Every day I watched the girl. She had a pet fawn named Blanco And kept a brush up her long sleeves To groom his gleaming white coat.
One day I smelled fish cooking On smoking mesquite wood; My instincts took over And I crept up to the door Where the girl and Blanco played.
I did not apologize, But stared boldly, My intentions exposed. For I am a cat, Vain and proud, And that is what we do.
Luckily, it turned out, She could love me too.
Poetry Prompt via Robert Peake (get yours!). Include as many of the following words (or variations on these words) as you can: forgetful, blanco, total, vanquished, physical, traced, chestnuts, apologize, exposed, persons, sleeves, instincts, vain, mesquite, razor. Also: Include a familiar smell.
This is one of my early cell phone camera photos, taken with my Moto. I loved that phone because it was so easy to deal with. It had internet access, but I couldn’t do too much internet on it, or it would get overwhelmed and shut down. That was fine though. There was certainly enough time to stalk people and rabbit-hole down links from my laptop at home; I didn’t need to be doing that when I was out and about. But I can now with my Samsung Galaxy 5. Great.
The G5 also takes much better photos. Well, sort of. If I get everything right, then I end up with a perfect photo. But since I don’t understand 90% of the features, and can’t be bothered trying to figure them out because there are people to stalk, links to follow into rabbit holes, books to read, poems to write, socks to alphabetize, etc., I end up clicking away stupidly and getting pretty much the same variable quality photos as before on the Moto. Lots of blurry kitty faces half-turned away, basically.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m much happier with the Samsung now and wouldn’t go back. Once you have more technology you don’t want to settle for less. I have multiple ways to get in touch with my kids, for one thing. Actually, that’s the main thing.
But this pic is still a fave. I like the colors and the composition; it reminds me of the hectic pace here in SoCal. Most of us are not “laid-back” as people elsewhere think we are, lazing around on beaches, not working, chilled out. We are forever rushing somewhere, usually in our cars, and totes stressed. I used this pic as the cover photo for Gatsby’s Facebook page. Because of course I have a page for my cat.
[2021 Update: I now have an iPhone SE and have deleted my cat’s FB page. He got tired of those phony friend requests from Russian Blues.]
[Please note that I wrote this in 2016 and I have since moved.]
There was a kitty who lived in our parking lot. A nice neighbor, Christine, provided food, water, and shelter for him. He had a cozy bed and a covered bed too. I kept a bag of treats in my car and gave him a handful a few times a week. Sometimes he disappeared for a few days, but just when I thought he was gone for good, the next morning I’d see him snoozing under a car as I left for work.
He wasn’t a pretty cat ~ small and sturdy, black and white, but mostly dirty. I often said, “Hi kitty, you need a baff!” He wasn’t amused, nor did he ever come close enough to be touched. And he didn’t meow; I’ve read that ferals don’t. Meowing is something that tame cats learn to do to get attention from people. (Gatsby is a champion meower.) But he did know me and would stare at me sometimes as if to say, ahem, you haven’t given me any treats in a few days… whassup with that?
Last night there was a note on the main door: Christine had called animal control that morning to have the kitty put down. He had been attacked by a raccoon in the night and was severely injured. She asked us to please close the trash bin lids to discourage the raccoons from coming around since other cats prowl around the back of our apartment complex. I didn’t even know we had raccoons! Sometimes I hear horrid shrieky noises in the middle of the night, but I just assume that’s people having sex.
Poor kitty. I cried for him. I imagined him trying to defend the parking lot from a herd of vicious raccoons. They’re so huge and nasty! What was he even thinking? He should have just stayed under a car. And now I’m worried about the 2-3 little black cats back there ~ how could they possibly deal with raccoons? I hope they have sense enough to run away. I also know that people are simply not going to close the trash bin lids when they get full. That’s just how people are. We probably need another bin anyway, since the two we have get overstuffed.
I don’t know how old no name kitty was or what kind of life he had overall. But for the 3+ years I’ve lived here, I suppose he’s had it pretty good for an outside cat, until now. The lifespan for an outside cat is only 4 years. Nature is cruel and savage, always has been. Cats, eagles, snakes, raccoons… I’ve seen/read a lot about nature last few days. Can’t get these images out of my head now. Only the thinnest of walls separates us from savagery at any moment.
Thank you for patrolling our parking lot, no name kitty. RIP.
I’d heard about this cupcakery in Orange called The Perfect Circle and wanted to check it out after one of my visits to my father, since it’s close by.
Anyway. I was disappointed in the meager selection, probably should have tried the lemon raspberry, but I went with a coconut and a chocolate caramel. Had the coconut last night.
