Category Archives: Catblogging

Friday Catblogging: Lover Of The Sun

Like every cat I’ve ever met, Claire Trevor loves sunlight. One reason she did well in exile was this wondrous window sill:

The last word goes to the Jayhawks:

Friday Catblogging: Claire Trevor In Exile

She is, of course, home with us, but a good title is a terrible thing to waste.

She likes the suitcase more than her carrier.

The last word goes to Badfinger:

Friday Catblogging: May The Force Be With You

Finn, our Russian Blue, is half of our dynamic rescue duo. He has a beautiful sister, Rey, who is a Russian Black. He was a problematic kitten at the shelter where I volunteered in the pre-plague days, and he fell in love with me. Four years later he is a loving, talkative, intelligent alien being, I mean cat. Always adopt instead of shopping.

Friday Catblogging: The Sentinel

Claire Trevor has been keeping us safe since September 2020.

Friday Catblogging: Rug Rat

Here’s Claire Trevor on a rug made by our friend Mother Mary.

Friday Guest Catblogging: Little Buddy Must Pass

My friend Kyle recently bought the George Harrison All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary Uber Deluxe Box Set. It came with some garden gnomes and assorted other doo-dads and knick-knacks. Kyle assured me that George’s ashes were not part of the deal. I was relieved.

Spying his opportunity, our old pal Little Buddy sat in the box or is that set in the box set? Beats the hell outta me.

The last word goes to George Harrison:

Friday Catblogging: Noir Alley Broads

The only thing I don’t like about TCM is that they put Eddie Muller’s Noir Alley on hiatus during August. My Noir Alley broads don’t like that either. FYI, the image of the OG Claire Trevor driving in Raw Deal is part of the Noir Alley opening montage.

Another reason Noir Alley is so popular in my house is that Eddie is a cat person:

Friday Catblogging: Remembering Paul Drake

It been nearly a year since Paul Drake was stricken with Saddleback Thrombosis. He died a mere 51 hours later. It was the most traumatic cat death Dr. A and I have ever experienced.

We still miss him and often talk about what Claire Trevor is missing by not being introduced to the way of the Mojito Cat by PD.

Here are three of my favorite PD images including one with the late great Della Street.

Finally, the boy and his namesake:

Friday Catblogging: Eyes Wide Open

I’m not sure if Claire Trevor was vexed when Dr. A snapped this picture but it’s a distinct possibility.

Friday Catblogging: Homestretch

And the winner is Claire Trevor.

 

Friday Catblogging: For The Birds

After two weeks of guest catblogging, Claire Trevor is back. She likes Dr. A’s new book.

Sibley gave me an earworm:

Friday Guest Catblogging: Paco Of The PNW

Paco is a gorgeous Maine Coon mix who rooms with my good friend Luna Nola. They live in Seattle, which has been experiencing an epic heat wave, so I thought Paco deserved some blog love.

Friday Catblogging: Louise & Caspar

I paid tribute to my late mother-in-law Louise Couvillion on Monday. She had a series of black cats; three of whom were named Walter. The Walters were unfriendly. Caspar was a sweetheart. Here he is with Louise:

I was asked by a friend why I didn’t post a certain song by Ernie K Doe in my tribute. I didn’t have a good answer, so here it is:

Friday Catblogging: Basket Case

Claire Trevor is a weird cat. This clothes hamper in our bathroom is one of her spots. Does that make her a basket case?

Welcome Back, Normal Life

The weather here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia has finally warmed up and I have been spending time on our back deck, tending to my flower boxes and my vegetable and herb container garden, and serenaded by the distant cicada spaceship chorus, and the ever-increasing sound of the close-in singers who have synched up in their search for mates.

