Tag: Cats of University Heights

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The Cats of University Heights: Spirit

The main intersection on the neighborhood’s west side is a four-way with stop-signs at Cleveland and Meade. I saw this kitty and the next one on either side of Meade in the alley between Cleveland and Maryland—south and north, respectively.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Oct. 17, 2020. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/213 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 10:21 a.m. PDT. Coincidentally, the day marked the series‘ fourth anniversary.

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The Cats of University Heights: Sundown

Four years ago today, I started this series with a presumed stray, sighted only once, that I call Scruffy. Three-hundred-fifty-eight profiles later, the number of furballs to photograph is seemingly inexhaustible. At the start, I expected the series to progress a month, maybe a little longer. Foolish me. In autumn 2016, as explained in post “Why Cats?“, I worked with new eyes, so to speak, following multifocal intraocular lens replacement for cataracts and also ongoing treatment for macular edema—the latter of which is mostly now resolved. Feline field photography acted as a kind of visual therapy.

That brings us to our celebratory kitty, seen in the yard of the home where once lived Giotto and next-door to where you can find Petri (well, until his family moves sometime before Dec. 1, 2020). That makes the black the fifty-seventh putty-tat from Alabama between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. No other street comes close, and I cannot fathom why.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pepto

On the same block where lives Daniel Tiger, whom I visited with today, incidentally, resides newcomer Pepto—and, yes, that’s his real name. Within furball spitting distance, you also could encounter: Fluffy, Darth Mew, Ginger, Huck, JediMilo, and Princess Leia—or Snow and Stripe, looking out windows. The block bustles with frisky felines, and it’s a wonder they all tolerate one another so well.

I first saw two-year-old Pepto in early August 2020 and used iPhone XS to shoot a dozen portraits—none of which I would use unless compelled by lack of having anything better. Opportunity presented on September 8, when I lugged Leica Q2, seeking the orange and white for the umpteenth time. The Featured Image is a close crop. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 4:54 p.m. PDT.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Mona

Among the 355 other profiles in this series, seven were seen or live beyond the neighborhood’s designated boundaries. Mona—and that’s her real name—makes eight. She joins special members: BuddiesChill, EnvyMoophie, Ninja, Promise, and Sammy. My wife and I met the kitty and her owner while walking home from Smart and Final on Sept. 22, 2020—along Mississippi, before Lincoln leaves behind North Park.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image, at 9:39 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/177 sec, 52mm (film equivalent).

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The Cats of University Heights: Houdini

Today, while driving home from Costco Business Center, I encountered an animal control vehicle pulled over in my lane by Alice Birney Elementary School, along Meade. I U-turned and circled back wondering if someone had come to (gulp) take away the remains of the ginger that had been mysteriously hanging out along the grass-way and among the parked cars. Mysteriously, because the facility is closed in response to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—and there are no homes along that side of the stretch of street. So why would the shorthair make its home territory there?

As I approached again, the kitty could be seen sitting in the grass along the side of the building—that is until being approached by the cat catcher. The beast tried to flee as I drove past. Was he caught? I was just relieved that he hadn’t been run over, like another ginger near the same location a few weeks earlier. Curiosity moved me to action, and I walked back to the school expecting to find nothing more than a fleeting feline memory. But no! The beastie was there, returned to the grass, head turned away from me, licking legion or, more likely, wound—from the capture-attempt, perhaps?

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The Cats of University Heights: Charger

The fourth anniversary of this series is in 11 days, and like last year I consider closing up. So as the seventeenth approaches, expect to see a rush release of kitties photographed but not yet profiled. We continue with the second consecutive alley cat. Spur was the first, sighted behind Alabama and Florida. Another black shorthair, in the alley along Alabama and Mississippi, is next—earning nickname Charger. Sigh, if only the feline had allowed me to read the ID tag.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 17, 2020 at 8:33 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/24, ISO 16, 1/84 sec, 52mm (film equivalent). The portrait is converted to black and white, which diminishes delightful, but distracting, plants and shrubs.

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The Cats of University Heights: Spur

The third-in-a-row Alabama Street furball—and fifty-sixth for the series seen between boundaries Adams and Lincoln—follows Speckle and Whiskers. At least two more Bama beasties that I have observed, but not yet photographed, are likely coming soon. The shorthair looks down into the alley at the back of the building, where also live Mao and maybe Dizzy, whom I haven’t seen since before the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19pandemic started.

The portrait of this black, who earns nickname Spur, won’t win any awards. Sometimes you go with what you got, not what you wish you had taken. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 18, 2020 at 8:53 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/3690 sec, 52mm (film equivalent).

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The Cats of University Heights: Whiskers

How did we get to 352 profiles without using Whiskers as a nickname? It’s taken now, but I wish the kitty would have let me get close enough to see its tag. Whiskers is the fifty-fifth feline from Alabama between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. There are even more coming to the series, and I remain flummoxed about the number compared to every other street in the neighborhood. Concentration of multi-unit residences is the only explanation that makes any sense. BTW, do look back for an exciting update about another Alabama kitty: Pace (pronounced paw-chay).

My wife spotted Whiskers as we walked from Smart and Final on Sept. 18, 2020. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/262 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:06 a.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Speckle

Call me surprised for finding another Alabama cat—fifty-fourth seen between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. I don’t walk down the street significantly more often than others, so the number of beasties baffles me. The ginger and I met in the parking lot of the same building where lives Mercy.

The shorthair earns nickname Speckle, for the dash of white in the center of its M-mark—as you can see from the Featured Image and companion, which I captured using iPhone XS on Sept. 8, 2020. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/597 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 9:54 a.m. PDT. The other is f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/193 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:55 a.m.

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The Cats of University Heights: Frosty

As I write, the official temperature outside, based on GPS location, is 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius)—and aren’t we lucky: Only 94 F (34 C) inside the apartment. No sensible person in the temperate, San Diego coastal region uses an air conditioner; we live about 10-minute drive to the ocean but even this far away the sea breeze is fairly constant. Not today! Suddenly AC sure seems like a great relief.

On more pleasing Aug. 29, 2020, as my wife and I walked along New Jersey, a handsome Snowshoe Siamese strolled along a front yard. Of course, Leica Q2 was back at the flat. The Featured Image, captured using iPhone XS, would retain greater detail if taken with the camera. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/322 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:13 a.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Chancy

Six weeks or so ago, my wife spotted what presumably is a Russian Blue sleeping along a second-floor balcony railing in the alley between Alabama and Florida. She walked there seeking shade from the ridiculously-named BLVD North Park further along. I joined her on occasional saunters, hoping to photograph the kitty—doing so on several walk-bys, but always with the beastie back to me. Finally, on Aug. 16, 2020, we had a meeting of the eyes, so to speak, that produced the Featured Image captured using iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/355 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 8:53 a.m. PDT.

The shorthair earns nickname Chancy for railing risk-taking and for the first sighting, which was purely by chance.

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The Cats of University Heights: Cocoa, Too

With each week in 2020 lasting lifetimes—and the ongoing chaos that pandemic, politics, and protests present—we need some furry relief. Pardon me. Did I neglect to mention the racial riots? What a year. Please release some of your stress by gawking at the second Cocoa to appear in our series. The first, whom we met in April 2017 and wanders West of Park Blvd, bears some resemblance to Burglar, who lives on the East side.

I encountered the beautiful black on July 26 along Alabama—making her, gasp, the fifty-third profile for the street between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. The cat’s owner, who was working in the yard where I saw Burglar in December 2017, told me her name—after I shot the Featured Image and companion using Leica Q2.