Tag Archives: cat

Cat on a Leash

Putting a cat on a leash is not logical, as Mr. Spock would probably say. Nonetheless, when I saw warning signs about coyotes and mountain lions at the entrance station to the regional park and was subsequently informed by the ranger on duty of feral cats and poison oak in said locale as well, I deemed it as a good decision that I purchased a leash some weeks ago. The first harness and leash fitting attempt were at a park in Napa, where my son Patrick and I had stayed together for a night. Patrick made a suggestion at the time that I should practice with the harness on my stuffed manatee which I use for a pillow, as I was having trouble following and visualizing the printed instructions of putting the harness on a feline. This turned out to be a great idea. Now to try it on the cat: harness attached to cat, to leash, to picnic table leg. Calvin then managed to get tangled up a few times, but did untangle himself before settling down on top of the picnic table – a good vantage point at least – although without roaming possibilities. Disdain and annoyance were clearly visible on his face. An “encouragement” treat was reluctantly accepted after several prior bribery attempts were declined.

Several days past when it rained and then briefly stopped, I attempted to go for “a walk” on the aforementioned leash with Calvin. After first talking to him, then gently nudging him, and finally slowly having to drag him for a few feet (he was flat on the ground and lying sideways for this) I gave up. The look I got while dragging him was indescribable. Perhaps something along the lines of “a walk? On this thing? I don’t think so”. I did dry his wet stomach and feet afterwards, and he smelled wonderfully of eucalyptus bark. It was just pitiful how he became a bag of cement on the ground attached to a leash. He made his point unequivocally. Walks may have to be shelved, at least for now.

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Erntedanktag 2017

My miniature potted agapanthus dropped its last cerulean blue blossoms just a few weeks ago. I cut the stalks, which are now hanging on my apartment door, bound together by a red rubber band procured from a bunch of broccoli after cooking it. A simple decoration, and a reminder of summer gone by.

The silk tree in the half wine barrel bloomed very late this summer, beautiful to behold, the delicate pink blossoms are a bit reminiscent of the flowers of a bottle brush tree.

When I water all my potted plants in the evening, bees migrate towards the drops of water, happy to drink I’m sure after a day’s work of gathering honey. We get along just fine. I hear meowing upstairs in a very distinctive tone as I water: I have learned to recognize this sound – if means that my cat Calvin is transporting his stuffed mice and/or hedgehogs around and distributing them in the apartment. I am amused. He just doesn’t seem to understand that I cannot see that from downstairs. He is praised later on though  for his thoughtfully distributed presents.

On a culinary note: having picked up some grapes from the farmer’s market, I discovered a recipe for fish with grapes, which turned out quite well. Some of the wineries up in the wine country had their workers pick grapes at night during the hot spell we got here in California several weeks ago, a humanitarian gesture on the part of the growers. During the extreme heat some of those grapes turned to raisins on the vine, a fact not gone unnoticed by the birds I’m sure.

Have a blessed Sunday

November Day

I slept long this morning, but the sun awoke me blinking through the window shades with persistence from the east. It’s funny: When I yawn and stretch, my cat Calvin does exactly the same. Not that I make it a requirement for him to do so — he must assume that we should arise at the same time. Either that or he knows that feeding time is not too far off now. He did miss this little “stereo” routine once, but that was when he was hiding from the “blue monster” (the garbage truck). Who can blame him?

In just a matter of two weeks and with the cold nights that now about, the leaves of the two maples sitting in their pots on the stairway have turned from green to golden-yellow and carmine just like that. They have decided that it is indeed fall, a concept that many California trees fail to grasp.

A two-for-one coupon encourages me to make a trip to Jamba Juice. And no: my cat does not drink Jamba Juice. As I enter the store, I see Christmas decorations. Sigh — tis the season of merchandising again. As I point this out to the manager, he shrugs his shoulders: “corporate”, “but I wont’ put on the Christmas music until after Thanksgiving”, he adds. I give him a high-five as I leave with my juice.

On my computer calendar I notice that it is only 10 days until the 1. Advent. The year seems to have gone by fast, at least part of it for me. I almost miss the beautiful sunset as I’m typing, as God tells me to pay attention and I look toward the west out of my office window to catch the last dance of color in the sky. 

Laziness

I started to read a small book that has been sitting on a shelf for an inordinate amount of time. Transported here from Germany some years ago, it is the top book of a diminutive stack of books and thus the main candidate for collecting dust, much to its annoyance I’m sure. Even more inexcusable than not reading it, is the fact that there are only a few books around the apartment (most of my books are in boxes in storage) and the television has no reception here — probably a good thing. Thus — dust brushed off — the initiative to finally read it is taken.

The book states that it is a collection of light humor by a broad variety of authors. I started reading, but found the dust jacket statement to be an exaggeration and I almost put the book away, only to find a gem of a story just before doing so: an amusing anecdote about laziness. Not exactly a virtue by any means, but the author has taken great care to expand on the subject, of course at a very leisurely pace.

