Tag: Cats of University Heights

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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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The Cats of University Heights: Tink

Happy Caturday! Please welcome the second feline portrait captured using iPhone X. Maven 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: Maven

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 he bolted. Rather, the cat turned and approached—and would hardly let me get away, for the amount of attention she demanded. He kneaded the sidewalk with his ginormous paws as I petted him. 

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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. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Captain Blackbeard

One year ago today, I started this series with grainy photo of a presumed stray I nicknamed Scruffy. The plan was to post pics I had recently taken, and to add a few more, before wrapping up within a few weeks or as long as a month. I had no concept of the number of kitties that there were, or are, around the neighborhood—more than 100 featured so far.

We celebrate the anniversary with Captain Blackbeard, who yesterday evening relaxed on house steps below a sweet, 6-month old girl and her friendly dad. “He came with the name”, the gent said about his pet, observing that the beard is more white. The feline spends more time indoors, but gets occasional outside romps, and he has been with the family for about 3 months. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Monkey

Alabama, along a two-block stretch, delivers yet another friendly feline. These sightings surprise because the street, like a few others in the neighborhood, has no utility poles, which absence conceptually diminishes the presence of birds perching on the wires. If there is so little prey, why are there so many predators? Even well-fed cats hunt and kill. It’s their nature. Stranger still, instead, there are birds in absolute abundance and more squirrels than is typical among surrounding streets. Turning things around: If felines pose such risk to birds, why are there so many of both.

Let’s be clear about that. On no other street to either side of Park Blvd. have I seen more furballs than Alabama. Among the recent sightings: GoldieItchy Valentino (yes, real name), Nine, and Smokey. In the alley behind: Spry. Several others will join the series when I get better portraits of them. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Smokey

Seven minutes after sunset, 6:32 p.m. PDT, on Oct. 7, 2017, I encountered yet another feline on Alabama, close to Meade. The kitty isn’t the first smokey grey in the series, but he is distinguished by having the color as name.

Mystery: The increasing number of cats recently seen on or around that street. Why here? Also from Alabama: Goldie, Itchy Valentino (yes, real name), and Nine. In the alley behind: Spry. On Meade or Monroe, respectively, close to the cross-street: Amanda and Bruce.

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The Cats of University Heights: Dancer

Yesterday, while walking up Mission Ave. towards Park Blvd., I watched a lanky tortoiseshell cross Georgia and gracefully go into an apartment complex parking lot. Her pace was slow and precise, and slim shape and long legs reminded me of a human dancer. Hence, the nickname she receives.

By the time I reached the parking spaces, the shorthair had gone into the building’s courtyard. As I knelt down with the Leica Q, she turned to see me and then strolled back. I almost gave this kitty nickname Kneady, or Kneedy. She received pats and attention for more than 10 minutes; when twice I knelt down on a knee, she stepped in close, put her front paws on my thigh, and kneaded. I got the sense she could be a real lap cat. 

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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 tenth or eleventh 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, SiestaSkull, and Wink