I wrote earlier about my anticipation of the Brood X emergence and I am happy to say that after feeling a bit anxious that we wouldn’t see or hear them, they have been putting on an incredible sound show. When they first emerged en masse, Magicicada septendecim began chorusing, making this spooky spaceship sound all around:

A few days later you can hear the spaceship is still hovering, but you can also hear the rasping of Magicicada cassini, and the tick-tick-tick of Magicicada septendecula:

Two days later, the Magicicada cassini chorus, the dominant species in this area (although the septendecim are more numerous), got their act together. I measured a peak sound of 98 decibels that hot, sunny afternoon:

I knew they had a 100+ decibel reading in them, and a few days later they proved me right:

We had 5”+ of rain over the last few days, and they were noticeably quieter. But when the sun returned they were back on point, singing at 95 decibels. And yes, you can hear them inside, with the windows closed.

The cats are interested in the cicadas. Our male cat Finn knocked one down, and put it into his mouth and brought it inside. He is a weird cat because he does not bite his prey. Then again he’s big and strong enough to kill stuff with his paws alone. The cicada began buzzing and Finn was very annoyed because he hates noise. Then the cicada began walking toward Finn’s throat and Finn had had enough with this noisy sharp-edged toy, and he spit it out. That hasn’t cured him of trying to catch another one, of course. Rey doesn’t find their clumsiness to be much of a challenge and she has largely ignored them after her initial bout of excitement.

I’ve really enjoyed this twice in a lifetime (for me) event. God willing, we’ll be settled in a sunny spot in the Keys the next time Brood X starts singing. I am also very aware of how this event dovetails with the end of a once in a century event as the pandemic begins to wind down here in the United States.

My county has ticked back and forth on the Harvard Covid map from “orange” to “yellow” to “orange” and back again because the difference between “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated” is confusing to people who want to take their oh-so-oppressive masks off. I thought about going without one at the grocery store the other day but decided against it, and someone sailed past me coughing the croupiest cough I have heard in a very long time, and I remembered that the law of unintended consequences is a double-edged sword.

The online community I am active in has several ongoing Covid conversations, and they are almost entirely driven by conspiracy nuts and deniers. You would think they’d be happy about states lifting all restrictions, right?

Of course they’re not. They’re obsessed with people who are still wearing masks. Every day 1 of them has to wonder anew about why people are still wearing masks, despite being repeatedly given the reasons:  small children at home, compromised immune system, their doctor wants them to have additional protection because of an underlying medical issue, they live with or care for someone in one of the previous categories, or they have been traumatized by the illness or death of someone close to them, or their own close call with death and Covid. Or they could just be still adjusting to post-Covid life and mourning the death of 600,000 Americans.

I asked one of them why he cared that someone he didn’t know did something  which had zero effect on his life, and he didn’t answer. It’s not about “trusting the science” for these people. It’s about bullying other people because they themselves were frightened for those dark months and they want all traces of that fright erased. Well, too bad for them, because not only am I going to continue to wear a mask in places where I will be exposed to a lot of people and thus to the common cold and other communicable diseases, I like to be a thorn in the side sometimes, and wearing a mask seems to be a super easy way to do that. (Those of you who know me in real life can attest to that.)

Masked or not, like the cicadas, I have emerged from isolation. I am back to in-store shopping, and seeing friends. My parish has resumed in-person worship, and our bishop okayed the return of my beloved choir (provided we are all masked and vaccinated), and that weekly outing has brought a lot of normalcy back to my life.

My husband is dealing with an injured knee so we’re not back to eating out just yet, but that will change soon enough, and I CANNOT WAIT to eat a hot meal I didn’t have to cook myself. My sense of humor is slowly returning and I actually can stop worrying for part of every day.

I’m back to visiting my town’s wonderful farmers market and having that community time again, reaffirming old friendships made there, and getting to know new people and finding common ground with them after not walking through the market for a year.

All of these little things add up to what Serbian people call “merak”, or contentment bolstered and fueled by small pleasures that make you feel connected to the universe. It’s a good place to be in June 2021. Joy be with you all.

Friday Catblogging: Still Missing Miss Street

We lost Della Street two years ago this coming Monday. I still miss her. She would have whipped Claire Trevor into shape by now.

Here are a few of Della’s greatest hits:

Finally, Miss Street with her namesake:

Friday Catblogging: Claire Meets Her Waterloo

It’s hard being Claire Trevor. Sitting on two crates of fizzy water can’t be comfortable. She doesn’t get my Napoleon and Wellington jokes either.

