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The Cats of University Heights: Jolly

The fifty-sixth putty-tat seen behind window or door made an unexpected appearance, along Madison near Delaware, early afternoon Feb. 4, 2020. I shot a half-dozen photos—some auto, others manually—focused, and the last is best. The Featured Image, nearly 100-percent cropped, comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 12:48 p.m. PST.

The cat’s coloration reminds of Internet meme-maker (and now deceased) Grumpy Cat, but without the ridiculous frown. An appropriate nickname should be some kind of opposite, then. I choose Jolly.

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The Cats of University Heights: Chum

As summer solstice approached last year, I spotted three playful kitties romping around a front lawn not far from where North meets Madison. Only two were photographed, and I frequented the property over the following months hoping for a shot of the third. No such luck. Finally, in October, the pair joined the series with nickname Chums; I have seen them chasing one another a few times since.

The other remained more mirage until the morning of Jan. 29, 2020, when he (or she) appeared on the porch overlooking the yard they all apparently share. Singular Chum is appropriate moniker for frenemy the third. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 9:49 a.m. PST.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Promise

On Feb. 16, 2019, my wife and I happened upon an unexpected apartment open house, in North Park, but only a few blocks beyond our neighborhood’s boundary. The complex’s center courtyard, surrounded by cute cottages, was lush with greenery and trees; the atmosphere was tranquil. In the back, two upstair flats topped garages that opened into the alley behind. One of them, a two-bedroom, was larger than our residence, for $210-monthly less money. The landlord had owned the property for nearly 40 years. We liked his character, and that of the vacant unit.

We were first applicants, and the gent called the next morning to offer us the place. Annie and I walked back, spent two hours looking around, and discussed whether or not we would accept. Massive number of windows would welcome warming rays from sunrise to sunset. We had to say yes, and left a deposit check equivalent to one month’s rent. In the afternoon, we returned to measure for placement of furniture and to assess late-day sunlight and airflow. Then the negatives started to pile up in our minds. Among them: With windows open, the place was warm, not breezy, which forebode overly-hot during summertime; an odd smell emanating from the kitchen bothered us; and prospect of street parking, which a San Diego bike path project would limit during years-long construction, looked to be challenging. After further deliberation, I called the owner to tell him, with great angst, we wouldn’t take the apartment after all.

What does any of this have to do with today’s kitty?

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Flickr a Week 7b: ‘The NYC Band, The Upwelling’

Our Sunday spot shouldn’t be, because of endings: The photographer is no longer active on Flickr, and I am unable to confirm that his subject matter still exists. But I can’t resist the portrait for looking to be exactly what it is—in purest, iconic, grainy, black-and-white composition: An indy rock group.

Steve Hardy shot self-titled “The NYC Band, The Upwelling” on Jan. 24, 2009, using Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 1600,1/15 sec, 33mm. He describes himself as a “Grammy Award and multi-platinum, award-winning mix engineer”. He mixed the group’s album “An American Stranger”, which released in August of the same year that he snapped the photo.

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Tortoises in Black and White

Yesterday, my wife suggested a walk around San Diego Zoo, which wasn’t nearly as bustling as I would expect it to be on a summer-like-weather Friday afternoon. The place was by no means desolate of people, just not overly crowded. I wonder if increasing paranoia about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is one reason. People infected or showing symptoms are being treated or quarantined at UCSD Medical Center, which is just 3.7-km drive (2.3 miles) from the zoo. My apartment is even closer: 2 km (1.3 miles) as the crow flies and 3 km (1.9 miles) by road. If—gulp, when—the virus spreads locally, my family will be at the epicenter.

But back to the lovely afternoon spent with the animals—calm before SHTF, as the country’s self-described Preppers call it—I brought along Leica Q2, with the Film Style set to Monochrome. The result wasn’t as anticipated. Importing into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic, after returning home, the RAWs came in as color. I wrongly assumed that the setting would apply to the native files. Nope, only to the JPEGs.

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Flickr a Week 7a: ‘Lotta Love, ‘Lijah”

Valentine’s Day is for (cat) lovers—isn’t it? For the purpose of our series—and an additional posting, between the two regular entries—yes is the answer. Timing is motivated by something else: Last week, on Nextdoor, one of my neighbors issued the “challenge of posting a picture of their pet…The goal is to flood NDoor with positive pet pictures instead of negativity”. Let’s bring some of that positivity here, and even more.

With that introduction, please meet Lisa Zins and her photographic feline in self-titled “Lotta Love, ‘Lijah’“. She explains, about the portrait: “Elijah is always ready to pose for a picture. The little bottle of hearts are ‘sprinkles’ for cookies. I thought that a ‘Lotta Love’ is something that we all need. :)” Indeed it is.

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The Cats of University Heights: Danger

Three days ago, while driving down Cleveland, my wife and I spotted a fluffy black run diagonally across the street—a dangerous maneuver during heavier traffic as residents returned to the neighborhood from their jobs. This afternoon, while walking along Tyler to the grocery store, I passed by the beastie, relaxing on a doorstep.

Nickname Danger seems appropriate, given the perilous context of the first sighting, although calm—safety— marked the second seeing. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image, which is a close-crop. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mmm; 3:13 p.m. PST.