When the Wilcoxes moved to this neighborhood in mid-October 2007, we encountered two obvious demographics: Older couples (and some singles)—many of whom lived in the same house for decades; gay couples—women more than men (who were more commonly seen in adjacent community Hillcrest). But as the real estate market bottomed out in 2011-12, a slow change blossomed into a flash flood of families with kids of age to attend Alice Birney Elementary.
But during the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, when many people started working from home and therefore no longer needed to live close to their jobs, University Heights began a rapid demographic flip. Ultra-high rents and landlords selling homes along with a massive influx of Googler-types has flushed out families and many of the oldsters. The professional Millennial makeover sweeps in and sweeps others out. Among those leaving: Owners of the kitty in the Featured Image.
According to Zillow, the median home selling price in San Diego is $880,000. Rents are astronomical compared to early 2020. According to Zumper, median for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,350 per month, up 27 percent year over year. Two-beds: $3,095, for a 29 percent spike annually. Prices like these were uncommon 27 months ago.
Unquestionably, high-tech workers migrating from San Francisco and Silicon Valley are pushing up home selling prices and rents. These big earners can afford to pay more—and compared to where they’re coming from, San Diego real estate is bargain basement pricing. Yesterday, I casually discussed this phenomenon during the annual appointment with my tax preparer. Many of his newer clients—yes, from Northern California—have salaries of $500,000 or more.
Let’s circle back to the cat. The fine family who owns him moved away a few days ago. They bought a house in New England. The husband and wife each has what would be considered a professional job and still homeownership was undesirable, if not untenable. They rented, like 52 percent of the area’s housed residents. I wish the family well but see their departure, like so many others, as a local loss.
Their lovely Russian Blue is one of their four felines, all appearing in this series and all now living across country. (Oh, I would love to know how the airplane flight went, with four carry-on meowers.) The other three: Peanut, Rocky, and Schroeder. (Another, Monkey, passed away four years ago). There was some speculation that newcomer Little Spunky might ride in the car with the dad rather than remain a community cat, depending on his attachment to the family and the other beasties. I haven’t seen him hanging about.
Afternoon of Feb. 17, 2022 is the first, and only, time I had seen this shimmering grey. The owner told me that the shorthair is a bit of a scaredy-cat, which might explain her name for him: Chicken. He has the distinction of being the eighty-seventh putty-tat to appear the series from Alabama Street, between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. Now there are four, or even five, fewer.
I used Leica Q2 to capture Chicken’s portrait. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 2:09 p.m. PST.