Speaking of Waterloo:

Friday Catblogging: Table Cats

Dr. A takes most of the cat pictures I post at First Draft. She specializes in pictures of our cats sitting in my chair at the table when she’s eating breakfast. I am not an early riser but Dr. A is.

These shots of the late, great Paul Drake and the current incumbent Claire Trevor are quite similar. Oddly enough, PD does not look twice as big as CT, which he was. Oh well, what the hell.

Friday Catblogging: Pitbull Intimidator

Our favorite neighbor has 4 legs. His name is Tank, and he weighs 60-65 pounds. He’s an incredibly sweet pooch but has a rivalry going with Claire Trevor who weighs 7 or 8 pounds.

In her day, Della Street was known to faceoff with this “ferocious” Pitbull, but she was not obsessed with dominating Tank. Claire Trevor is made of sterner stuff.

It typically starts with a bark outside. Then Claire assumes her position on the end table next to a window facing her nemesis. Her tail swishes back and forth making a thumping sound. Tank barks at her, Claire arches her back and glares at him. Eventually, Tank backs down proving Claire’s dominance.

The moral of our story: Never underestimate a kitty femme fatale named for a cinematic one.

Here’s a better picture of the boy next door:

It’s A Trap!

When I was a kid, I was kind of obsessed with animals, and especially the Rex Harrison “Doctor Doolittle”*. Unlike my childhood obsession with Watergate , I think that made me a relatively normal kid. But the one thing that always bothered me about that movie was the Pushmi-Pullyu.

Maybe it was because I was growing up in a family with 3 girls spaced within 3 years, but the Pushmi-Pullyu reeked of only 1 thing to me: conflict. Oh I know it was supposed to be a delight, the rarest creature on Earth, fanciful and fearful at once. But all I saw was a Pandora’s Horse of anger, fighting, and unhappiness. Even at a young age I knew all creatures, great and small, wanted their own way and only discipline, sacrifice, and an eye to the greater good could ever change that.

Which leads me to the new half of the GOP (“Q Party”) Pushmi-Pullyu, West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito and her working group on infrastructure. It started off with a laughable proposal that essentially ignored President Biden’s list of items. As criticism mounted, Capito said it was a starting point and that there was room for it to grow. Seems hopeful and reasonable, right?

Naturally Newton’s Third Law of Motion kicked in and the other half of the Q Party Pushmi-Pullyu, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, harrumphed out his objections to any additional spending. Capito must have kicked back swiftly and on target because his next phlegm-ridden squawk quickly aligned his position with his other end.

Capito and friends met again with President Biden this week and I give him a lot of credit. Everyone knows that even if the Democrats agreed to everything the Q Party wanted, they’d still vote against it! And I mean, even if it had everything, including leaving their precious corporate tax rate alone, they have no intention of giving Biden and the Democrats another accomplishment.  That’s because:

There won’t be any Q Party votes for any Democratic proposal. Ever. The 2 senators from West By God Virginia are both trying to bring bipartisanship back to our politics, and in the abstract, I think that is a very worthwhile use of their time. But only Joe Manchin, the Democrat, knows that the mission is doomed from the start (so does Biden, but he’s just playing along).

How will Capito–who needs to burnish her procurement bona fides as an heir to the late Robert Byrd—react when she gets burned by McConnell’s eventual order to sink the entire bill in the Senate? West Virginia needs this funding. I don’t know, nor do I care. Fuck her and her careful kowtowing to McConnell over the people who elected her to help them. I only hope Manchin has set us all up for a major plot twist in Act Two.

The Democrats will eventually get their bills through, though Biden won’t get everything he wants (nor does he expect to—the stimulus bill was a happy fluke). I’m not upset with all of the stuff both West Virginia senators are doing on the side because the Senate can’t act on anything until the House writes the bill, and that isn’t expected to be voted on until the first week of July.  Back to the show.

*Our cat Finn is too. Here’s a photo of him watching it: