I first photographed this kitty on Oct. 1, 2019, lying belly up and not distinguishable beyond being bundles of fluff from a distance. Not until May 10, 2020 did this fine feline present for suitable portraiture. Thank you, very much. Sixty-second seen behind window or door, the fluffball earns nickname Velvet for its fur coat.
This morning, while we walked along Meade, my wife spotted a grey kitty across the street, nearby a gent whom we had spoken to once many moons ago. Turns out, the slender beauty belongs to him. Meet 13 year-old Lily, who appeared in nearly the same spot as Mittens in October 2017.
I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image and its companion. Both portraits are composed as shot. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/1282 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 9:24 a.m. PDT. The other is same except for 1/1136 sec.
Who would have guessed? Another Bella lives on Alabama—and about a block separates the kitties. The new gal is the fiftieth feline seen on the street, between boundaries Adams and Lincoln; her namesake was profiled in November 2017. Bella, Too lives in the same apartment complex as Penny and where once resided Pedro; he has gone to live with his owner’s parents, whose place provides more run-around space.
The pretty Tuxedo is 15 years old, curious, and energetic. Problem: She recently started having sporadic seizures, that increased from one every few weeks to about every day. Preliminary diagnosis: Brain tumor. I could see during my conversation with her dad how much the affliction bothers him. Which leads into a strange side benefit to the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—aka COVID-19—lockdown: Working from home means he can monitor her condition, and (my words, not his) maybe ensure she lives longer.
Not long after the series featured Steppy seven months ago, I observed his buddy nearby. But Spring 2020 would come before I snagged even a remotely usable portrait. Look carefully at the Featured Image, and you will discern a second cat on the can; the beasties await their supper on April 7. Pardon the mess, which includes strewn wet food cans; heavy rains fell that day and the previous one. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/392 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 4:59 p.m. PDT; iPhone XS.
The black earns nickname Dusky for color and early darkening of the late-afternoon sky stemming from imposing storm clouds on March 31, when I used Leica Q2 to capture the companion. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/11, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 5:04 p.m.
Walking anchors my exercise routine, which should be obvious from how my skulking around has generated 334 putty-tat profiles for this series since October 2016. However, “social distancing” and “shelter-in-place” orders, in response to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19, mean fewer forays and more sojourns along alleys between streets; foot traffic is less and wide berth makes easier separating from others when encountering them. The change in habit means my discovering more alley cats, generally looking out from within an apartment, like recent inductees Mustachio and Tang.
On March 23, 2020, I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image in the alley separating Campus and Cleveland, between Madison and Monroe. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/373 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 12:33 p.m. PDT. The portrait is cropped, with Vivid filter applied in Apple Photos. The kitty, which earns nickname Birdy for what he (or she) spied, is sixty-first seen behind window or door.
Like Sprint, today’s kitty appeared in the alley between Georgia and Park Blvd. We first met on March 31, 2020, but subsequent sightings suggest that home is one of the houses along Spalding Place, not far from where my wife and I saw Mewl in February 2019.
I used Leica Q2 to shoot the Featured Image, but the shorthair is nicknamed for the red blossoms in the companion photo, which is the stronger of the pair. Vitals for both, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 11:12 a.m. PDT for the first, and 17-seconds later for the other.
Sometimes you get one shot—and with some neighborhood felines none other. Such is the case with the tabby I spotted in the alley between Georgia and Park Blvd. on March 29, 2020. The shorthair moved quickly past as I walked in the other direction, stopping briefly when my iPhone XS appeared. One click later, he (or she) disappeared into a carport. I would be surprised to see the animal again.
Sprint seems appropriate nickname—for the kitty’s quick pace and because the Olympics were on my mind at the time; four days earlier, the 2020 games were postponed a year because of the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—pandemic, which has altered my walk routine. Californians are asked to stay at home (e.g., “shelter in place“) and to go out sparingly; exercise is one approved activity, and I mostly use alleys to avoid other people. Hence, the chance Sprint sighting.
I sometimes wonder if assigning a number would be best when an animal’s real name is unknown. Cat 1, or 12, or 149. My made-up choice won’t be right and might even offend the beastie’s owner should he or she see the profile. Setting, or perceived character, often determines my choice, which in this instance is Pebbles. I suppose Woody would work, too. Chipper and Rocky already have been used—moniker and real, respectively—and Stone or Stoner seem inappropriate.
While my wife and I walked up Madison, on March 28, 2020, Pebbles appeared from behind some shrubs, strutting deliberately to a determined destination. We were midway between Cleveland and Maryland on the opposite side of the street; I crossed in time to snag three quick snaps using iPhone XS. Turns out the tabby had some, ah, business to do in the wood chips. I stopped shooting soon as that activity became apparent.
Walking outdoors is challenging, with so many businesses shut down, and, as such, a large number of San Diegians trying to “shelter in place” but, understandably, going out with their dogs or to grab some fresh air/exercise. The other order for the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2), also known as COVID-19, pandemic: “social distancing“, which for the Wilcox family means mostly walking in alleys behind streets, where fewer people go and making space from them is much easier than would be along cramped sidewalks—or even stepping into bike lanes.
Unsurprisingly, I am discovering a fresh batch of indoor kitties looking out onto the alleys. That brings us to the third consecutive feline that is behind window or door and was seen along/behind Alabama Street—sixtieth and forty-ninth, respectively, for the series to date. On March 22, 2020, I spotted the cat on the stretch between Madison and Mission.
The Alabama (number forty-eighth) and behind window or door (fifty-ninth) kitty run continues with the second of three—and maybe four. This handsome second-floor looker earns nickname Mustachio, for what should be obvious reason. While first-in-the-set Mercy looked out onto Alabama, this beastie has a view of the alley from an apartment building on the street.
On March 3, 2020, I spotted Mustachio watching workmen renovate a building on the other side of the alley and facing Mississippi. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image at 11:24 a.m. PST. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/781 sec, 52mm (film equivalent).
Our fifty-eighth kitty looking out window (or door) also is the forty-seventh seen on Alabama—and first in a series of three (or four) from the street; all of them behind glass (or screen), too.
I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image, on March 19, 2020, between Adams and Madison. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/1083 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 11:20 a.m. PDT. The nickname comes from my reaction to seeing the Tuxedo peering out from behind a closed window with bars. “Have mercy, and pardon this poor prisoner!”
My wife and I continue to take guarded walks, mostly along neighborhood alleys, as we attempt to practice so-called “social distancing” behavior whenever taking relief from our otherwise apartment lockdown. Actually, Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered all 40-million Californians to “stay at home“—a desperate strategy to slow spread of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2), better known as COVID-19. Today, as we crossed Mission Ave., I spotted a black shorthair digging into a lawn. Hence, the nickname.
The home is next door to the place where lives Luna. Presumably, Digger is a relatively new resident—as the property where she foraged sold last year. Annie and I had a look during an Open House—not that we had interest in buying beyond our means, which describes, or perhaps described, most every property in San Diego (before contagion-containing tactics devastated the U.S. economy, among other nations).