Tag: Cats of University Heights

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The Cats of University Heights: Mittens

Texas Street, which leads down into Mission Valley, demarcates one of my neighborhood’s major borders. A few homes back from the throughway, as I walked to Pizza Hut along Meade, a pretty tuxedo kitty greeted me on Oct. 2, 2017. She was so friendly that getting good portraits was next to impossible. Hence the odd selection presented.

We visited for a few minutes before I crossed Texas and started strutting up the steep incline beyond. Then I changed my mind and aborted plans to fetch a $6 three-topping medium pie special. I walked back towards the furball, who had remained on the sidewalk. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Seeker

When I saw this lonesome feline looking out a window, I assumed he must be either of the furballs nicknamed Jumper or Stride. All three were spotted on Campus Ave—this one closer to Madison than Monroe. Obviously, he is another.

I captured the Featured Image on Sept. 18, 2017 at 6:37 p.m. PDT, using the iPhone 7 Plus second camera as a pseudo-2x optical zoom. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 80, 1/60 sec, 6.6mm. He is the seventh window watcher of the series. The others are: CoolGlassKitStar, Still, and Watcher. I chose this kitty’s nickname based on the presumption that he seeks to go outside.

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The Cats of University Heights: Crystal

Around the neighborhood, there are numerous nook-and-crany streets that dead into one of the canyons. Last night, I walked down several of them, for the first time in months, seeing a meandering, slow-moving siamese in one of the yards along Proctor Place.

The kitty approached me, initially. But when kneeling down to shoot, over a low-lying brick wall, I inadvertently nudged a green grated-metal door, which creaked. The furball stopped, but did not rush away. Rather, the kitty slowly strolled across the yard to an open security door and vanished. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Mika

Sometimes, I feel compelled to wait before featuring felines—as is the case with the blackie that my wife and I met on Sept. 15, 2017 at 2:59 p.m PDT. A neighbor told me his name, but confusion followed about whether she said Mika or Meeko. For 15 days, I walked by the condominium seeking an answer, and on several of those occasions I visited the puss once more but met no human. Yesterday, I finally got the answer, which surely you can guess from our title/headline. Now we share the moment.

Mika is either the ninth or tenth Halloween cat to appear in the series, depending on whether or not Betty and Betty, Too are the same animals. The others: Black, FangFarfisa, FrenemyPee-Pee, Siesta, and Skull

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The Cats of University Heights: Charlie, Too

On Sept. 27, 2017, for the second evening in a row, I observed a lean, orange furball in a yard on Campus Ave. between Meade and Monroe. Our first meeting was at 7:04 p.m. PDT—or nearly 30 minutes after sunset—when iPhone 7 Plus proved ineffective producing anything less than photos so overly-noisy that they could stand-in for bad impressionist painting knock-offs. Eh, no, to your question about there being some cool, new iOS 11 camera filter at work. Oh I wish!

The next sighting was earlier, 6:51 p.m. PDT for the Featured Image, but captured with the esteemed Leica Q about 14 minutes after sunset. Once again, the 28mm f/1.7 Summilux lens and 24-megapixel full-frame sensor delivered magnificently. This first pic is all about bokeh and narrow depth of field that draws the eye to the kitty’s face and head, which detail is super sharp. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/1.7, ISO 500, 1/60 sec, 28mm. That’s my wife petting him, BTW. 

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The Cats of University Heights: ChaCho

Last night, as my wife and I walked along Golden Gate Drive, we spotted two felines—one (white) lay across the entryway, and the other (smokey) sat sphinx-like on the steps—at a beautiful home with open-wide front door. As we passed, the grey kitty got up and stretched, and I thought surely he would come out to the sidewalk for attention. I beckoned Anne to stop, and as she turned back he strutted across the lawn.

