Word and Image

Posts tagged “Cat

Eye on You

Cat proud?! I walk around and randomly shoot my cats. I readily admit it’s not easy. They do not cooperate. Fortunately I do not have to ask for a smile. But it sure helps if they look at me. I practice for when I have human subjects at hand. One thing sure, humans and cats don’t pay much attention to me these days. Good?


Elle is the third cat Colleen brought from West Virginia. She was timid and would have nothing to do with me… for years. …a long time. I would pull out my camera. She would run. It was indeed gradual for us to develop trust.

Finally, she knows me. She answers to her name when I call. I feed her and love on her as much as she lets me. We are not buddies. But at least we have a nodding passing relationship in which we both get what we need.

I peeked

34k, 45k, 56k, 88k, 73k, 102k, 88k – 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

Yearly digital image count

So my catalogs are jumbled or the files are in places… I dare not think about. There is logic to the madness. Right!?

On average I got snapshots just like anyone else has. Some travel shots. Group shots. Cats! But 100k images in one year? 273 shots per day? Whew! Nuts! I guess I am a nut job. I gotta ask.. how many folks are smiling, how many are looking when I ask them to smile…?

The other catalog

It’s muddled. The first 2400 or so files are a mix of new old digital and slides. The “hits” were culled for easy reference?

In 500k of images who cares?

There is an interesting mix that includes Saudi. Psychological? Break? -down?

No complaint. I think I am complete and can reference all my images/slides. Whatever. The latest? … the show. So we are set. … except confusion reigns once more. Once, there was reason to my madness…


Black and white was easy. You could develop your own film. It was less expensive. I always felt like I was on a budget. Color slide seduced me. The image was fully contained in a small cardboard frame and they stored easily enough for me to have a collection.

The color seduced me. I eventually came to store more than 100k slides in multiple drawers most of which were custom built furniture.

Once I went over to digital cameras there was no need for Black and White. Art! It is good for art. I was about image and color and too busy to pause to make art. I was doing candids and events. I was documenting my world. And my world was in color. Ha ha. We are both wearing white… but…


When I switched to digital cameras Jules complained. She liked slides better. She was uncanny in her ability to tell the difference between film and digital. Nowadays…?

I watched the Oscars the other night. And, it occurred to me? what are they shooting – film or digital. It turns out very few film makers are shooting film. Oh! They call it movies. But the term is not specific and digital or film whatever may be does not have to be specified. Ha! Digital. Digital video has taken over. It never occurred to me. James Bond looks the same either way, just different actors.

Me? I was converted to digital for the simple reason of $. Digital was so much less $ and so much less work to go from camera to computer file. The telephone had an operator who connected you to your party. Now it’s all smart phone. Dave stores 100k images in the cloud. I grew up and clouds were for rain. Gee!


So, the catalog is from 2016. Ostensibly. That is how I labeled it. It was split because I wondered if the current catalog would be too cumbersome for my computer. I long ago realized that the laptop was ample replacement for my desktop Macintosh. Meanwhile I am playing with nearly a million digital images. Is there a limit to Lightroom and the size of its catalog? Do you care? Ha! Bottom line: two catalogs – 2004 to 2016; 2016 to present. There is no rhyme or reason. And now I am realizing that my organization (memory) logic is lost. My catalog has the first 2400 images of both slide and digital mixed in. An archive of past activity? Who knows but it has given me ample confusion in keeping track of what is where and why.

Ok ok. My point? These 2016 images are kind of the real start to the catalog by date. The prelude is fine – I hardly refer to it in real life. And, there is a catalog of 2004 to 2016. I think. I can lay my hands on everything. Mostly…. If they were loaded to the hard drives properly. I think they must be there – properly – at least that’s my story…

At that time it was Colleen, myself, Elle, Willow, and Patch. Willow and Patch look alike. So who knows? Same cat or different cat; all I can say is that I am posting two pictures of white cats.


Tillie is a very misunderstood cat amongst our herd. She stares out the window at the bird feeder. I do not speak cat and can only guess what’s going on in her head. I let her out onto the deck periodically to chase the squirrels at our bird feeder. She chases the birds and squirrels away.

