Tag: Kuma

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My Cat Wants to Know: What’s All This Buzz About Pixel 3/XL?

Like unwanted mushrooms popping up after rain, Pixel 3/XL rumors are everywhere. Google gets gravy from all the free fan- and blog-post hype. Am I imagining, or is there even more buzz than for the next iPhone(s), which presumably comes soon (Apple sent out invites yesterday for a September 12 product event).

Buzz is the measure of interest—and while iPhone has commanding market share, Pixel’s mindshare is formidable. Someone tell me: Is Google’s new device really going to be that good? The leaked photos aren’t that inspiring with respect to design (little is different). Or perhaps expectations about iPhone X (and its companions) are low—and maybe for good reason

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Priscilla

I no longer look for Kuma, our Maine Coon mix who disappeared on this day in 2012. About four months ago, my wife and I moved from our residence of 10 years to a new apartment six blocks away. There is now no home to which Kuma could return; since I less-frequently walk that part of the neighborhood, the nostalgia is gone, too. Looking was more about sentiment, moving along the streets he did; little more, as we were convinced that a coyote took away our kitty.

Untold backstory: During early summer 2010, Anne and I started to ponder the benefits of adding a cat to the household, if for no other reason than our daughter. We were prompted by a friendly, sweet, long-hair calico, who would come out from her yard to greet us whenever we walked by, on Cleveland Ave., second house back from Monroe going towards Meade on the American Market side. The ball of fluff would roll about the sidewalk, purring. A pet like her would be wonderful, we agreed. Anne recalls her name as being either Priscilla or Penelope. I think the first is right. 

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Missing Kuma

Five years ago, Jan. 15, 2012—also a Sunday—our Maine Coon, Kuma, glanced up at me quizzicality before shimmying under the back gate and into oblivion. We never met eyes again. I still feel guilty about his loss. The cat and I had developed a bond of trust, which I betrayed by letting him out at 6 a.m, into darkness—alone. Typically, he left the apartment an hour later with me as see-him-off, down-the-alley companion. Sixteen days later, city workers found his collar in a nearby canyon, leading us to believe that a coyote got our bear, which is Kuma’s meaning in Japanese.

The 18-month-old Maine Coon and I were constant companions in our apartment building’s courtyard, where I often wrote news stories on my laptop. I have fond memories of Kuma coming and going, slipping under the back gate. Even now, I still look for him when walking up from the alley or along the street when returning home. I no longer work outdoors, because it unsettles the other cats, Cali and Neko, which want to come out, too. 

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What Kuma Leaves Behind

Four years ago today we lost Kuma, our Maine Coon. He lived a short, full life over 18 months—from near-death abandonment; to adoption; to surgery removing nearly two-dozen hair ties; to being hit by a car; to roaming the neighborhood as the friendly but dominant male cat.

We don’t know what happened to our boy, although coyote kill is likeliest explanation. I hadn’t considered the risk, but there is a canyon close by and the females breed this time of year and come out looking to feed. So accustomed to dogs, an indoor/outdoor California cat wouldn’t necessarily perceive danger. On Jan. 31, 2012, city workers clearing brush in a canyon found Kuma’s collar, which IKEA cat has worn since.

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Remembering Kuma

This date, three years ago, was a Sunday. Kuma loudly meowed, demanding to go outdoors, earlier than usual. He was untypically agitated, pacing around the front door and sliding glass that opened onto a small balcony. I usually let him out after first light—sometimes as early as 6:30 but usually not before 7, and I started the trek with him into the back alley.

But this day, I broke routine, letting him out at six, into darkness. He went alone. I vividly recall the majestic Maine Coon looking up at me, making eye contact—as if to say “You’re not coming with me today?”—before slipping out our apartment complex’s back gate. I never saw him again. 

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Meet Cali

On October 20, my daughter’s cat Cali moved into the Wilcox domicile, where she and our other feline Neko slowly, but surely, adapt to one another. The kitty is the second to adopt my now college-age child and chance for some redemption for the first.

I met Cali on a pleasant summer evening in early June. Molly—that’s my daughter—moved into a group house, and I had just dropped off a last load of belongings. As I crossed the street to the car, a slim Tortoiseshell cat approached down the sidewalk. She raised her head to receive pats, just as a San Diego State University senior approached. He and I chatted about education and careers for about 15 minutes. Then we parted from one another and our new feline friend. 

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So Long, Lou Lou

At one time, our little corner of San Diego had two neighborhood cats, Maine Coon Kuma and black beauty, with speck of white, Lou Lou. They lived in the same apartment complex, separated by one door, and sauntered about and inside each other’s alcove; we and Lou Lou’s owners always left a door open for our indoor-outdoor felines.

Lou Lou tolerated Kuma, at whom she hissed devilishly whenever he approached, swatting as her head pulled back. He never attacked, though, merely invaded her space. Kuma was a gentle giant.