Category: Critters

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The Cats of University Heights: Bob

The morning is unusually cloudy and damp here in San Diego as this otherwise fine Caturday unfolds. Meet Bob (real name), whom I encountered on March 7, 2018 along Cliff Street, where he lives. Initially, I thought he was the putty-tat I call Finny, from nearby Adams Ave., but closer photo inspection reveals they are not the same animal.

A woman taking her daughter to school gave me Bob’s name, and she said that he belongs to one of her neighbors. He surely is a friendly puss. Bengal Abby also lives somewhere on the street. She will appear in the series when I finally capture a portrait worthy of her beauty. Currently, I am zero for four attempts. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Charlie (the Third)

Add another furball to the number of Alabama Street sighted, and profiled; I have seen four or five others, which will appear when there are portraits captured. Charlie (name on tag) is the fifteenth featured in this series between neighborhood boundaries Adams and Lincoln. On no other street are there so many beasties, and for reasons I cannot explain. Those profiled (so far): Bella, Burglar, Cal, Goldie, Itchy Valentino, Laramie, LupeMr. Kitty, MonkeyNine, Penny, Smokey, Tipsy, and Willow. Monkey passed away on Feb. 24, 2018. 🙁

Charlie presents a quandary for titling this post, being the third cat with that name.  Three alike in the list of past putty-tats could cause confusion among them. Hence, “the third” added in parenthesis, and “Too” to the previous one.

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Goodbye, Monkey

The day after we rented our apartment on the East side of Park Blvd., I encountered a friendly feline sitting in what would eventually be our parking space. There was something warmly foreshadowing about his presence, soon after emerging from under the gate leading inside the complex’s courtyard. I wrongly assumed he lived here. But Monkey’s home was the second house away.

He appeared in my “Cats of University Heights” series on Oct. 10, 2017. The Featured Image and its companions, shot with Leica Q on the Ninth, didn’t make the post. Vitals for the first: f/1.7, ISO 1250, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 6:38 p.m. PST. The other two are same except for ISO 3200. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Penny

Another day, another Alabama kitty. They’re backing up, as I seek better portraits of other recently sighted furballs. Penny (her real name) is the fourteenth feline featured in the series from the street. The others (so far): Bella, Burglar, Cal, Goldie, Itchy Valentino, Laramie, LupeMr. Kitty, MonkeyNine, Smokey, Tipsy, and Willow.

Penny is kind of a courtyard cat. She doesn’t venture into the apartment building’s public area, but she does occasionally look out from the window onto a large tree that attracts birds. Smokey, who lives two houses away, is a common (and beloved) trespasser. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Mew

Tuxedos sure are popular in the neighborhood. Meet the twenty-secondnth to appear in the series, which follows a reclassification allowing kitties with more mixed black-and-white coats. Yesterday, while walking along Florida from Meade to Mission, I heard meowing—the tenor like a feline asking to be let in. I unintentionally passed by the sound, then backtracked, finding the shorthair, who earns nickname Mew, peering down cement steps.

Looking up at the kitty, I felt a pang. While one is safe, another is not. On Feb. 16, 2018, according to a post on NextDoor, a Tuxedo was hit and killed by a vehicle at Cleveland Ave. and Washington Street. Unless some beastie wandered many blocks, the Tuxedo is unlikely to be one previously profiled: Black and White, Boss, BrightBuddiesCal, Captain BlackbeardCharm, Curious, FraidyFresh, JellicleLola, Mittens, NinePatience, PepePoser, Sammy, SpotSeer, and Tux

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The Cats of University Heights: Zander

For some odd reason, there is an increasing number of kitty-in-the-window sightings, recently, so expect several more ahead. We celebrate Caturday with this handsome black that looked out onto Meade Ave. between Alabama and Florida streets as I walked by this morning.

I hesitated to attempt a portrait, because of the greenery before the glass and my inability to manually focus. I had an ophthalmologist appointment yesterday, and my shooting eye (left) isn’t quite recovered from the dilation (hence, vision not normally sharp yet). But, what the Hell? I had Leica Q with me for a reason

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The Cats of University Heights: Tipsy

Where do they come from—all these putty-tats on Alabama? I have spent more time walking along Campus, Cleveland, or Maryland, for example, and they can’t, combined, match the number of beasties living on—like the Lynyrd Skynyrd song—”Sweet Home Alabama”. Meet the thirteenth cat from the street to appear in the series; there are four others that I have sighted but not presented, for poor photographs or none yet made. Surely, there are more.

The others (so far): Bella, Burglar, Cal, Goldie, Itchy Valentino, Laramie, LupeMr. Kitty, MonkeyNine, Smokey, and Willow. The newest member of the SHA Club earns nickname Tipsy, because the tip of her tail is bent as if it had been broken but healed crooked. She wore a striking pink collar but without ID tag (damn it). Tipsy and I visited yesterday morning, about midway between Mission and Madison. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Cal

What is it about Tuxedo kitties looking from windows? Are they more likely to stare out than other furballs? Are there more of them living in the neighborhood? Oh, how I wonder. Among the thirteen other watchers featured so far in this series, four are Tuxes: Charm, CuriousFresh, and Seer. Meet the fifth, whom I nickname Cal, for no particular reason. Seeing his collar, with tag and bells, I’d guess we might meet outdoors some day.

If my count is correct, Cal is the eleventh cat confirmed to reside along Alabama Street between Adams Ave. and Lincoln—that I have featured. There are at least three others of which I’m aware; I recently spotted one going into the apartment across from Cal’s place on the block between The Boulevard and Meade. I haven’t gotten a good photo of that puss. Yet. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Finny

Along Adams Ave., just beyond Panorama, a ginger tabby sprinted across a yard to greet my wife and I, yesterday. The maturing kitten delighted us with his enthusiasm and exuberance. He visited until the roar of a passing city bus compelled retreat under one of two vehicles parked in the driveway.

The kit had no collar, and so no name tag. I dubbed him Buddy, because of his friendliness. He would make a good companion to us or anyone—and of course hopefully to his owners. Buddy wouldn’t be the first young cat that I’ve seen roaming without a collar, only to wear one as an adult. Surely he belongs to someone

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You Dunno Where This Cat Lives

Another benefit using Leica Q, or any camera without GPS built-in: Location information isn’t captured with photos, and, as such, cannot easily be made available across the Wild Wild Web (yes, that’s what the WWW really represents). I know, from memory, that the Featured Image was shot somewhere along Adams Ave. in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood. But I can’t exactly recall where.

Perhaps because kitties are so popular on the Internet, nearly four-year-old website “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” uses them to make a privacy point, by showing how pics shared online reveal location. Ah, like your residence! “Hey, Look. That’s Jack’s living room, and there’s Frisky”. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Bramble

There are days I long for a reliable, interchangeable-lens mirrorless digital camera, like the Fujifilm X-T2, from which a good telephoto could close the distance to a subject. Then again, I doubt whether such a sophisticated instrument could capture such fine feline. The Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens of the Leica Q may seem to shoot too wide, but precise manual focus let me cut through branches and full-frame sensor later made possible a moment from close-in crop.

I took the Featured Image and its companion yesterday afternoon, along Florida Street, soon after crossing Howard towards Polk. The kitty was a chance sighting and difficult capture. As I passed a cement wall, with overgrown hedge above, I spotted the cat through the branches, waiting outside a door to be let in.

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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.