And, just today, Tillie shot out the door as I opened it. She headed to the left – forbidden – and dove between two flowerpots. She came away with something that looked like Styrofoam between her teeth. To my horror it was the tail end of a bird – feathers sticking out. Had she crushed the poor bird? Just as quickly I pried her jaw open to have the bird flop to the deck and then fly(!) away. Thank goodness!

Pfewf! That was traumatic for us both – the bird and I. Tillie just continued on her way over to the feeder stalking other birds and squirrels…. Darn! That cat is fast! She caught a bird out our door that fast?! Wow!

The cardinal, the parrot, the woodpecker, the LBJ (little brown job)? Just there to have a bird picture in the post today. Ha! One never needs an excuse to post a picture.


Zen. I could go on for a long time. I won’t because I favor brevity.

The “…” you put on this morning…. Take wool. It starts as a sheep. The sheep is sheared which becomes fleece, which is washed, which is carded, which is spun, then dyed, then woven…. Socks!?

It’s a “zen” thing to spin. Repetitive, sameness, it gives you plenty of time to ponder. Wonderful! I am not patient! I am type A personality – go, go, go. No sitting and pondering please! Sorry, it’s just my nature.

I seek the “zen” of spinning, that rhythm, the rhythmic movement, repetitive moment, the constant peace one achieves as the yarn spins out ….endlessly between my fingers.

You may skip to the end and just don the socks to your feet. Or, you may shear the sheep and process the fleece through the many multi step process – fleece, to roving, to yarn, plying, and then weaving.

I am party to the process, partially, and wholly in the presence because Colleen has taken this as an avocation in her retirement.

I spin. I seek the “zen” of spinning, the conversion of a “mess” into a spun yarn which is then woven into “product.” Product? None to illustrate, we use it or Colleen gifts it. Ha ha.

As I have said in a few words… it is a process. Mastery? … a lifetime. Ommmm….

Fun with food

We finished the meal so fast that there were no pictures of the food or the guests. Sort of. Ah! Sweet potato, scalloped and stacked differently.

The prelude was a different story. It was not a good day – to cook. I stuck the ham in the oven to hold it somewhere off the counter till I was ready to bake it. Colleen had the kitchen till noon and made a pumpkin pie for dessert. She preheated the oven. (You can see where this sad tale is going – South!!!) An odd smell wafted thru the kitchen. Yup!! The plastic wrapping for the ham melted all over the oven. Thick smoke filled the room for the rest of the afternoon. I/we still had to bake. Melted!! The ham juice and plastic were everywhere on the bottom of the oven. Great! (Grrrrr…!!) Colleen blew the pie crust. I had to go for more ham and return once again to the grocery for another pie crust. The meal from hell!

Don’t laugh. She also mistook a frozen phyllo dough for puff pastry. No harm, no foul. I recovered to make another spectacular dessert. Healthy! It was full of fruit! – and whipped cream.

Non sequitur – we were out to eat and came across a shop window. Mo’s art – ha ha. See, everything was not lost. No cats were harmed in the production of this meal….

No harm

…no harm in making these shots.

Mozart is a tuxedo kitty. Colleen says. I get it. Black suit, white shirts, and tie! Neat!

Perhaps you want more story? After all this blog is about the story behind the picture(s). It was purely by chance that we found Mo in the pet store. He had failed to be adopted for a while. One never knows why? And, we certainly did not know what we were in for when Mo came home. I have mixed feelings. Mo is still fitting in among seven other cats, who, so far are not welcoming him into the mix. Alas! We now have eight cats. Eight is our number. In this case it feels like we got eight the “hard way.”

Day two

After the first day, it sure looked like Mozart was on thin ice. As in, he was getting sent back to the pet store to find another family. The next morning was like nothing had happened. Mozart had forgiven me??! Really!?

I have not taken more pictures until today. As I readily admit, I am in it for the photo ops. Of course, it helps if the cat in question is adorable and cute?! So far things have not progressed smoothly. Duh! The other cats have all shunned Mozart. So far no fur has flown. The big cats, the Maine coons, have been largely ignoring him and have told him to stay away. The boys have not welcomed Mozart either. But they are tolerant of him in their house. So far so good. Ha ha, did I say that I wanted a big happy family? Was it this hard the last pair of cats we got? I guess my memory is fading with age.