The archives: Scruffy, Roly Poly, Woo, Skull, Biscuit, The Colonel, White, Chipper, Frisky, Stretch, Honey Bunny, Farfisa, Mates, Hunter, Pee-Pee, Blue, Blue Too, Bonded Pair, Patience, Fess, Jumper, Frenemy, Looker, Cozy, Scout, Lurks, Skit, Mini, Betty, Black and White, Stalker, Bell, Chill, Sammy, Scratch, Poser, Star, Grey and White, Watcher, Herman, Comet, Roman, Willow, Chub, Nimbus, Watson, Lilo, Kit, Pepe, Henry, Sebastian, Spot, Booger, Ash, Veruca, Riley, Mellow, Bonde, Cocoa, Glass, Black, BeBe, Fang, Bruce, Siamese, Pounce, Tortie, Haiku, Fraidy, Peso, Daniel Tiger, Dusk, Stride, Dainty, Spry, Tabby, Betty Too, Still, Levi, Shadow, Sophie, Wink, Ferals, Momma, Charlie, Tux, Cool, Benny, Bandit, Itchy Valentino, Goldie, Anthony, Amanda, Siesta, ChaCho, Charlie, Too, Mika, Crystal, Seeker, Mittens, Dancer, Smokey, Monkey, Captain Blackbeard, Johnny, Maeven, Tink, Chunk, Curious, Hanoi, Bella, Tarry, Guido, Maxine, Mr. Kitty, Peohe, Panda, Frankie, Moose, Twain, Willow, Too, Nelson, Reddy, Burglar, Laramie, Lupe, Bright, Norman, Charm, Buddies, Milo, Ohana, Seer, Fresh, Token, Lola, Carl, Bramble, Finny, Cal, Lilly, Zander, Mew, Penny, Charlie (the Third), Bob, Apple, Persepolis, Sebastian, Too, Holiday, Snow, Desire, Luci, Torbie, E.T., Bushy, Cali, Precious, Gracie, STAR, Sky, Amble, Aylin, Lucky, Herbie, The Love Bug, Roadie, Harley, Kit (Coon), Dizzy, Moophie, Lucy, Choontzy, Abby, Kitty, Stella, Tigger, Mimi, Sweet Pea, Donuts, Envy, Vivienne, Stripe, Smokie, Dare, Gipper, Little, Bushy Black, Princess Leia, Darth Mew, Phil, Maui, Patch, Royal, Sleepy, Spice, Dutch, Striker, Maxie, Fluff, Gazers, Georgia Twain, Friends, Cupcake, Caddy, Ginger, Shrub, Brumble, Junebug, Patriot, Backyard, Prim, Tuna, LilyTiger, Nala, Poise, Amazon, Night, Olive, Honey, Shine, Sugar, Clarity, Alfredo, SID, Bashful, maow maow, Sentinel, Grape, Usher, Serenity, Teach, Tocino, Stark, Huey, Tranquil, Storm, Mitsie, Monarch, Ruff, Shadow, Too, Calm, Brick, Shy, Mewl, Valentine, Siamese Twins, Tony, Mao, Starlet, Sly, Alley, Luna, Sphynx, Jake, Rocky, Peanut, Giotto, Swirl, Rosie, Smudge, Bliss, Charlie IV, Risky, Pinky, Patches, Ninja, Cat, Olive Oil, Toasty, Mandy, Ludwig, John Adams, Hawk, King, Fuki, Pace, Astral, Zeppelin Pom Pom, Forrester, Glow, Cricket, Lively, Gucci, Misty, Topper, Jester, Sable, Dragon, Leo, Sentry, Zephyr, Steppy, Jedi, Pedro, Namaste, Kitty (Oh, Boy), Chums, Spunky, Zero, Hero, Meadow, Dash, Savvy, Squint, Poinsettia, Sparkle, Gem, Kip, Ranger, Maceo, Sparky, Glory, Petri, Autumn, Buttercup, Huck, Ash, Too, Spy, Keen, Danger, Promise, Chum, Jolly, Shade, Shelter, Digger, Mercy, Mustachio, Tang, Pebbles, Sprint, Blossom, Birdy, Dusky, Bella, Too, Lily, Velvet, Scamper, Sylvester, Friday, Candor, Hope Tangerine, Rebel, Alvin and LB, Snowy, Cocoa, Too, Chancy, Frosty, Speckle, Whiskers, Spur, Charger, Houdini, Mona, Pepto, Sundown, Spirit, Prowler, Sadie, Puss, Domino, Sundae, Measure, Lovely, Angelo, Tails, Peek-a-Boo, Bubbles, Demure, Stern, Cobby, Grasshopper, Gleam, Weepy, Blueberry, Buff, Champagne, Pepper, Clover, Peach, Bello, Dido and Dodger, Paws, Goose, Olive, Too, Breezy, Alcatraz, Aisho, Curly, Mane, Gallant, Amanda Too, BonBon, Spooky, Leery, Mr. Frankie, Schroeder, Annie, Majestic, Tango, Suave, Smooth, Joy, Jasmine, Bear, Wary, Plush, Harvey, Carrot, Sweetie, Romper, Noir, Posy, Honcho, Loki, Samba, Gracious, Proudfoot, Silver, Snuggles, Boxer, Spalding, Mocha, Bold, Grit, Cookie, Delilah, Ozzie, Droopy, Cutie, Jax, A.C., Gypsy, Winter, Petey, Spartacus, Damsel, Jack, Pixie, Parker, Squeaky, Meowy, Springer, Scooch, Tinsel, Candy, Cinnamon, Gazer, Happy, Smokey (Maine Coon), Kittens, Pudding, Mizu, Muncher, Cuddles, Saunter, Tucker, Dragon Claws, Solemn, Champ, Posey, Little Spunky, Mittens, Too, Bleu, and Noire.