Tag: iPhone XS

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Why Cats?

Anyone looking at this website’s recent posts, and seeing how many are devoted to the beasties, might presume that I am a feline fanatic. Nah. The “Cats of University Heights” series is about something else, and the reasons for it wouldn’t be obvious.

The story starts during late Spring 2016, when rapid onset cataracts in both eyes greatly diminished vision—just recovering, following a series of treatments for macular edema. After consulting an ophthalmologic specialist, I scheduled surgery for the first day of Comic-Con 2016. Attending Preview Night, and being unable to read any of the signs in the venue, I surrendered any regret for missing the event (turns out, I would be there Saturday and Sunday, with one good eye and my daughter as assistant).

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The Cats of University Heights: Spunky

I can’t say why—because the composition, presented as shot, demands recropping—but this portrait appeals to me as is; oh-kay, I tweaked highlights and brilliance, but little else. Something from the backlog of unpublished profiles should go first, and I typically wait to get the real name when the beastie wears collar and tag. For now, I’ll call the kitty Spunky and move him (or her) to front of queue.

We briefly crossed paths on Oct. 9, 2019 along Lincoln, where it parallels Washington, which the Vermont Bridge crosses over. Along the same street stretch, which is a boundary between the neighborhood and another (Hillcrest), you might also see: CoolDainty, Glass, KittyLittle Miss, or Sky. The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/144 sec, 52mm; 3:55 p.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Kitty (Oh, Boy)

The house,  editorial style for this series is one animal name, single-use only. But that approach stumbles when repeats appear—owner-given, not something I made up when not knowing the real one. Consider Charlies One, Two, Three, and Four as nomenclature nightmare examples. That brings us to our second Kitty, and gender switcheroo—the other being female.

I met Kitty and his owner on Sept. 9, 2019, while walking along Lincoln, between Maryland and Vermont, from the grocery store. He has been with her for about three years—and, if I rightly recall, the Tuxedo was abandoned by someone (or some family) who moved out of the neighborhood. Funny how these cat sightings are: I began this series around the same time the owner started caring for Kitty, and I have walked by the property many dozens of times since without seeing him. No wonder the number of furballs is seemingly constant.

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The Cats of University Heights: Namaste

On Sept. 11, 2019, setting out for a reminiscent walk recollecting the national calamity 18 years earlier, I consciously chose to leave behind a digital camera. The decision meant unexpectedly using iPhone XS to take portraits of Namaste, stretched out and shaded under a car. Grumble. I have returned since, several times, but the kitty hasn’t re-presented for better-quality shot.

According to Wikipedia, Namaste is a Hindu greeting, meaning: “I bow to the divine in you”. And, yes, that is the kitty’s real name, as reported by the owner who put the animal’s age at about one year. Namaste lives along Adams Ave., nearby E.T. and the now-deceased Alfredo and Shadow. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/489 sec, 52mm; 9:34 a.m. PDT. Other is the same, except for 1/484 sec.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pedro

Few felines in this series are as naturally, muscularly large as Pedro (real name). Peso is another. The forty-fifth Alabama kitty among the 295 profiles posted since the series start three years ago, Pedro lives in the same apartment complex as Penny. I am aware of five other furballs residing there—none featured. Yet.

Some late afternoons, Pedro’s owner lets the shorthair romp supervised about the building’s center courtyard, up the steps, and along the second-floor walkway. I captured the Featured Image and companion on Aug. 31, 2019, using iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/72 sec, 52mm; 4:57 p.m. PDT. The second is same but 1/96 sec and 5 p.m.

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The Cats of University Heights: Jedi

Amassing a backlog of unpublished kitty pics isn’t all bad. Delay posting the Featured Image generated opportunity to add some unexpected, and opportune, companions—all captured using iPhone XS. Vitals for the first, from July 3, 2019: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/197 sec, 52mm; 5:30 p.m. PDT. (Metadata records 6mm, but I now state film equivalent.)

