Category: Media

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The Cats of University Heights: Autumn

On Oct. 3, 2019, I got a far-from-the-sidewalk view of a blackie, while walking along Campus between Tyler and Van Buren. Three-and-a-half months later, and no second-sighting, time is come to add the shorthair, whom I nickname Autumn, to the series.

The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS, as I had hoofed it to the grocery store—expecting to carry back several bulky bags—and left at home my camera. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/390 sec, 52mm (film equivalent; EXIF records 6mm); 2:27 p.m. PDT. The portrait is a 90-percent crop.

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The Cats of University Heights: Petri

Look who has a new neighbor: Lily and Maxie. I have seen Storm, once on the same block, while Giotto and Striker have moved away. But we count them anyway when introducing the forty-sixth sighted Alabama Street kitty. I met 12 year-old Petri and his delightful owner on Jan. 17, 2020. They moved to the neighborhood around Thanksgiving, after driving across America: Three days on the road, and the feline behaved bravely all the way.

The Featured Image, captured using Leica Q2, deserves some context. Petri’s mom and I talked for many minutes while he hung back by the front door. Later, when he ventured out, she asked if he would like some supper. Surely she has posed the question previously, if his reaction indicates anything. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/3.5, ISO 125, 1/50 sec, 28mm; 4:02 p.m. PST.

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The Cats of University Heights: Glory

For Caturday, we correct a misidentification. With so many beasties that look similar—all-blacks, particularly—one can be mistaken for another. On Jan. 30, 2019, I captured a fresh portrait of Roadie; markings match previous photos perfectly. Nineteen days later, I snapped another, on a porch fairly close to the curb where she had been previously photographed. Given the proximity of time and location, and cursory examination of feline features, I presumed both shots represented the same animal.

Day before yesterday, I learned from the owner of Herbie, The Love Bug and Sparky that Roadie disappeared, presumably deceased, after losing weight and becoming feeble. In the Flickr caption to the 1-30-19 picture, I observed that she “looked considerably thinner than” when profiled eight months earlier. “I wonder why Roadie is skinnier now”. The Feb. 18, 2019 photo shows a much larger, healthy tabby, whose lower leg markings don’t match Roadie’s. I let my excitement seeing her somewhere other than the street and in better physical condition cause my judgement to stray. The later image is another animal.

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The Cats of University Heights: Sparky

Occasionally patience pays, as is the situation with Sparky, whose name I learned today. We made brief acquaintance about 9 months ago outside the home where also lives Herbie, The Love Bug. I have seen the newcomer sometimes since but deferred adding him to the series in hopes of learning his identity and hearing his story. This morning, while walking with my wife, I saw both cats’ caretaker tending the lawn and asked her about him, finally.

She had been a volunteer at the San Diego Animal Shelter, which the County turned over responsibilities to the Humane Society on July 1, 2018. Because of feline overcrowding resulting from the switchover, some cats were scheduled to transition to the animal afterlife, so to speak, rather than to the new facilities. Sparky was on the kill list. That last day of June. Herbie’s owner quite literally saved him from the executioner, by sudden adoption. Conjure up whatever cliché movie moment you like, where a governor pardons someone on Death Row seconds before the lethal injection.

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Annie (Revisited)

On May 22, 2015, as Flickr a Day 142, I posted a self-portrait taken by my wife, sometime in 1980—likely at age 21. The photo was a screen-shot enlargement from a 2006 scan of a print. Image quality lacks, to say the least.

Quite unexpectedly, last month, Annie found the original negative for this selfie, and for several others. San Diego-based Nelson Photo made new prints and digital copies, and I present a fresh Featured Image,  with IQ worthy of the original.

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The Cats of University Heights: Fluffy

For reasons that must make sense to someone in city planning, a bike lane is in early stages of construction down Meade in my neighborhood going out to North Park. Traffic is rerouted from Alabama and Louisiana, as road crews work on some kind of traffic circle(s)—among several forthcoming “traffic calming measures”, according to project coordinators.

“The Georgia-Meade Bikeway will run along Georgia Street between Robinson Avenue and Howard Avenue, shift to Howard Avenue for one block, and continue on Florida Street to Meade Avenue”, explains the project page. “The bikeway will run along Meade Avenue between Park Boulevard and Fairmount Avenue”. Crews started digging up the intersection at Alabama around Christmas 2019 and are expected to continue working for six months locally. The entire thing is planned to be completed in 2022.

What does any of this have to do with our Caturday tabby?