My Novels

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Stray Cats

"If you feed, they will come."

So true whether it applies to stray cats, dogs, wildlife, or even some people! In my case, if I see a hungry critter, I'm apt to drop everything I'm doing, hurry to get some grub for them. When I lived at the farm, I had a feeding area where I put out leftovers and scraps -- a family of coons raided it nightly. Had I been there longer, I'm sure my menagerie of wildlife would have grown exponentially.

At any rate, I have a crew of three cats who not only never miss the feeding time, they also have started to live on my enclosed carport. I did create a place for them to sleep in one corner, out of the weather. Occasionally they wander off, but calling will fetch them, pronto. I captured a few photos of them the other day, and wanted to post those.

In addition to these three, there's several other regulars that I see off and on, depending if I happen to be outside at certain times. Two solid black cats that look like overgrown kittens, obviously not even a year old. Probably litter mates; several tabbies that drop by time to time in the day. I have no idea how many are eating during the night, but there's never any dry food left in the morning. Since cats are nocturnal, I'm sure a wide assortment saunter through after dark.

We just had a fairly loud thunderstorm, lots of rain, but at least it cooled the air. If this front moves through fast enough, it'll be nice to walk the dogs in the neighborhood later. I've been taking them to the wooded park every day, just too hot for Oscar, the doxie, to walk on the hot pavement.

Without further ado, here's the stray cats:

I named this male stray lying underneath my car, "SorePaw"...he was limping terribly when I first saw him. I mixed up some antibiotic in can food and he ate it gratefully. He still limps slightly, but never misses that can treat! He'll hang around, get fairly close, but will not me allow me to put my hands on him. He has what appears to be a litter mate, almost identical to him, but much more scared. Not sure if it's a she/he, but see that cat a lot too. They used to always be together, but SorePaw is always around for the meals whereas the littermate only shows up now and then when I'm outside.

These two are big buddies now, although the gray tabby only showed up about three weeks ago. He's a neutered male, very sweet, incredibly loving...would almost rather be petted than eat. Goldie, the yellow tabby, has been here almost since I moved in. If I open the door, she will quickly run inside the house and proceed to claim a spot as hers. It's apparent she is extremely domestic, as is the gray tabby. I suspect someone dropped the gray tabby, but haven't decided whether Goldie is/was a stray or some one's pet nearby. Occasionally she is not around in late afternoon, so it's possible she is owned by someone nearby who lets her stay outside most of the time. She seems to be a spayed female.

I'll post more photos if I ever catch a chance to get pictures of the other strays. Not easy, since the feral cats don't hang around for a photo op!

Life continues as ever, and I'm hanging in on the lawn mowing. Never thought I could do it, especially in this kind of heat wave -- but I stay well hydrated, and stop frequently to cool down when mowing. I have to give a shout out to the Neuton Battery operated mower, it's a gem and does the job without having to recharge the battery! Highly recommend it if you have a smallish yard.

And one last photo of my house. It's difficult to get an accurate photo of the entryway to my house, but I think I finally did just that today. This photo shows the revamped sidewalk, improved shrubbery area with lava rock, and the porch in better detail. (Click to enlarge)

Once the work on the shrubbery was done, I found some gold-looking knickknacks to enhance the door and wall around the porch. The porch/steps were also painted. I've been pleased with the reddish lava rocks, and had landscape edging and fabric put down so grass/weeds will not intrude.

That's it for today.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Around the house

I thought I'd post with updated photos -- approximately six months after I moved back home. And yes, it does indeed feel like HOME to me. I suppose it always will. When you've lived in a house for 25+ years, it becomes a part of your heart and soul. Just driving down the street toward my house, I always feel a sense of belonging, of coming home. Call me old-fashioned, whatever, I just know this happy feeling when it washes over me!

Before the photos though, just a few random thoughts. I find it so sad about the ongoing tragedy in the Gulf; it will never be the same, and though I haven't been to the seashore in years, I hate that it will now be changed forever. Perhaps never returning there will allow me to remember it as beautiful and pristine as it once was back in the 80s, when DH & I last vacationed there.

I get nearly nauseated when I see the oil-drenched birds and think of how truly devastated nature will be in the coming months. As I write this, fish and fowl are their last surviving moments. Yes, I feel badly for the people along the coast who earn a living off the fishing industry, but the waters have been over-fished for years. My main sympathy is for the wonderful wildlife that had nothing whatsoever to do with the man-made destruction going on around them.

My daily life goes on as usual: writing, gardening, walking the dogs, cooking veggie food, and being serene and at peace. It's nice, probably what I imagined it would be years ago when I envisioned a solitary lifestyle. Marriage was wonderful in its own way, but so is living alone and enjoying the peace that brings. I'm content, and that's more than most people can say.

And now, here's a photo tour around my house and yard. Click on photos to enlarge.

Front of house from across the street

The living room, what you see as you enter the door

Another view of the living room taken from the hallway

My new comforter set for the bedroom

The $25.00 sofa in my den which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! And Oscar is in his bed at the end of the sofa, asleep.

The view of my backyard walking out the back door onto the back porch/deck

My small veggie garden

A close up of garden -- left to right, tomatoes/pepper, okra, green beans and purple-hull peas

The white grapevine, growing and growing!

And this is Rambo, doing what he does a lot in the back yard -- sniffing and enjoying something only he can detect in the ground

Of course, Oscar only leaves the porch to do business...and the rest of the time he sleeps

There was a brief rain shower earlier, and the street was literally steaming mist due to the heat!

Now I'm about to cook some fresh yellow squash my sister brought from her garden yesterday. Yummy! I have some squash plants (not visible in the garden photos) but no yellow, just patty-pan. They are blooming, so it won't be long. I do have one tiny well as some tiny cukes, can't wait for the first ones.

And finally, I'll end with a link to this fascinating article in the New York Times about older people being happier. Sure seems to be true for ME!

Happiness May Come With Age, Study Says