Initially, I thought the black and white might be Boss, who lives on the same block of Louisiana. Fleeting sightings followed before one quite unexpected on September 3. As my wife and I walked along, Darth Mew ambled up purring and demanding attention. Presumably, he is companion to Princess Leia, who also resides on the street. He left us and moved unthreateningly into the driveway of the apartment building where lives the shorthair beastie, who hissed at the intruder.

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The Cats of University Heights: Steppy

Way, way, way behind with photographed furballs, my slow catchup begins with a Tuxedo sighted in the alley between Louisiana and Mississippi on Aug. 17, 2019. I haven’t seen the beastie since, but there is plenty of evidence: Cat scratcher put out in the morning and food/water dishes in the afternoon. As acceptable as the iPhone XS-snapped Featured Image is, a camera-captured portrait should be so much better. So I will keep looking.

I nickname the kitty Steppy, for location seen. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/165 sec, 52mm; 5:39 p.m. PDT. Metadata records 6mm, but I henceforth will state film-equivalent for Apple device shots.

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San Diego River, Mission Valley

While walking home from UltraStar Cinema in Mission Valley, after watching “Ad Astra” on opening day, I crossed over San Diego River along Mission Center Road. Ripples upon the water delighted my eyes, which demanded capturing the moment, and I did using iPhone XS.

The film, starring Brad Pitt and directed by James Gray, is in essence about the consequences of solitary living—astronaut Roy McBride, his hero father Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), or all the living creatures (including humans) of Planet Earth. Somehow, looking down the river—even with the roar of Friday afternoon rush hour behind me—I experienced a moment of welcome solitude, ennobled by having just seen “Ad Astra”. Hence, the Featured Image and its companion.

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The Cats of University Heights: Zephyr

Later the same day—Aug. 11, 2019—that I met Dragon, another black and white presented, but blocks away, along Monroe between Campus and North. Zephyr (real name) is a friendly, seven year-old shorthair that I hadn’t seen before that sunny Sunday afternoon.

The Featured Image, and its companion, come from iPhone XS, which increasingly gets more usage than ever did Google Pixel 3 XL when I owned one. I carry a real camera less often, too. Vitals for the first portrait, using the secondary lens: f/2.4, ISO 40, 1/122 sec, 6mm; 4:14 p.m. PDT. The other: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/1916 sec, 4.25mm; 4:13 p.m. Both pics are cropped 3:2.

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The Cats of University Heights: Dragon

As my wife and I strolled down Campus on Aug. 11, 2019, a shorthair sighting drew us down memory lane. Two years earlier—almost to the day—I watched stagers unloading furniture for placement inside the property for sale on the corner, at Meade. The following evening, Aug. 15, 2017, feral kittens presented half-a-block away; the next night, neighborhood teens trapped/rescued them and their momma. Two weeks later, Annie and I made an accepted offer to buy what we called the Schoolhouse, because of its proximity to Birney Elementary. We withdrew weeks later.

Seeing the black and white by a sidewalk tree at the Schoolhouse property line surely surprised. I initially thought that he might be Captain Blackbeard, who lives another block down Meade at North. But close examination of facial markings, similar as they seem, show subtle but distinct differences.

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Rainbow Ribbon

While walking along Lincoln towards Vermont—and the bridge crossing Washington that separates University Heights from Hillcrest—a front yard sprinkler nabbed my attention, on Aug. 15, 2019. I passed by then turned back to capture the […]

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The Cats of University Heights: Sable

Meet the forty-fourth feline featured from Alabama street, between boundaries Adams and Polk—and, unexpectedly, third seen at the same property. (Sprout and Zeppelin Pom Pom are the others.) My wife caught glimpse of the blackie as we walked to Smart and Final for groceries on Aug. 12, 2019. Coming up with new nicknames for so many kitties, whenever the real ones aren’t known, gets harder as we go along. I dub this one Sable, for the dark-colored coat.

The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/160 sec, 6mm; 9:11 a.m. PDT. Photo is lightly edited.