Having enjoyed the short story immensely, (sitting in a lawn chair outside while reading it — appropriate to the subject matter) I walked back upstairs to the apartment and what did I see? My lazy cat, who had managed to get his lazy cat butt off the kitchen chair where he had been sleeping when I went downstairs, only to move the short distance to my office in my absence to sleep under the table, exactly to where the last ray of sunshine was falling, caressing his tummy — his eyes closed in great pleasure. Words failed me at the sight, but a chuckle did escape me.

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you this week and give you rest, and perhaps a ray of sunshine on your tummy.

3. Advent

As I think about the day today, evening has slowly come. The full moon is rising in the east, peeking through some branches in the distance. The sun which has now set, was low on the horizon today as I took an afternoon walk, half closing my eyes while walking, marveling at it’s warmth in late December — a real treat after the cold spell last week. Church was sparsely attended this morning — I guess a sign of the times, as people forget, or don’t know the real reason for the season, the birth of God’s son. I am grateful I could attend. As Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered in my name”. After a busy week, with the joy of seeing both my sons briefly and enjoying their culinary skills, it was a quiet Sunday today in comparison. I had to chuckle as I sat in my chair for a cup of tea, having lit the third Advent candle, as my cat Calvin, the little doofus, decided to chase a pistachio across the floor at full speed oblivious to the peace of the candles.

Have a blessed week

Snooze

Naptime

Nap-time

It’s been a restful Lord’s Day today, with beautiful warm weather. My dad would have been 89 today. There were many hummingbirds in the yard — his, and many in our family’s favorite bird — he would have been delighted.

On Friday however, it was a different matter, when I drove down to Hollister, attending to an errand for my youngest son. It was a whopping 95° F. when I got there with traffic aplenty. I was expecting my navigation system to complain about this excessive heat. I know, I would, if I was sitting under a hot windshield — and I would have asked for a glass of ice tea, or lemonade perhaps.

Several tractors plowing fields on the left of Highway 156, just past Gilroy, were stirring up clouds of dust driving on the rich dark soil. To my right several large broccoli fields. I love looking at the vast expanse of the different kinds of fields in the valley, the golden hills with their stately old gnarled oaks on them, spaced apart just right, surrounding the valley.

Having completed my errand, I enquired directions (inside the office building, so as not to hurt Ms. Navigation’s feelings) on how to get to Mission San Juan Bautista, one of California’s Missions, that sits on El Camino Real, and also the San Andreas Fault. For decades I had passed signs on Highway 101 attesting to its presence, but I never got off the highway before, always eager to arrive at my final destination, be it north, or south. After receiving instructions, I left.

I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived. San Juan Bautista has the typical feel of a small California Central Valley town — a place that time forgot. One can picture it in a John Steinbeck novel. I parked at the Mission, and then stepped inside. The temperature drop inside must have been at least 30 degrees. The old — four to five foot thick adobe walls — have a natural air conditioning effect. After visiting the museum, I spent a few quiet moments in the Mission church, and then stepped out into the huge courtyard, greeted once again by the heat and olive trees, passion flowers, oleanders, and palms — a Mediterranean garden — peaceful and well maintained.

After exploring the garden I went back into the Mission and chatted briefly with the entrance fee collector. To my surprise, as I was leaving — I saw a cat sleeping on a chair — content of course inside the cool adobe building. I had passed the cat coming in, but hadn’t noticed it. I petted it, and it didn’t even bother to open it’s eyes. Siesta time, Mr. tourist — you may depart now.

Have a blessed week (and some naps).

At the pet store

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Doing my feeding duty to stock up on cat food for my “Haustier” (translated from German that means house, or domestic animal), and replenishing a bag of bird seed as well, I wandered into an unknown aisle on my way to the pet supply store cashier, and came upon “Lizard Litter” — prompting a loud laugh at the sight. What will they think of next? I have been the reluctant recipient of various sections of lizard in the summertime before, proudly brought home by my cat Calvin — for which I praised him of course, as it was a present — but then disposed of right away, sometimes helping a tailless, but happy and relieved lizard regain his outdoor status. To keep them as “pets” seems against nature to me, but to actually sell lizard litter — absurd. What’s next, toilet paper and air freshener? I can’t make heads or tails of this matter.

A recent wave of warm weather, has caused the elms in my neighbors’ yard to sprout fresh green leaves, while at the same time dropping their blossoms. When a sudden wind gust comes up, it looks like it is snowing, as the little petals dance and drift through the air.

Many red flowers are blooming now, and this has attracted quite a few hummingbirds — my favorite birds. Sometimes they fight and chase each other at breathtaking speeds, all the while chirping at the top of their voice. God’s most delicate bird. One erred into my loft just last week, but got out by himself. I have had to help a few baby hummingbirds over the years, who would fly against the window, unable to find their way out. It is a miracle to hold something so soft and delicate in your hands. The hummingbird you see here, I carved and painted on a ceramic tile.

May red flowers and hummingbirds brighten your week, and don’t step in any lizard litter.