The iPhone 7 Plus in hand, I had been trying to get a closer on-the-steps shot; the second lens acts as 2x optical zoom.  Hence, the Featured Image, which I almost discarded because it isn’t sharp and reminds me of the mushy output quality I would get from 3-megapixel cameras more than a decade ago. Is it coincidental, or something more, that my last few evenings of low-light photos are similarly noisy, all after upgrading to iOS 11, where HEIC (so called High Efficiency Image File) replaces JPEG as default camera capture format. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Siesta

On the same block where last night utility workers repaired electrical cables above, 24 hours later a lone feline lounged below. I greeted the beastie after parking our car, at 4:25 p.m. PDT, following a trip to the bank and pharmacy. Important note: In July 25, 2017 post “Meow! Second Sightings” I misidentified this kitty as Black, who appeared in this series two months earlier. Turns out that the two are companions living in the same house, which I  can see looking down the alley from our kitchen window.

Around seven this evening, as I drove up with a Super Supreme pie (without olives) from Pizza Hut, both cats sat on their home’s porch railing. The one I nickname Black jumped down for attention when I approached. Her collar is the same as those in my previous photos. The other’s collar matches the one worn in the misidentified portrait. Whoops! 

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The Cats of University Heights: Amanda

What’s the deal with Alabama Street? For three days in a row, this series has presented a trio of felines—Itchy Valentino, Goldie, and Nine—seen within minutes of one another on the sidewalk between Adams and Madison. Later the same day, Sept. 5, 2017, at 6:59 p.m. PDT, I met another furball two blocks further, on Meade between Alabama and Florida. Where there are four, there are more. I will return to the area soon to scout for others.

Amanda (her real name) is a thin beauty, who waited before a door to be let in when I walked by. She immediately sprinted over, looking for attention, which she got—and I had to stop her from following me when we parted. My destination, the local Pizza Hut, beckoned more than 2 km (1.3 miles) away. Call me a marketing glutton; I cashed in on a National Pizza Day special (who comes up with these non-holidays, anyways). 

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The Cats of University Heights: Nine

Meet the third furball seen on Sept. 5, 2017, along the same Alabama block, between Adams and Madison. While Itchy Valentino hid under a car, Goldie howled at the tuxedo, who is ninth of that color-combo featured in this series, since its start 11 months ago.

The beastie had no collar, so I picked an arguably unimaginative name suited to the number of tuxedos. The others: Fraidy, JelliclePatience, PepePoser, Sammy, Spot, and Tux. I shot the Featured Image—and its companion—using Leica Q at 8:40 a.m. PDT. Vitals are identical for each, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm. Both are crops, but neither is retouched. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Goldie

The sudden, and unexpected, recent discovery of new neighborhood felines (five in two days), makes this site look like a cat blog, which it most certainly isn’t. I met three on Alabama Street, day-before-yesterday. Goldie is second of the trio.

The kitty approached, strutting behind Itchy Valentino, as I walked from Adams towards Madison. I shot the Featured Image, using Leica Q, on Sept. 5, 2017, at 8:48 a.m. Soon afterwards, a mom walking kids to school passed by. One of them knew the kitty’s name, which she said, and I later forget—embarrassingly. Yesterday, I walked back, luckily finding Goldie lounging on the sidewalk; name is on her collar. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Itchy Valentino

The next three felines featured in this series were all seen yesterday, on Alabama Street between Adams and Madison. We start with one of the scrawniest-looking kitties that I have ever seen. But the beastie is loved, and cared for, despite giving first-impression of being a feral in poor health.

Meet Itchy Valentino, who, as you can see, is quite thin—and the meaning is for some of the patches of scant or missing fur, too. He has a collar, with tag that reads: “I have allergies and take meds & special food. I’m OK!” Yes, but someone isn’t keeping to his strict diet, because Itchy meowed like a distressed female in heat before coughing up something. Twice. I thought maybe a furball, but on examination more likely grass or plant matter ingested as roughage.

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The Cats of University Heights: Jellicle

Huh? Another? Today’s putty-tat—photographed at 9:26 this morning (PDT)—is the eighth tuxedo to appear since the series started in October 2016. The friendly feline sprinted onto the sidewalk from a yard along Monroe Ave. near Louisiana. Somebody wanted pats and got plenty of them, making one-handed portrait-taking rather awkward. The Featured Image is first capture, from an accidental burst grouping. Reflected in the eyes, you can see me looking down, holding iPhone 7 Plus. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/331 sec, 3.99mm.

The furball had no collar, or other identification, so I give nickname taken from T.S. Eliot poem “The Song of Jellicles“, which is an ode to the tuxedo from his tome Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats