Category: Critters

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Dido and Dodger

I profess ignorance about the ways which feisty felines negotiate territory. Two cats regarding one another is a commonly observed occurrence, particularly as the neighborhood’s demographics change—and the number of kitty owners increases. Last week, I passed by newcomer Pepto standing on the fence outside the home where lives long-time resident Daniel Tiger, who sat back-to on a table in his front yard. Likewise, Ash and Nelson often are seen together. All four have different owners.

On Nov. 10, 2020, I observed a new territorially tense pair somewhere on the West side of Park Blvd. Because the house number is so prominently displayed, I won’t disclose location—other than to note that a “For Rent” sign stood outside the property on that sunny morning. Both beasties had collars and tags, but neither would let me approach close enough to read their names. For now, let’s call the black Dido and the tiger Dodger.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Bello

My short-lived time with Leica M10 started in early April 2018 and ended the first week of October of that year. The days are many that I regret letting go the camera. My consistent inability to precisely manually focus prompted my decision to sell. However, a change in eye glasses later—and addition of prisms to the prescription—and my vision is probably more than satisfactory for the task. Sigh.

On April 26, 2018, I spotted Tink inside her window and stopped to practice portrait focusing with the new camera. The Featured Image is the first of seven shots, with Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens attached to the M10. Vitals, aperture unknown: ISO 100, 1/1500 sec, 50mm; 9:38 a.m. PDT. In post-production, I used DXO ViewPoint 3 to align the perspective of vertical and horizontal lines.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Peach

Along Meade, at the corner of North, I witnessed something new to me: A kitten being walked on a leash (and not exactly loving the restraint). The owner of Peach says that they live on Louisiana, where there are lots of cats. I mentioned the orange and white, Pepto, whom the gent knew—and he adequately described fluffball Darth Mew. Daniel Tiger and Huck also live on that block; among others.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image—the only usable shot from nearly a dozen taken. Peach was excited and energetic, moving about too quickly for the Apple device to keep up. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/2208 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 3:07 p.m. PST, Feb. 4, 2021.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Clover

I am no expert in the ways of territory—how kitties define and defend it or permit another animal’s presence. Throughout the neighborhood, I will see cats regarding one another, sharing space in fairly close proximity without otherwise challenging or engaging. Such was the occurrence on Feb. 2, 2021, when an intruder sat some distance from the beauty that I call Tortie; in her yard.

The newcomer earns nickname Clover; I couldn’t approach close enough to read the name tag. I used Leica Q2 to take the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 125, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 3:04 p.m. PST. The companion, captured using iPhone XS, is better composed but nowhere near as sharp. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/139 sec, 52mm (film equivalent): 3:06 p.m.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Pepper

The portrait I want often isn’t the one I get—particularly when there is need to remove a house number because an obstruction (parked car) limited composition when shooting. In part because of the secondary (telephoto) lens, iPhone XS bested Leica Q2 for capturing a Featured Image more suitably cropped—and that’s no praise for the edited photo. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/1916 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:41 a.m. PST, Dec. 15, 2020.

I spotted the tiger tabby along Cleveland Ave. not far from Meade. Perhaps because of the building exterior’s salty appearance, I immediately thought Pepper when looking at the peaceful kitty—hence the nickname. The slumbering shorthair is the sixtieth seen behind window or door.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Champagne

With a backlog of photographed but unpublished kitties, I shouldn’t skip a fresh feline to the front of the line. But I am too satisfied with the Featured Image and companion, both captured today using Leica Q2. Vitals for each, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100. 1/125 sec, 28mm; 11:58 a.m. PST.

Nicknamed Champagne, for fur color, he appeared along Louisiana not far from where Gracie lived (she has passed away from old age). My wife, who first spotted the tan shorthair, also observed Ash lurking nearby; I assume the cats regarded one another—as he and Nelson often do.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Blueberry

Looking out onto an alley, this fine feline lives in the same apartment on which balcony sat Spur in September 2020. Because the building stretches out to Alabama, where also is the front-gated entrance, the kitty counts for that street—bringing the total to fifty-eight out of the 377 profiles posted since the series started in October 2016. Mao dwells in the same multi-unit residence and maybe Dizzy, whom I haven’t seen for more than a year. Fifty meters (165 feet) down the alley, but on the Florida side, Chancy regularly suns on a second-floor railing.

Fifty-ninth seen behind door or window, the tabby earns nickname Blueberry—inspired in part by the hue of the curtains behind. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Jan. 25, 2021. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/615 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 12:32 p.m PST.

Read More

A Pooch Portrait

Few days ago, Fujifilm unveiled the long-rumored GFX-100S—a 102-megapixel medium-format sensor shooter. I almost regret going back to Leica (Q2 and Q2 Monochrom), after letting go the GFX-50R in late-November 2019. Soon after, I purchased and returned the Sigma fp before buying the Q2. I love Fuji cameras, and the 50R surely satisfied. Problem: The impressive physical size intimidated animals and people, which was my primary reason for selling the thang.

The 100S reminds of what I gave up, with respect to image quality and dynamic range—both stellar benefits of the medium-format behemoth(s). So-o-o, this afternoon, I started reviewing some of my 50R RAW originals and happened upon a pooch portrait that silly me forgot to share with you.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Weepy

We celebrate the last Caturday of the month by featuring a young shorthair spotted along Florida at a property from which other kitties were profiled: Bramble, Brumble, and Shrub. I have seen other beasties there but have been unable to get photos, and none of the ones taken are all that good; they’re make-dos. Cat carrying and other paraphernalia stored by the front door makes me guess that someone is a feline fosterer.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image and companions on Jan. 13, 2021. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/436 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 10:02 a.m. PST. Second: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/928 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 10:02 a.m. Third: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/118 sec, 52mm (film equivalent): 10:03 a.m. The trio is presented in sequence shot.

Read More

Which is the Better Guido?

Yesterday, as my wife and I walked down Alabama towards the languishing bearded tree, we were surprised to see Guido approach. He more typically is standoffish with us, but times aren’t normal in his household and maybe he longed for extra affection. The dark-striped tabby lives with Bruce and Little—and on another street. The first two cats, Little less frequently, often walked with their owner and her dog. The troupe was always a delightful sight, and I stopped to talk with the woman whenever possible (as a matter of privacy, neighbors’ names are purposely withheld).

I use past tense, because she let her beloved canine go to doggie heaven around Christmas, following a decline from old-age-related infirmities. The loss caused the tiger tabbies great distress—absence of their larger companion and dramatic change to their walking routine. I know that for a time she tried to continue the practice with the kitties alone. She may have stopped, but I will need to ask to confirm—whenever, if ever, the time feels right. The family’s loss is too soon now. BTW, she put out the Squirrel Italiano feeder that I wrote about 10 days ago.