Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Buddy isn't so lonely now

He's in with Bob and Pandora again, after years of being an out-cat, (he was exported after he and the three-legged cat rolled off the roof in a fight).

Last week I saw a fox in the yard, the first time in all these years. First there was a noise sort of reminiscent of a cat-fight, but without the fire-siren effects. Then 2 things were going by that way, too fast to see what they were. Then the fox was coming back this way, without apparently having caught the other fox or the neighbor's cat he'd been chasing.

(And amusingly unseen by the fox, a jackrabbit was going off the other way, down through the orchard. I've seen one escape a coyote the same way, without ever being seen.)

The fox was mostly brindle color, like an Abyssinian cat, with some reddish areas.

Buddy was sitting on the porch observing this. He wouldn't come in then, but when he came in that night for dinner, I wouldn't let him out again, but instead put him in with Bob and Pandora.

And by now they're settling in. Bob doesn't yet quite get the point of the greeting ritual - he'll bump heads once, and walk together a bit, but turning around and going back for another pass 3 or 4 times - not yet. And Pandora - still hissing.

I let them into the bedroom area last night. And in the dark I put out my hand to pet a cat, and felt short (soft?) fur, and - a tail! Buddy! And he liked being petted.

Buddy used to be untouchable except on the feeding table, over the back of Dovey or Valentine. And he hasn't been touched for almost a year.

My taxonomy for recognizing cats in the dark is very short and simple right now, not requiring the usual subtleties of voice, size, and texture of fur.

1) Long fur?
Yes - Pandora
No - see #2

2) Tail?
No tail - Bob
Tail - Buddy

Also Bob's fur is very short and flat, and somewhat harsh feeling. Buddy's is short, but soft and plushy. I didn't know that before.

*I took this picture, and photoshopped it, years ago, when they all lived on the balcony.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Swallows' summer vacation

One hot summer day on the Nevada County campus of Sierra Community College, the swallows were all excited, collecting in a couple of trees, chattering noisily.  A gentleman who works on campus told me that they were collecting to go elsewhere for the rest of the long hot summer, after the babies were old enough.

One or two of them were flying back and forth into a hallway where there was a nest. Looked like she or they were checking to see that all the chicks were out of the nest. 

And it reminded me of when I was a kid, and Dad just had to get himself ready, and pack the car, for the annual trip to the lake, while Mom had to get herself and all the food, and 4 kids ready to go.

"Come on kids, aren't you ready to go yet? Dad has the car started already!"

This photo was taken on July 17, 2006.

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