Tag: Cats of University Heights

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The Cats of University Heights: Birdy

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.

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The Cats of University Heights: Blossom

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.

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The Cats of University Heights: Sprint

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-19pandemic, 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.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pebbles

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.

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The Cats of University Heights: Tang

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.

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The Cats of University Heights: Mustachio

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).

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The Cats of University Heights: Mercy

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!”

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The Cats of University Heights: Digger

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).

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The Cats of University Heights: Shelter

A week ago, the World Health Organization (finally) declared SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—a pandemic. Next Day, President Trump declared a national emergency. Here in California, most bars, eateries, K-12 schools, shops, and universities are indefinitely closed, while residents are ordered to stay home—a tactic meant to “flatten the curve” of the contagion’s spread. Reasoning: If people avoid one another (so-called “social distancing”), fewer folks will be sick at once. Otherwise, with a nearly 20-percent medical intervention rate, Novel Coronavirus would, or likely still will, overwhelm hospitals. In San Diego, for example, there are not enough beds for the expected number of people desperately in need of invasive care.

Walks are considered safe enough, and my wife and I continue them. If you must “shelter in place“, ocean breezes and sunshine are Southern California comforts that invigorate mental and physical well-being. We might as well take advantage of what the cost of living pays for—while we still can (gulp, considering the economic pandemic also underway). As long as we can still get out, I’ll be on the lookout for fresh felines to add to this series. Hence: The fifty-seventh window watcher, which I saw on March 14, 2020 along Campus between Meade and Monroe.

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The Cats of University Heights: Shade

I don’t see many furballs along the stretch of Lincoln from Washington to where it dead-ends past Vermont. Our newest, observed inhabitant joins seven others: CoolDainty, Glass, KittyLittle MissSky, and Spunky.

Not the most original nickname, Shade is apt for the challenge posed capturing the Featured Image using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 12:20 p.m. PST, Jan. 22, 2020.

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The Cats of University Heights: Jolly

The fifty-sixth putty-tat seen behind window or door made an unexpected appearance, along Madison near Delaware, early afternoon Feb. 4, 2020. I shot a half-dozen photos—some auto, others manually—focused, and the last is best. The Featured Image, nearly 100-percent cropped, comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 12:48 p.m. PST.

The cat’s coloration reminds of Internet meme-maker (and now deceased) Grumpy Cat, but without the ridiculous frown. An appropriate nickname should be some kind of opposite, then. I choose Jolly.

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The Cats of University Heights: Chum

As summer solstice approached last year, I spotted three playful kitties romping around a front lawn not far from where North meets Madison. Only two were photographed, and I frequented the property over the following months hoping for a shot of the third. No such luck. Finally, in October, the pair joined the series with nickname Chums; I have seen them chasing one another a few times since.

The other remained more mirage until the morning of Jan. 29, 2020, when he (or she) appeared on the porch overlooking the yard they all apparently share. Singular Chum is appropriate moniker for frenemy the third. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 9:49 a.m. PST.