Tag: Cats of University Heights

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The Cats of University Heights: Spot

For several days in May 2014, a daring but skittish kitty skirted around my father-in-law’s apartment complex on Campus near Madison. I never managed to capture his image—he always ran from me. But the furball tolerated my wife, who snagged several photos, from which comes the first in this series snapped by someone other than me.

I cropped a vertical shot to make the Featured Image. Look for the original below the fold. Annie captured the moment on the 9th of the month at 6:21 p.m. PDT, using the HTC One M8 smartphone. Vitals: f/2, ISO 125, 1/302 sec, 3.82mm. I shot Farfisa, who also appears in this series, with the M8 as well, but in April 2014. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Sebastian

This morning, my wife and I jaunted down Maryland Ave., on our way to The Hub for groceries. Nearly to the Washington Street bridge, in a yard with “Wildlife Habitat” sign, and lush foliage, Anne spotted a furball belly up. I shot several back-to portraits, using the Fujifilm X100F. When we returned, the feline had flipped around my way.

The Featured Image is Annie’s preferred crop. The other, below the fold is mine. Vitals on the first: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/450 sec, 23mm. The other: f/8, ISO  200, 1/280 sec, 23mm. Time on both: 10:38 a.m. PDT, using Velvia film simulation. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Twilight

The Fujifilm X100F and I are still getting acquainted, bringing big digital lifestyle change: always-carry. The compact camera is lightweight and unobtrusive attached to ONA Lima strap, such that I sling it and bring it with ease and capture the moment where iPhone 7 Plus would miss. I only lugged larger Fuji X-T1 when planning to use it, thus making the Apple smartphone my primary street camera. That all changed February 28. The new digicam, with its 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor and fixed f/2 lens, is classic—for style and shooting. I previously owned the original and preceding T model.

Rushing out for a twilight walk on March 9, I spotted, not for the first time, a tiger-striped cat in the yard at Campus and Monroe. Our eyes met yet again, around the same time of day; he lurked where he had several weeks before, cast in the shadows. I shot Featured Image at 6:09 p.m. PST—about 20 minutes after sunset. Except for straightening, the JPEG is unaltered from the X100F. Vitals: f/2, ISO 3200, 1/26 sec, 23mm. Despite its f/1.8 aperture, based on past efforts, iPhone 7 Plus would have botched the shot—or using flash to set focus, scared off the feline.

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The Cats of University Heights: Kit

On, Jan. 30, 2017, as my wife and I walked down the alley behind Campus Ave. approaching Madison, we spotted a frisky young kitty in a window. No way could we resist stopping to say hello to this cutie, whom I nickname Kit. I shot a half-dozen quickies using iPhone 7 Plus. I little-bit blame the bright, blinding sun for obscuring my vision and obliterating the screen for the Featured Image‘s weak composition.

The second photo gives better perspective of the window. Vitals for the closeup:  f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/833 sec, 3.99mm. The other is same except for shutter: 1/791 sec. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Watson

Oh how he has grown! My wife and I met this fine feline and his owner several years ago, when he was a spry, scurrying, skinny kitten. The setting sun so camouflaged the short-hair that, initially, I missed him while shooting Nimbus in the adjacent alley on Jan. 14, 2017. What luck! Two portraits for the time of one!

The ginger is Watson, but let’s nickname him Cherub to match the lawn decor. The Featured Image and its companion are one in the same. The first is close-cropped, and both are straightened and edited; cropping gets me out of the picture—literally! That ain’t an apparition reflecting from the window. It’s me! The reflection is creepy, considering I shot across the yard from the sidewalk. To confirm: That’s not the face of someone sitting inside. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Nimbus

My wife and I are busy bees, following the death of her dad last week. We’re cleaning out his apartment, which is as much the contents of a life—for the meaning they represent. Following some chores at home, on Jan. 14, 2017, we walked down Cleveland Ave. to Van Buren to circle back on Campus to Bob’s place. Ahead on the cross-street, white fur flashed running towards us before disappearing down an alley.

Meet the frisky feline I nicknamed Shy. He rolled around like a kitty wanting attention but deliberately kept far away from getting it. I shot the Featured Image, and its companion, at 4:35 p.m. PST, using iPhone 7 Plus second camera, to zoom. Both are straightened and tweaked. Vitals for the first: f/2.8, ISO 20, 1/235 sec, 6.6mm. The other is same except for shutter: 1/257 sec. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Willow

Willow approaches me meowing, as her housemate Roman circles behind. She is the only female among owner JoAnn’s four felines, whom I met on Christmas Day 2016, while walking down Campus Ave. from my father-in-law’s apartment.

The 65 year-old accountant describes her brood as “friendly”, and I absolutely agree. She expresses dismay at the disregard of some folks moving around the animals on the sidewalk. “People walk by and ignore the cats. How can you not want to stop?” She waves her arms: “All around you is life”. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Roman

The third cat in JoAnn’s troupe is Roman. If you missed them, Herman and Comet are the other two of the four. I met her and the friendly furballs on Christmas Day this year. They get four hours of outdoor run-around time each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That’s regardless of weather!

The shelter called the cat something else. “Roman I thought was such a prestigious name”, she says. “Almond was such a stupid name”. I agree, and what is there almond-like about this white kitty with distinctive tiger-stripe tail? He is eldest of her brood but least in pecking order. When giving out Christmas treats, JoAnn observes that he waits until the other animals finish before eating. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Comet

Comet (his real name) approaches Herman on Christmas Day 2016 in a courtyard off Campus Ave. Owner JoAnn named him before his white coat took on an orange tint. The energetic feline is about one year old. She adopted him from the local shelter when a four-month kitten.

I met JoAnn and her four furballs, while walking from my father-in-law’s apartment. She gives them four hours of outdoor time, regardless of weather, each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The accountant perennially keeps the same number of cats. Comet replaced another animal hit and killed by a car.