastly different areas of the neighborhood. The other joins the series tomorrow. The shorthair earns nickname Seer for having an expansive view from the second floor.

Seer is the eleventh kitty positioned in a window looking out. The other 10: CharmCoolCurious, Glass, KitSeeker, StarStill, Twain, and Watcher. Another, Burglar, climbs into one. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Ohana

Some people are so rude—and I refer to myself. On Jan. 13, 2018, as my wife and I walked along Mississippi Street between Meade and Monroe, we spotted a pretty, grey kitty about half-way down the block. As we approached, the shorthair moved around a car in the street, later going back to the sidewalk, then passing through the door-fence bars into a yard. I took out Leica Q and started snapping portraits.

About three minutes after the photo shooting started, with a dog barking loudly inside the house, a man came out to see what caused the ruckus. I explained, although with camera in hand my purpose was obvious. He shouted—to get above the barking—that the beastie was “the neighbor’s cat”. Someone perhaps more polite would have stopped there, to give the gent relief from the yapper inside the house. But I pressed, asking for a name. “Hanna!” he yelled. I thanked him and moved along. Yes, but is that with an “h” at the end? If only I could have read the collar tag.

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The Cats of University Heights: Boss

Construction crews return to ripping up our street—so they can place new water (and possibly sewage) pipes—following a three-day break (for the weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. holiday). During December, the contracted company worked on Louisiana, which is where I met this fine feline, on Jan. 14, 2018, appropriately cowering behind one of the many, remaining Burtech signs.

But I am fairly sure we had a near encounter the previous evening. Returning home with Pizza Hut pie, driving up Monroe from Texas Street, I passed a Tuxedo-like kitty, with massive white ruff, sitting upright, beyond a parked car, slightly in the roadway, across from Louisiana. I watch my speed in the neighborhood for a reason: kids and cats. My wife got an earful about the strange sighting while enjoying a mouthful of cheesy crust, zesty tomato sauce, and bountiful toppings (Super Supreme without black olives, baby).

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I no longer look for Kuma, our Maine Coon mix who disappeared on this day in 2012. About four months ago, my wife and I moved from our residence of 10 years to a new apartment six blocks away. There is now no home to which Kuma could return; since I less-frequently walk that part of the neighborhood, the nostalgia is gone, too. Looking was more about sentiment, moving along the streets he did; little more, as we were convinced that a coyote took away our kitty.

Untold backstory: During early summer 2010, Anne and I started to ponder the benefits of adding a cat to the household, if for no other reason than our daughter. We were prompted by a friendly, sweet, long-hair calico, who would come out from her yard to greet us whenever we walked by, on Cleveland Ave., second house back from Monroe going towards Meade on the American Market side. The ball of fluff would roll about the sidewalk, purring. A pet like her would be wonderful, we agreed. Anne recalls her name as being either Priscilla or Penelope. I think the first is right. 

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Buddies

For the third time since this series started in October 2016, kitties living just outside the neighborhood boundaries participate. My wife and I met the first, nicknamed Chill, on Arizona Street—same as the two you see in the Featured Image. Texas separates University Heights from North Park, and Arizona is one street beyond. The other honorary furball, Sammy—and that’s her real name—lives across Washington Street in Hillcrest at DC Computers. Yep, she is the shop cat.

Sometimes exceptions must be made, but rarely—why this is only the third among 131 postings. I found the cats and their (presumably) owner’s house too quaint to resist. That said, had the pair been another street beyond Texas, they wouldn’t make the cut. Lucky for them, too, that it’s the slowest sightings time of year. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Charm

How much for that pretty kitty in the window? About 30 minutes after sunset today, my wife and I went out for a spontaneous late-afternoon walk, where she spotted this tip-top Tuxedo looking out, along Meade Ave. between Alabama and Florida. The series features nine kitties sitting inside windows, staring out: CoolCurious, Glass, KitSeeker, StarStill, Twain, and Watcher. Another, Burglar, climbs into one.

I did not bring Leica Q, unfortunately; iPhone X struggled in the descending dusk, getting some benefit from the sunset’s lingering glow cast against the glass. Vitals, for the Featured Image: f/1.8, ISO 100, 1/4 sec, 4mm; 5:17 p.m. PST. However, I contend that the EXIF is wrong. I tapped the 2X icon for the f/2.4 second lens, and this portrait, and another, absolutely are zoomed compared to the first, which I am certain was f/1.8. Sigh. the photo is noisy, which is most evident at full view; Leica capture wouldn’t have been. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Tom

Meet the second New Years furball to appear in this series. Chub was the first, at the start of 2017. Eighty-four more felines joined him, before the year closed out with Bright. I expect a lull now, if winter sightings follow the previous pattern.

My wife spotted our first fellow of 2018 right after we visited with Panda, who lives on the same block along Mississippi Street. We had looked in on her many times, when walking to the grocery store, but not until the morning of Dec. 29, 2017 did she skirt out under the fence onto the sidewalk seeking attention. Oh, she got plenty. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Bright

On Dec. 19, 2017, as my wife and I walked down Adams Ave., from Park Blvd. towards Georgia, she spotted movement a few doors down from Sunshine‘s place. A lanky, tuxedo cautiously navigated its way from property to property.

As previously expressed, that’s a dangerous area for person or beast. The intersection behind leads into a business district of bars, where too many people impatiently drive searching for parking. The cat meandered a safe path far back from the sidewalk, along buildings, through hedges, and across driveways.