Tag: animals

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The Cats of University Heights: Pilgrim

As we walked together along Louisiana on this fine Caturday, my wife spotted a tabby dart across the street nearby where both Ash and Nelson have been photographed. New kitty sightings are rare along that particular block—my guess because more single-family homes than apartments means less turnover of residents.

The shorthair wouldn’t tolerate close approach, so I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s 10x lens to capture the Featured Image and companion. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/220 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11 a.m. PST. The other is the same but 1/120 sec.

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An Odd Encounter

I am reminded that life is tough and unforgiving in the urban landscape of wild animals. Today, while talking on the phone to my sister, I came upon a larger rodent stumbling along the alley separating Louisiana and Mississippi streets in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Rat? Something else? Please, tell me.

The creature was nearby cross-street Meade, and I wondered if it had been struck by a turning car or perhaps even poisoned. The rodent fell over every few steps and once on its back after tripping over a leaf. I chatted with Nan using my Poly Voyager 5200 Wireless Headset purchased in late December last year. That freed up my hands and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for several shots.

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The Cats of University Heights: Priceless

I apparently am wrong about this fine feline, being absolutely sure it is already part of the series. But manually looking back through four years of profiles and searching the site for Texas, which is street of the sighting, I find nothing. Perhaps I previously shot something that couldn’t be used.

Honestly, the Featured Image is barely usable, but the cat’s expression is priceless—hence the nickname. I wish the portrait was sharper, but the tree leaves reflected from the glass add character and look like they’re growing out of the fur.

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The Cats of University Heights: Silky

Nearby the hydroponic house, a blackie jaunted across the sidewalk while I was still a half-block’s walk away on Oct. 7, 2023. He (or she) later appeared from under a car, as you can see from the Featured Image taken using Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 80, 1/60 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 3:04 p.m. PDT.

For sheen of its fur, this fine feline earns nickname Silky.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Esther

For the first Caturday of the month, we leave the neighborhood’s boundaries to introduce seven-year-old Esther. My wife saw the fine feline first and I the school teacher owner, on Utah Street, today. We had a delightful conversation, while I shot a few portraits using Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

I politely asked permission beforehand; not only did Esther’s caretaker grant it but she informed that her pet appears on the “Cats of North Park” Instagram. Say what? Have we been imitated? Either that or like minds are awork. First post there is June 15, 2020. “Cats of University Heights” started Oct. 17, 2016. Ha! There’s are portrait there of one-eye, no-tail Reddy (also known as Jinx) with name Lucky.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pumpkin

What do I know? Apparently not enough, by being completely clueless that in the United States October 29 is National Cat Day. Well, that calls for a commemorative kitty. Meet Pumpkin—and, yes, that is his real name. The kitten is something of a stray that his owner inherited about six weeks ago.

Some interesting connections: Pumpkin lives in the same house where was Willow; she and her family moved away during the  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 mandates. Pumpkin’s mom is also longtime caretaker of ferals Mimi and Sweet Pea. The Maine Coons lost their luscious backyard home when the owner of the property died and relatives sold the place.

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The Cats of University Heights: Forlorn

Happy Caturday, unless perhaps you are this magnificent Tuxedo. In the three portraits quickly taken using Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, he (or she) presents sad eyes in all of them. I passed the kitty on the afternoon of Oct. 10, 2023, basking in sunlight and looking out on the bustling street; I won’t say which one. Vitals, for the Featured Image: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/400 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 4:52 p.m. PDT.

Nickname Forlorn for obvious reasons, the Tux is the one-hundred-seventeenth furball found behind door or window since this series started in October 2016.

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The Cats of University Heights: Aura

We go from Marmalade on Mississippi to the alley behind the street along the same block. My wife spotted the grey today, and I stopped with Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for a shot through the chain-link fence.

Take a close look at the Featured Image. A white glow outlines the kitty—and it’s not some digital artifact produced by the smartphone’s sensor. The late-day sun created the effect for which this fine feline earns nickname Aura. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 250, 1/60 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 5:47 p.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Marmalade

This series started seven years ago—Oct. 17, 2016—with a kitty I call Scruffy. Five-hundred-fifty-three profiles later, I continue to discover new kitties—something I couldn’t conceive in a neighborhood with so many dog owners.

My miscalculation: Failing to understand the make-up of San Diego households, of which 52 percent are renters rather than homeowners. As such, tenant turnover is fairly frequent and includes pets; for people living in smaller spaces, feline friends are a popular choice. Foolish me, for not seeing the obvious.

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Hungry Eyes

Who could guess that we would return to the “1917 House” for another look (seriously, no pun intended; maybe) at Halloween peepers just four days later. My previous daylight shot simply misses everything that makes the scene in darkness. I unexpectedly happened by this evening; 8:27 p.m. PDT.

The Featured Image is the last of three and surprising choice from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. I had expected to share the 50-megapixel capture, but the 12MP is more detailed and truer to color. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 1250, 1/25 sec, 23mm (film equivalent).

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The Cats of University Heights: Whisper

Meet the third kitty spotted inside a catio since the series‘ start seven years ago. The others: Jester and King. That’s three out of 552 profiles. I spotted this fine feline while walking with my wife on Oct. 1, 2023 along an undisclosed alley.

The Featured Image is made possible by Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s 10x optical zoom. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/390 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11:58 a.m. PDT. For nickname, I choose Whisper.

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The Cats of University Heights: Marvel

This series started on Oct. 17, 2016 with tentative runtime of perhaps 30 days—because how many cats could possibly be in a neighborhood with so many dogs? I never imagined 551, including this post (more counting doubles featured together). But here we are.

I spotted our newest member earlier today along Florida Street. The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/300 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11:43 a.m. PDT.