The Cats of University Heights: Coon

Along Florida Street, near Adams Ave., is a house with spacious yard where live at least three fairly large felines—and quite possibly, from reviewing photos, four, if not more. Two days ago, we met the tiger tabby nicknamed Wily. The second, I call Coon. If not a Maine Coon, the longhair is size of one.

Among the three different confirmed cats, Coon is the most frequently seen round about the yard. I have stalked the kitty for more than a month, seeking the right portrait—a task that distance and reach of the Leica Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens hampers. 

I captured the Featured Image more recently than its companions, on May 4, 2018, using Leica M10. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 1600, 1/25 sec, 50mm. I made the portrait at 7:45 p.m. PDT, which was 12 minutes after sunset. Hehe, I should have picked higher ISO given the shutter speed, but looks like Coon sat still and my hands held steady the camera. Whew. During post-production, I decided not to dramatically boost exposure and let dusk’s diminishing light make the ambiance. In the background, you can see another big fluffer chowing down dinner. He (or she) will be next up in the series.

The second portrait is the first taken of Coon, on April 4 at 1:21 p.m. Vitals: f/9.5, ISO 200, 1/350 sec, 50mm. I used Leica M (Typ 262) for this one and the two others.

The third pic also includes Wily, as both hang out in the shade of their eating area. Vitals: f/4, ISO 200, 1/500 sec, 50mm; April 6, 8:30 a.m.

The last was taken a day later, also in the morning (9:03 a.m.) Vitals: f/9.5, ISO 200, 1/350 sec, 50mm.

As always, you really need to click and make the photos larger to fully appreciate them.

Update, Nov. 24, 2020: Today, I met the lady who cares for the kitty—the mother to four feral kittens born seven years ago. The woman has fed and cared for the outdoor beasties in the backyard they call home but which is a property belonging to a different neighbor. Last month, the gentleman passed away unexpectedly, putting the property’s future into question and quite possibly that of Coon and Ghost, her sole surviving offspring. Sadly, Wily has died. For now, their caretaker is committed to ensuring the two are well-fed in the luscious lawn habitat that they share.

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