Tag: iPhone XS

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Kitty is Missing!

I am sentimental abut the animals appearing in my “Cats of University Heights” series and feel fondness for their owners when privileged enough to meet them. Two days ago, after photographing the Alfa Romeo parked on Lincoln, I walked by a house where lives a handsome Tuxedo who was profiled in September 2019. Where’s Kitty? I asked myself, strangely not seeing him sunning on the sidewalk or sleeping on his couch on the porch. This afternoon, I ambled past and saw something startling where he might normally be: On a box a homemade sign stating that “Kitty is missing! Have you seen him?” Oh, how I wish.

His owner is a delightful woman in her Seventies who lives in the house her grandmother bought about a hundred years ago. Generational homes are an increasing rarity—as are people who grew up in the neighborhood. She used to play in the canyons and graduated from San Diego High School. The lady is a gem and kitty was her treasure. I will update this post after speaking with her sometime soon. She’s in my heart tonight.

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Desperate Hunter

About a month ago, I heard some commotion a few streets away and a woman yelling loudly to someone else: “It’s a coyote!” The location is far enough away from a canyon to be surprising. Over the weeks that followed, my wife observed occasional Nextdoor posts about additional sightings—mainly between Alabama and Louisiana either along Madison or Mission.

This morning, as Annie and I walked on Louisiana approaching Mission, she spotted a coyote strutting down the sidewalk on the other side of Madison moving towards Adams. We followed. The animal’s left rear leg was clearly injured, and the skinny beast hobbled on the other three. When she first saw the coyote, it was under the magnificent tree that I shared with you in June 2021.

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Flowers for the Urban Landscape

Dentist day is an opportunity to walk home—8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles)—from College Area to University Heights. My wife dropped me and then drove into Mission Valley for some errands. With no cavities, and quick cleaning, I started pounding the pavement within 30 minutes after arriving at the office.

On El Cajon Blvd, approaching 58th Street, I spotted a crimson-colored flowery-plant standing alone along the sidewalk. So out of place in the urban sprawl of retail, traffic, and wayward homeless, the thing demanded being photographed. Before leaving our place, I strongly considered carrying my camera to the dentist but refrained. So iPhone XS produced the Featured Image and companion, instead.

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Coon and Ghost are Homeless

If only SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 eviction moratoriums applied to feral felines, the habitat of Coon and Ghost would not have been utterly destroyed. The luscious, and humungous, yard they shared was intact a few days ago—my wife and I can’t recall if Tuesday or Wednesday (today is the only Friday the 13th of the year). This morning, we peaked in—shocked to see nearly complete clearcutting.

The saga starts as we walked along the alley separating Alabama and Florida. As we moved down the block between Monroe and Madison, I saw a kitty beyond the cross street going towards Adams. From the coloration, and our recently seeing Pace (pronounced paw-chay, according to his owner) in the vicinity, I assumed it must be the aged Norwegian Forest Cat. Oddly, though, the animal disappeared and reappeared, as if going into and out of different backyards along the alley.

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Make a Wish

I know our daughter feels fairly disheveled on this 27th birthday—kind of like the Featured Image of the cat that we unexpectedly inherited from her in October 2014. I met Cali on June 4 of that year—the evening before she showed up in Molly’s bed. Now Cali is bonded to Neko, but her origin story will always be our recuperating birthday girl.

In the portrait, captured using iPhone XS, Cali sun-sleeps against my home office window on the Katris blocks that sit between the Belham Living Everett Mission Writing Desk with Optional Hutch and Casabelle Mail Center. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/142 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 3:16 p.m. PDT, June 19, 2021.

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The Cats of University Heights: Gracious

Late yesterday afternoon, my wife and I walked down the alley separating Louisiana and Texas, where Darth Mew and Princess Leia appeared recently. We hoped to encounter one or the other and expected neither. About half-way down the block, I spotted a pretty Tortoiseshell behind a screen and stopped for a few portraits. Right then, the 87-year-old property owner came out the back gate, and we started chatting. Annie and I met him many moons ago when we toured one of his apartments (which we might have rented had there been more sunlight coming into the bedrooms).