Meanwhile, Mozart is cute … and photogenic. I hate black cats. They are hard to photograph. I like a challenge…. This saga has been most challenging… so far. My cuts and bites are all healing… so far.


Did I say ‘softies?’ Yeah, helpless. I did not, was not, had no inkling… but Colleen saw Mozart and was taken immediately. Everyone, family, friends, simply everyone cautioned against adopting one more cat. In truth they don’t take up much space. Eight…cats scatter around the house with nary a meow. We find them sleeping in all sorts of spots. They come around for a hug once in a while. No one minds sharing. The food adds up to $$. No one cares much for cleaning litter. Mozart had a rocky start. I got clawed, bit, and scratched – badly, blood loss… my bad, I scared him, don’t ask. As you can readily see he likes to be hugged and he hugs back. Close to being ex-adopted, he melted our hearts.

I get great pictures. Priceless!

New beginning

January 23, 2023. Oh no!!! Another cat! We are eight again. Whole once more? We were up to eight cats. We lost two. We gained… I’ve been running tryouts. Failure. Colleen said no!! Not another one, nope, nope, nope. She’s a softie. We found and fell in love with two. Oh no! Not nine!? We went back to the pet store: they were gone, adopted. Drat!

I left to the grocery store next door. Colleen hung back long enough to fall in love and bond with a tuxedo black cat.

One more tryout, I wanted an orange tabby. Smoky (given name) passed tryouts. He was scared stiff the first night in a new home. He slept under the bathroom rug. Poor guy.

Mozart’s his name. So named because we can say Mo, as in, one mo’ please. (Ha ha. I made it all up.) …except that Mo is our new cat. I gotta make more room on the table when we do our next group shot…


We’ve been indoors and isolated for about a week. The new Covid variant…. Clouds from my window… dramatic! Antique store, yes we were bored. Who collected empty tins? And, there was even stuff in some of them! Poor, goy, he could not decide and got his money’s worth in the stained glass sign. Yeah, I gotta say, we do have fun times. One more time to the “Ag (griculture)” museum. Oh my!!


I am old enough to remember developing film. I developed my own film in my own makeshift darkroom. No drug store for me. Usually it was long enough that I did not recall what or when the first frame/picture was taken. Ha ha!

Nowadays, I download images from my memory cards from four cameras. I am not daily nor even weekly sometimes. I just get around to the task and download to five redundant external hard drives. Yeah! I bet you don’t. mistakes happen 100% of the time. yes, capitalization?! I missed two days and forgot to download the memory card of those two days. I picked up the error eventually. I cringe at all the inaccuracy. I’m doing the best I can.

Christmas, New Year’s, it was not a long time between downloads…. A lot happened. Gnomes, carolers, groups, weather, oh my! Boring? Excitement? Day to day journalism.

Who’s it for? Me? Legacy? Family? Compulsive? Ha ha. I am justly detail oriented and keep a record. I do not trust that things last but am hoping this legacy will prove helpful to the grandchildren and beyond.

Haircut day

Human again! We put our hands in Emma and she cut our hair. The girls had better WiFi reception for a while. I got my ears lowered. The cat was a passive observer. Yeah, it was a strange sight all day. In the end we all looked much better. I hope the next hair cut will come sooner than later.


I don’t keep track well. The garden is done when? After the first frost, everything goes dormant. All the impatiens are gone overnight. The frost came late this year. How would I know that these pics a week or so before were the last from my garden till next spring. Bye! It was a good year!? I have a few pots that come inside… Meyer lemon trees, asparagus fern… I like the cycle of the seasons.


2019. Three years. It ain’t over. There are still statistics for deaths and hospitalizations. We are largely unmasked. Some places persist. Our vet. Our doctor. Halcyon Yarn store, Maine. Olsen House, Farnsworth Museum. Not much else. We are fortunate not to have had Covid though many family and friends have not been so lucky.

Over? Not so quick. Shots?! They worked for us so far. Colleen and I had the worst colds in years after our recent trip to ME and CA. Related? We cannot be sure. It took a long time to eat out again but we are not worried to much at the moment.

Quick? It took a few moments to find mask pictures in my catalog. Gee! I take a lot of pictures… most without masks.

