Tag: Cats of University Heights

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Oliver, Too

Today, while walking in the neighborhood of Hillcrest, along University Avenue, not far from Eli’s, I came upon a tabby wearing a GPS collar. He moved with assurance, not bothered by my following and unsuccessfully taking a good photo (I got plenty of his back). As he moseyed into a parking lot, someone called “Oliver” to him and said “That’s my cat” to me.

His owner had one of those meshy cat carriers that are often worn on the back. She is former military, from Portland, Ore., and lives here—having once been stationed in San Diego. The thirty-nine-year old was refreshingly friendly, particularly considering current American society’s stereotypes of animosity and division: Woman of color and aging white male are supposed to be enemies of gender and race.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Floofy

Members of the Honorary contingent belong to a special group: twenty-three profiles (including this one) out of 535 since the series started on Oct. 17, 2016. By definition, these animals live outside the neighborhood boundaries, but usually not more than a few blocks.

But three are far beyond, and the farthest share something in common: Our daughter. Moophie lived nearby one of her apartments. Comber was seen in Pacific Beach, after my wife and I visited our girl in the community on Christmas day. Today’s kitty appeared nearby the hospital where our daughter recovers from a tragic, life-changing incident.

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The Cats of University Heights: Bristle

From the door we go to the window: Different resident owners and different wonderous pets. In August 2019, we met Misty, during her last days living in an apartment listed for rent. Same flat, on Jan. 21, 2023, a seemingly scowling tabby looks onto the world where he (or she) cannot go. That’s lucky, too, because it’s pup season and more coyotes hunt the neighborhood streets than is typical. These are dangerous nights (and days) for any of the scrawny scavengers’ potential prey. This situation also partially explains why so many of our recent profiles are indoor kitties.

The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 40, 1/900 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 3:16 p.m. PST. For perceived manner and fur coloration that reminds me of a brush, this fine feline earns nickname Bristle.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Cotton

The 10x zoom camera capability is considerably improved on Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra compared to its predecessor. Look at the Featured Image for confirmation and realization the benefit of having the equivalent of a telephoto lens in your pocket. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/240 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 10:49 a.m. PST.

How did this moment come to be? Our car came out of the repair shop today; my wife and I walked to fetch it. But we arrived a tad early and stretched out the time by going down a side street, which I won’t name because of the amount of detail the portrait reveals (the homeowner’s privacy should be respected). Suffice to say that we had ventured a few blocks beyond the neighborhood boundary into North Park, which is why this fine furball, who earns nickname Cotton, joins the esteemed honorary contingent.

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The Cats of University Heights: Sunny

Happy Caturday. We celebrate with a portrait that I couldn’t capture if still using iPhone 13 Pro. But Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra‘s 10x zoom lens delivers better than my expectation. Granted, pixel-peeping reveals mushy details—but, hey, I would have nothing otherwise.

I captured the Featured Image late morning, along an undisclosed street East of and parallel to Park Blvd. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 40, 1/850 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 10:13 a.m. PST. The ginger is our one-hundred-seventh feline found looking out window or door.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Timber

The series‘ twenty-first honorary member lives beyond the neighborhood, East of Texas Street into the nebulous zone where Normal Heights and North Park meet. I don’t recall whether this fine feline was seen on parallel streets Meade, Madison, or Monroe but for sure somewhere before 30th.

The tabby joins: BooBuddiesChill, Coal, Comber, Envy, Fancy, Guapo, LonesomeJadeMonaMoophie, Ninja, Promise, Queenie, Raven, Sammy, Shakey, Tom and Jerry, and Tula.

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The Cats of University Heights: Scorpius

The Featured Image and companion are products of massive post-processing, starting with DxO PureRAW 2 auto-rendering and ending with my manual tweaking done in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Sunset was more than 20 minutes before I met Scorpius being walked by his owner, on March 23, 2022. Deep dusk had set in, and the darkness challenged even Leica Q2.

Vitals are same for both photos, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/1.7, ISO 25000, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 7:25 p.m. PST. I held back adding this fine feline to the series, hoping for another encounter. But that seems unlikely 10 months later. I wouldn’t share the portraits had not PureRAW 2 restored them so admirably. That said, blurriness remains. I did try remini.ai unblur web app, which instead increased fuzziness.

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The Cats of University Heights: Aristocat

After an unexpected hiatus, we return to Alabama Street, from which has come the largest number of kitties to appear in the series since its start in October 2016. Our newcomer is ninety-fourth among the 529 total profiles.

On Dec. 30, 2022, my wife and I passed this cutie, who has the privilege of being the one-hundred-fifth feline found looking out window or door. I used Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra‘s 10x optical zoom for the Featured Image. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 40, 1/120 sec, 230mm; 10 am PST.

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The Cats of University Heights: Peeky

For reasons I won’t even guess, Mississippi isn’t a street where many felines are seen. The series‘ exceptions are notable, like Kittens, Kitty, or Sylvester. On Dec. 9, 2022, I saw one peeking (hence, the nickname) before blinds; single sighting.

Peeky is the one-hundred-fourth profiled putty looking out door or window. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 2:26 p.m. PST.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Raven

How strange that for years, our honorary contingent stayed single digits. But within the span of six months or so, the number unexpectedly jumped to—with today’s addition—twenty. I believe predators are the reason. University Heights hugs several canyons, where live coyotes; sightings are now frequently reported, as are the increasing number of missing kitties. I see fewer felines than what should be typical.

But beyond the boundary at Texas Street, canyons are more distant and the risk—but by no means absent, as the loss of Queenie so shows. Expect to see at least two more members join this special category sometime soon. The others, so far: BooBuddiesChill, Coal, Comber, Envy, Fancy, Guapo, LonesomeJadeMonaMoophie, Ninja, Promise, QueenieSammy, Shakey, Tom and Jerry, and Tula.

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The Cats of University Heights: Baron

The sixth kitty seen in adjacent yards doesn’t look anything like the others—all of which are various markings of black on white:  Destiny, Pawky, Scamp, and Thin and Slim. I spotted the ginger on Dec. 29, 2022—for the second instance in several days at the same spot.

At the first sighting, I assumed the fine feline to be another, similarly colored cat that lives within a couple of blocks. But two times, in the same place, and front door of the home wide open convinced me that the putty-tat rests where he belongs.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pawky

How strange that I forgot to make one of our fine felines the big post for New Year’s Day. I had done so starting in 2017 through 2022. As an apology, of sorts, I present kitties on consecutive days—and this one is fifth of six seen in one of two (or both) adjacent properties.

I am convinced that this playful putty is related to Destiny, Scamp, and Thin and Slim. The five are all variations of black patches on white fur. The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, on Dec. 22, 2022 . Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 40, 1/2000 sec, 70mm (film equivalent); 10:15 a.m. PST.