Category Archives: Animals

Picture of the Day — Question

English Summer 2

English Summer 2

How about we reserve a day on Facebook for positive thoughts and no negative or political posts?

I vote for Sunday.

I will, therefore, neither post nor share any further items having to deal with what I perceive as politics — on Sunday. I believe that I will also include liking, disliking or commenting on your posts/shares or those of others (regardless of whether I agree or disagree with them).

I have friends who are conservative; I have friends who are liberal. Some of them I consider reactionary and some I consider revolutionary. Some I consider just plain nuts — as, I assume, they also consider me (I am nuts, but that’s beside the point.). Let’s all just agree to disagree — and, if someone really offends us, take a walk around the block or have a drink . . . and, if you really need a drink, come on over — I’ve got plenty to go around.

Basic Rules for Cats Who Have A House To Run

Chairs and Rugs

If you have to throw up, get into a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If no Oriental rug, shag is good.

Writing; no we don't think so--not on our lap.

Writing; no we don’t think so–not on our lap.


Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get a door opened, stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an outside door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow and mosquito season.


Quickly determine which guest hates cats the most. Sit on that human’s lap. If you can arrange to have Friskies Fish’N Glop on your breath, so much the better.

For sitting on laps or rubbing against trousers, select fabric color which contrasts well with your fur. For example: white-furred cats go to black wool clothing.

For the guest who claims, “I love kitties,” be ready with aloof disdain; apply claws to stockings or use a quick nip on the ankle.

When walking among dishes on the dinner table, be prepared to look surprised and hurt when scolded. The idea is to convey, “But you allow me on the table when company isn’t here.”

Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything. Just sit and stare.


If one of your humans is sewing or writing and another is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called helping. Following are the rules for helping.

1–When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on, picked up and consoled.

2–For book readers, get in close under the chin, between the human’s eyes and the book, unless you can lie across the book itself.

3–For knitting projects, curl up quietly onto the lap of the knitter and pretend to doze. Occasionally reach out and slap the knitting needles sharply. This can cause dropped stitches or split yarn. The knitter may try to distract you with a scrap ball of yarn. Ignore it. Remember, the aim is to help work.


It is important. Get enough sleep in the daytime so you are fresh for playing catch mouse or King-o-the-hill on their bed between 2 and 4 a.m.

Begin people training early. You will have a smooth-running household. Humans need to know basic rules. They can be taught if you start early and are consistent.


Remember: a well-trained staff is the hallmark of a true feline household.

*From a fax dated May 2, 1994 and found in an old filing cabinet.

Retirement – 3.10.15

Charlie finally said something nice about retirement this last weekend.

At about four in the afternoon, with a smile on her face, she said that it was nice that she didn’t have to go into the computer room and type out her lesson plans.

Sleep (Siamese cats)


We sprang forward that day, and for the first time in sixty years I didn’t have to worry about the effects of losing an hour’s sleep on that weekend. I’m retired, and the clock really doesn’t matter.

Her knee is getting better.

She is throwing a retirement party for herself at the end of the month.

We went to her school today and brought some of her things home and gave some of her teaching materials away–to those who will use them to advantage.

and Dream (Siamese cats)

and Dream

I did some editing on my novel and finished reading one written by someone else.

Drank a beer in the garden as I read the book–while most were at work.


Monday Cat

Monday Cat

Mist and Smoke Window

Monday Cat

It has been a while since I’ve posted a cat picture. So, here are Mist and Smoke enjoying some southern California winter sunshine.


The Cat And The Moon

By William Butler Yeats
1865 – 1939

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon
The creeping cat looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For wander and wail as he would
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass,
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

Our Backyard Birds (in the house, too)

Hummingbirds_3aAs a kid birds fascinated me. To be able to fly anywhere at anytime. Since I couldn’t be bird, I wanted to be a pilot, yeah, and me afraid of heights. My little brother joined the Air Force after one year of junior college and was trained as an electronics technician – he worked on communications and crypto gear.

For a while he was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast. While there he built and flew a hang glider – he wasn’t afraid of heights.

Merlin and his lovebirdsA couple of years after dad died I moved mom back to where she grew up and most of her family still lived. I flew home. What a rush – the take-off was a blast. Everything was fine until we got up near cruising altitude. The view was fascinating but the thought of being seven miles in the air was not.

The next time I flew was in a single engine four seater owned by a tile contractor friend of mine. He needed to move his plane from one SoCal airport to another and invited me along. This was neat. We never got above twenty-five hundred feet and I had a great time. I’ve flown many times since and gotten used to being so high that I can barely identify anything on the ground, but I still like small planes that fly at low altitude.

As a kid I had a dog and an aquarium full of guppies and tetras but never any birds. Now I have two lovebirds; their names are Bird One and Bird Two and, no, I can’t tell them apart. Merlin likes to sit atop their cage and dangle his tail in front of them. They climb and try to bite his tail, but, to date, they haven’t succeeded.

We also have several bird feeders in our yard: eight hummingbird feeders, four finch (nyjer seed) feeders and three others. We get lots of hummingbirds in both our Bird_at_Feeder_3front and back yards, many finches, sparrows, doves and others.

I also, only half jokingly, tell people that we feed hawks. We can tell when there is a hawk around as the birds disappear or go still. Occasionally “our” hawk perches on our fence and looks for prey. He, or she, also dines in our yard. One afternoon my wife and I were on our patio and the hawk flew into one of our rosebushes to flush a sparrow hiding there. Half a minute later he had the sparrow on a neighbor’s chimney top and was dining. We’ve also seen him hunt unsuccessfully. Occasionally, we find feathery evidence of his presence and success (and also that of the neighborhood cats).

Our hawk on backyard fenceAlthough I’ll never fly like one, I still find them fascinating.