Back up

Describe in a few words how you back up your photos –

Ha ha. Multiply redundant hard drives. I currently use five. Count ‘em, five! Hard drives fail. Cloud? Nope. It could go away tomorrow. It goes, you are outta luck. Database. Ya gotta keep a written record of where what is. Funny? Try Scotland, we were there when? Yes, you can search Scotland and find out “when” in a few seconds after typing in the key word. It’s not hard. It doesn’t take long. And I thank myself every day for keeping track of where my stuff is. And then, it still ain’t easy. Back your stuff up. All I did was search “copy a.” Look what I got!?


You’re never gonna see my kitchen this neat again. The first frost. Dawn. The thanksgiving countdown. Covid is over. At least we are unrestrained and there has been a cooking explosion in my house in response to three years of deferred holiday celebrations. We got food coming from all directions. Cooking. Baking. Oh my! Colleen made mincemeat pie… and tarts. Ummm, no can I not have another, please, And, yes, of course, the cats help!

She baked bread. She laughed. I was so bowled over by the professional quality of her bread…. It tickled her so…. 

Meringue cookies. I had leftover egg whites. Internet! The NYT now makes you pay for recipes. No need! Wow! They came out phenomenal. I kid you not. Jane got a cold and stayed away. Lee arrived a day late. Eric??? Let the family games begin!! I should know better by now. We just got over the worst colds… No one, I promise, will go away hungry.  

When I say “neat,” it simply means you see empty counter surface. Ha ha. (Shhh… three big storage bins of food are in the elevator. Yeah, we got an elevator… )

Fast forward

Life is in fast forward these days. There’s no let up soon. We returned from Maine and flew to California. Day trips. Thanksgiving at our house. Ohio a couple of trips. We are on the go. In between there is a lot of fleece to wash, card, and spin. No boredom around here. Looking back at the first part, maybe that was the slow part?

Family, kids, nature, cats… repeat.

What do you shoot?

I got about eleven cameras in rotation. I shoot regularly with four right at this moment. Other cameras are in closets or on the shelves having outlived their usefulness giving way to the newest latest greatest technologies. I have several iPhones. Only one is in current use. So?

The question arises: what camera do you use? It depends on the circumstance. For events like an Indian Powwow I want to use the “big gun” and the “big lens.” It’s nice to have choices. I keep a camera on my desk: clouds, moon…. I have a camera on the dashboard of the car. You never know. Colleen is a good sport about taking pics rather than my handling the camera while driving. Good! I have a camera in the dining room to get grab shots of the cats when they are frantically trying to be cute or to avoid me. I use a macro lens for my flower garden and otherwise I am zoom lens on pretty much everything. I tend to the maximum zoom. So, why not a prime zoom at that focal length? TMI!

It was a simple question. I download to five redundant external drives under the assumption that everything electronic breaks down – eventually.

What do you shoot? What do I shoot? Mainly it breaks down to fitting the camera to the need. It is nice to have choices.

Now, to wives? There is only one!! One! One and only?!!! Different day different camera, but only one wife!


High tea. It’s referred to:

“English High Tea usually involved a mug of tea, bread, vegetables, cheese and occasionally meat.

What is difference between afternoon tea and high tea?

Delectable scones, tea sandwiches, and cakes are the hallmark of an afternoon tea, which is served in midafternoon. A high tea, however, includes much more substantive fare…

“Tasha Tudor: was an American illustrator and writer of children’s books.” Beloved!

Colleen has loved her books and illustrations long before I met her. We have bought several of her books which are collectibles from antique stores.

And, I have become introduced to the Tasha Tudor society. Yes, a fan club! On her 107 birthday we attended a Tea in her honor far from our home in Lancaster PA. I won the door prize! Imagine that! We had a splendid time. There were speeches. There was a tour.

Yes, there are cults that promote good. We met people who had met Tasha during her life. Some folks have pursued celebrations like this for many years. It is indeed humbling to see living history pass as the participants grow ever older and the tenuous connection to Tasha fades.

The day started in fog and ended with a spectacular sunset replete with rainbow. Nutley, as ever, did not want us to leave him for the day. Colleen ate in a favorite restaurant as a coda. Perfect! Priceless!