I was very impressed with the light, fluffy, vanilla-infused cake. Delicious! It’s often the case that gourmet cupcakes have heavy, oily cake that feels like a lead ball in your stomach. TPC’s coconut cake was wonderful. I was very happy. The frosting was another matter entirely. First, there was only a thin schmear of the stuff, so only a little bit of coconut stuck to it — the rest just fell off in a messy pile of shreds. Hate that. Second, I really like a decadent sinful mountain of frosting so I feel nauseated after I finish it. That’s how I know I’ve had a gourmet cupcake, dur. There wasn’t enough frosting available for me to evaluate, so I can’t tell you whether it was good. Stupid. The coconut was coconutty. Gatsby ate some. Weirdo!
This morning I had the chocolate caramel cupcake for breakfast. This cupcake was unbelievably bad. The cake was totally dry with caramel goo that ooshed out of the middle and dripped onto the wrapper. This goo did not help the cake retain moisture — almost the opposite. Maybe the goo sucked moisture from the cake, idk. Awful. Worst cupcake cake ever. OK, onto the frosting. It looked great and I was totally ready for some fantastic frosting after being deprived yesterday, etc. Well, twas not to be. This chocolate frosting was horrible. First, it had nuts on it, blech. Second, it was dry and cloying. Yes, it was chocolately, but that’s all it had going for it.
I don’t know why there’s been an ongoing debate over whether cats are smarter than dogs when clearly they’re so different. Why compare? But for sure cats understand a lot more words than they let on.
I used to occasionally feed the couple stray black cats that lurked around our parking lot. I put my food near another car where this other woman fed them. She had a bunch of food dishes out. Eventually she moved and the dishes disappeared. I didn’t see the cats much and figured either they found a new source of food or it had found them.
Monday night one appeared as I exited my car after work. Ohai! I decided to give him a can of the food Gatsby had rejected and brought it downstairs on a paper plate. But by that time kitty had vanished. I began talking into the air. “Hey, kitty! I have some food here! And I’m putting it in the corner near my car, not in the other place where I used to put it near the other car.”
I figured eh, lost cause, food will sit there uneaten, and I went to get the mail. Three minutes later, both black cats were eating the food.
Last night they were both waiting for me. Luckily, I have a lot of food up here. Gatsby will now only eat pure organic chicken/pea crunchy bits. I have loads of other stuff he abruptly quit eating when his tummy got upset the other week. The stray cats will eat all of whatever I put out.
[Please note that this was written in 2013 and things could have changed.]
It may surprise you (or not) to learn that Sam’s Club has gourmet cupcakes. This package is 4 for $4.98, which is obviously a Good Deal.
The first cupcake I tried was the carrot, which had light fluffy cake, very tasty, though it could have used a tad more flavor. But the cream cheese frosting was excellent ~ if I were still doing my cupcake table, I’d give it a 10. There was a generous amount and it was soooo full of buttercream nom. Didn’t need the nuts, but they added to the curb appeal. And look at the adorable carrot!
Next I tried the coconut. As my long-time readers know, I love this flavor and am inclined to nudge it up in the ratings just because. But I’d give the Sam’s coconut a 7 in every category. The cake (again) was pleasantly light and fluffy, but a bit bland. The frosting, while nicely piled up with coconut, was not buttercream, but whipped vanilla, and had a slightly odd aftertaste. Plus. I didn’t think this cupcake was that pretty compared to the others in the package. Surely there could have been a bit of deco to break up the massive snowball effect? Well, judge for yourselves.
Gatsby makes a ruling.
OK then. Watch for my review of the other two Sam’s cupcakes coming soon!
Cocoa showed up in my life in the fall of 2004, just when I needed her. She was a stray and my neighbor had been feeding her, but she had 3 other cats. Cocoa strolled into our garage and then on into the kitchen… deciding, hey, nice place ya got here, would be a shame if it didn’t have a cat living in it. Now it does. Boom.
Cocoa was a large and lovely lady kitty, lots to love, and we all loved her a lot. We had a group meeting regarding her name (my neighbor had been calling her Spreckles, which we didn’t like). After much discussion, we decided upon Cocoa with the caveat from my youngest that it be spelled Cocoa not Coco. “Coco looks like a stripper name,” she said. Cocoa had a super sweet and interesting personality, and soon we adopted a little sister for her because I liked having two of everything. Cocoa was probably 6-8 years old when she arrived in our lives and unfortunately already had a limp from arthritis.
By 2011, the arthritis had progressed to the point that she could no longer walk without pain. Also, I had moved and the stress of new surroundings didn’t jibe well with her. We tried some medications, but they had no effect. After she stopped going to her food dish, she lost a bunch of weight, and we said a peaceful, medicated goodbye.
I like to believe Cocoa was happy with us for those 7 years. We were lucky to have her.
My smile for this week is very soft and cuddly. Yep, we have a special little kitty houseguest named Autumn, and she is a sweetheart. Only about a year old, she is smaller than our resident cats, and light as a feather, but she doesn’t let the older cats push her around. They are all getting along pretty well and it’s nice to have a baby in the house.