Raised in Michigan farm country, John arrived in San Diego at age 17 and never left. He is fit, with all his wits—meaning sharp and spry in all the ways that matter. While we talked about the shortcomings of modern education—writing proficiently of 1940’s eighth graders compared to high school graduates today—I heard what sounded like a meowing kitty. As we continued, sound increased in volume and intensity until, quite surprisingly, Darth Mew ambled over a six-foot-high fence. Without any elucidation, John said the cat’s mother is buried on his property (but the black longhair lives elsewhere).

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The Photographer’s Friend

I am reluctant to post pics of myself, but this one presents opportunity to pay photographic homage to my wife, who captured the Featured Image using her iPhone XS. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/1748 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 1:01 p.m. PDT, today. Thank-you, Annie.

We walked by the house where live Bruce (pictured) and Guido, both of which are profiled in my “Cats of University Heights” series, and the fluffier feline came on to the sidewalk to visit.

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The Palm Falls

My day started with resolve not to document destruction of the majestic palm infested with South American Palm Weevils—across the street from my home office window. But my wife and I watched the preparation stage, which was the city towing a pickup truck, baring Washington State plates, parked directly beneath the block’s major wildlife habitat.

Soon after, we heard the surprising sound of a chainsaw but could see no lift raised high so that a cutter could sever fronds from the palm’s crown. From a different window, Annie spotted someone working the base of the tree and a rope tied to the top. Then we realized: Rather than the more typical cut-from-the-top-down method, the men approached the project like lumberjacks would back home in Maine.

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A Tree’s Reprieve

The majestic palm infested with South American Palm Weevils did not come down today as planned. Tree cutters arrived around 7 a.m. PDT—four vehicles, which included lift and shredder. But the workers met an obstacle—a lone car curbed below the palm and smack beneath the sign warning: “No Parking, Tree Removal, 7-19-21, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.” Two hours later, with no one come to move the auto and tow-truck unavailable, the frustrated tree-cutter chief abandoned the project for another. He told me that his crew couldn’t return any sooner than Wednesday (July 21), because of other commitments.

When departing, he removed the signs, which is why you don’t see any in the Featured Image taken at 11:10 a.m., using iPhone XS. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/2257 sec, 26mm (film equivalent). When I returned from a walk, about 12:30 p.m., someone had placed new “No Parking” signs for the 22nd.

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The Cats of University Heights: Loki

A few weeks ago, my wife made acquaintance with one of two black putty-tats that live in the same house. I started looking for him and twice saw a shorthair cross the street and jump a fence into a neighbor’s yard. Based on that behavior, he was most likely Loki (I don’t know the other’s name). But on neither instance did I see him upon reaching the location.

Three days ago, as Annie and I approached site of the previous sightings, Loki cautiously crept into the street with nose to the asphalt. There he stopped and sniffed a dead squirrel. Annie stayed on the opposite side of the street, which I crossed bringing me close to the fence. About that time a car came along and the cat fled to safety between two parked vehicles. Then he saw me and surprisingly visited.

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The Cats of University Heights: Honcho

When first approaching this kitty, I thought he might be Ginger, who was profiled in the series three years ago. Both appeared along Louisiana Street on either side of Meade—towards El Cajon for the newcomer and closer to Monroe for the other. While the faces bear some similarity, fur markings and tails differ enough for separate identification.

The feline walked uncharacteristically slow—sign of older age—but with sure-footed commanding charisma and presence. That’s why I chose nickname Honcho. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image, today, at 10:57 a.m. PDT. After he swaggered past, Honcho ducked between a hedge and cottage exterior wall. I returned just after six this evening, when many cats would be out and about as sunset approached. He surprised by being still huddled up in the same safe spot. I wouldn’t have seen him if not knowing to look.

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The Cats of University Heights: Romper

Happy Caturday! On June 27, 2021, my wife joined me walking by where I had seen Husky nine days earlier. Annie would enjoy visiting the ginger, and I hoped for daylight, rather than twilight, portrait. Instead, a lively kitten, wearing a bell collar, frolicked from under a parked car. He was most energetic and, as such, proved to be a photographic challenge.

The rascal divided his attention between us and two bags of food garbage that somebody left on the sidewalk beside a nearby dumpster. He played, rather than rummaged, about them—upon which he rolled about marking his scent. But he also appeared interested in something, which could have been bugs lured to the refuse. Cats hunt.