Category: Critters

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The Cats of University Heights: Guido

As I explained yesterday when profiling Tarry, there is an abundance of tiger tabbies between Madison and Meade along Alabama, Georgia, and Florida streets. Some are distinguishable from the others, like Itchy Valentino, overly large Peso, or an oldster for his slow, maudlin stride. Others are not.

Turns out three of them live in the same residence on Monroe Ave. I introduced you to one, Bruce, on May 10, 2017. At the time, I nicknamed him Loyal, which turns out to be quite appropriate (skip ahead to paragraph five for reasons why). Since moving to University Heights East (from West), I have seen Bruce’s buddy, Guido, on the property where both live, or the sidewalk in front. I shot numerous candids over several weeks, but withheld writing until knowing his name. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Tarry

There are so many tiger tabbies on the East side of Park Blvd., I struggle to tell one from another—and that complicates profiling them. For now, location is best way to avoid duplications.

On Nov. 17, 2017, at 4:34 p.m. PST, while walking down Florida Street from El Cajon Blvd. towards Meade, I spotted the kitty who earns nickname Tarry—because she clearly waited for someone. The furball looked from ledge to apartment courtyard as if in anticipation of a human going out, or perhaps coming to let her in. 

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The Home We Leave Behind

Our old apartment is up for rent—and for lots less than I expected: $1,750, which is just 15 bucks more than our raised rent had we signed a new lease from first of this month. On the last day, November 8, 2017, while waiting for final inspection and to hand over the keys, I took some quick pics using iPhone X—for the Wilcox scapbook, so to speak, and to document the condition in which we left the flat.

We moved into the place on Oct. 15, 2007, sight unseen. We relocated to San Diego to enable my now deceased father-in-law to remain living independently. He found the second-floor apartment, on the next block from where he lived, during its complete renovation. On the promise of everything being new, we took the chance that benefit would be enough—and it was. We lived at 4514 Cleveland Ave., Apt 9, for 10 years. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Bella

For the second time in three days, I saw someone walking a leashed-kitty down Alabama Street. The previous occassion, passing by on my bike without camera or smartphone, no photo was possible. But this morning, I hauled out for an early-sun jaunt, with Leica Q in tow.

Just beyond Madison, approaching Mission, I came upon a woman walking her slim, quickly-striding cat. I asked to shoot pics of the beastie—Bella. She was more than willing and didn’t seem to mind my lying down on the street and sidewalk; she apologized about the shorthair moving so quickly. I observed great determination and will in the pace. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Hanoi

This series strives to profile each cat once—and, occasionally, uncertainty looms about one being the same as another. Take Hanoi (his real name), whose color and markings are similiar to the kitty I call Bell. There would be little doubt, if not for fairly close proximity of their sightings.

Bell debuted on Nov. 17, 2016, from a photo captured on June 28, 2014. I often would see the kitty in the alley behind our apartment alongside Kuma’s Ledge, where Maryland Court ends. The three year-old portrait was shot at the corner of Cleveland and Monroe Avenues, however.  

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The Cats of University Heights: Chunk

When dissatisfied with a kitty portrait, I typically will wait for another shooting opportunity. Exceptions are often like today’s Featured Image: Unlikely future sighting—as must be presumed from the doorway locale. This is not an animal I expect to see prowling the street, despite the food dish down the alleyway, where a black cat ate but skittered away before I could capture the moment. That’s about as much outdoors to be expected.

No offense intended towards the owner—and as caretaker of a fat ginger, none would be—this cat is the first chubby tortoiseshell that I have ever seen. Torties tend to be lean (and even mean). The furball watched me go by from a residence nearby Florida and Howard Avenue, which approach the outer edge of the neighborhood where it meets adjacent Hillcrest. 

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Neko Poses

I couldn’t resist. Last night I close cropped in on Neko, from an original photo captured earlier in the day and posted to flaunt our apartment’s living room windows. The Featured Image that you see […]

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Look at This!

One of our new apartment’s major benefits is the wrap-round corner windows that look out onto the street. I have arranged Katris blocks to make a catwalk beneath for Cali (right) and Neko to look out—and, oh, do they. The view is human-pleasing, too, but more for its expansiveness than the sights.

The Featured Image, captured at 1:21 p.m. PST today using Leica Q, shows the anxious kitties looking out at squirrels. One of them scurries up the tree that is a couple meters from the glass, then typically stays still in the branches. Poor Cali goes absolutely nuts, when he does. She runs from room to room looking out; there are street-facing windows above the bathroom and also my office desk

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The Cats of University Heights: Tink

Happy Caturday! Please welcome the second feline portrait captured using iPhone X. Lush was the first. I chose the Featured Image for composition and artistic value; the furball is actually beyond the field of focus. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/60 sec, .97 ev, 6mm; 10:37 a.m. PST.

Meet Tink, whom I encountered yesterday on Meade between Cleveland and Maryland, outside a house diagonally across from Pee-Pee‘s place. I wonder if Tink is new to the neighborhood, as the residence is along one of my regular walking routes.

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The Cats of University Heights: Lush

Drumroll, please. We present the first portrait in this series shot with iPhone X, which went on sale just four days ago. This morning, as I walked down Monroe past Park Blvd. towards Texas Street, a faint furball tickled my periphery at Georgia. About halfway down to Mission, the kitty sat motionless, transfixed, in the middle of the sidewalk. I could hear birds beckoning in the distance.

I crept up slowly, smartphone snapping away, just in case she bolted. Rather, the cat turned and approached—and would hardly let me get away, for the amount of attention she demanded. She kneaded the sidewalk with her ginormous paws as I petted her. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Season

The series exits from hiatus, during which my family changed residences in the neighborhood. It’s catchup time! We resume with a Coon-like beauty who reminds me of our long-lost Kuma. But the nose, and his distinctive scar, are missing. I nickname the pretty feline Season, for no particular reason.

We encountered each other, from a distance, on Oct. 11, 2017, as I walked down Mission Ave. The cat traipsed up a hill as I approached but stopped long enough for 10 fast portraits shot with iPhone 7 Plus. The Featured Image is a close-crop, meant to give illusion of being in the wild. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 20, 1/1030 sec, 6.6mm; 11:34 a.m. PDT.