Humans are adept at seeking, finding, creating, and imagining patterns in their lives. My patterns seem to revolve around felines and pianos for some odd reason.
Sleepy tiger doesn’t want to wake up. I feel his pain.
Despite being a fairly rational and not superstitious person I too often fall into magical thinking when exploring the lost places I often find myself in. Blame it on the all the mythology (and H.P. Lovecraft) I read growing up, all the fantasy (High and Low) I’ve read all my life, as well as my nature as a human being to see patterns where there are none and to imbue the inanimate with a mind.
The Romans had the idea of a Genius Locii, the protective patron spirit of a place, be it a forest or a building, a waterfall or an open market. This spirit was to be placated and honored and the personality of the spirit was divined by the nature of the place. A forest could have a grim human hating spirit which only wanted to protect the trees and animals, while an open meadow would have a playful spirit that wanted humans to come in and enjoy the simple pleasures of laying in the grasses and watching the clouds go by. The Genius Locii would help or harm depending on its nature and personality and could be as fickle as any 4 year old human child.
As I scrabble through these buildings I like to fancy I can feel the Genius Locii, and I make up stories not only about the people who once lived or worked here, but about how the building itself feels about being left to crumble and decay, relegated to be forgotten or actively reviled as an eye sore. Some places crumble and age and fall in a glory, such as the Methodist Church. Others fall remembering the better days, bitter in their memories of once being a place of importance, or a shelter for families.
Then others embrace their dotage by moving past what they were when first built, they welcome in the pigeons and secret furtive beasts who now shelter in them.
They shelter trees who spread their branches, reaching for windows or collapsed ceilings, perhaps dreaming of the freedom of open sky.
I know that Genius Locii are the creatures of my imagination, yet one cannot help but to feel them there. Watching. Ready to help or harm, or merely indifferent to my fate. All while whispering the stories of the people who have come before me and haunting my dreams in the small hours of the night.
Sundays are meant for adventure, not rain. So when our plans to go out wandering were thwarted by cold, wind and rain Tabula Rasa and I decided to stay in. I wandered over to his place for the purpose of general hanging out and going over some computer stuff but I brought a little surprise with me. I wasn’t going to not use my camera today, I had been planning all week on taking pictures of something so we were going to pictures, damn it!
Tabula Rasa gave me a long suffering sigh and that look that tells me I’d be insufferable if we were not friends when I explained why I brought my gear over. Then he went along with it, like a good friend does.
So here is my contribution to the Ponies, Still Life, Cat collection. We’ll start with the still life, bookshelf plus.
Next we have the education of My Little Ponies.
And last Fermi the Cat.
This is yo6u 9999999999999+++++++
. . . Cat, get off the keyboard.
AHEM This is your Sunday bonus post, it has been a while since I have done two things, a to-for post and a kitten post. So here we go.
I mentioned a couple of months ago that my companion of nearly 14 years, Xerxes, passed away after being diagnosed with carcinoma of the intestine that had metastasized to his liver. He was just a week away from his 14th birthday, which just happened to my birthday as well.
I got Xerxes from a co-worker back in the days of when I was a carriage driver, he was the son of Cersie, child of inbreeding (ewww) and the only kitten in his litter. He was always a bit of klutz and not the brightest bulb in the box but he more than made up for it with his sweet, gentle nature and tolerance of whatever may come his way. I had always wanted a tabby cat, but since my mother raised persian cats I was never allowed to have one.
Xerxes was everything I had ever wanted in a cat, more importantly he and Callista were my constant companions, even when we were all homeless together for the better part of a year.
I had very little time between diagnosis and deciding to let him go peacefully after realizing that he had been suffering quietly for several months. I miss him very much.
Callista made it to her 14th birthday and continues to hold court without her friend. I had initially adopted her with the idea that Xerxes would be happier with a companion since I was often away from home for 16 hours or more a day. She misses him, and spent a week looking for him after I came home with an empty carrier.
I had no plans for adopting another cat, after all I have 3 cats and a dog already sharing my home. While 3 cats a crazy cat person does not make 4 is kinda pushing it, right? This is a lesson in the dangers of working in the field of veterinary medicine.
A client who is a feral cat colony caretaker brought in a kitten from the most recent litter of kittens produced by the one female cat that is too smart to trap. The rest of his siblings had been trapped, neutered and returned to the colony, but this little guy wasn’t healthy enough to even neuter. He was half the weight of his siblings, often drooled and when ever he ate he would gag on his food and spit it back out. She was flummoxed as to what to do with him as she already had 5 indoor cats and 1 indoor/outdoor semi-feral living in her house.
I’m a sucker. I took one look at the emaciated and terrified little kitten and decided I would take him in to give him the best life he could he have, even knowing that it is bound to be tragically short.
When he first came to me he was terrified of being handled by people, he was feral after all. He would cower at the back of the crate when I brought him is food or took his litter pan to clean it. I spend some time sitting by his cage playing the other cats so he could get used to me and in less than a week he blossomed into a shy but no longer feral kitten. We ran some basic tests at work to try to figure out is wrong with him, and so far as we can tell he has pharyngeal dysphagia brought on by nerve deficits which causes the gagging. He also had a couple of parasites on top of the malnutrition he was suffering from not being able to eat much in one sitting.
On top of this he isn’t the smartest kitten I’ve ever met. He is actually probably the slowest. His body is not proportioned properly as his head is oversized and he has a very short neck, on top his scrawny body he looks a little comical. His right eye is kind of droopy, probably related to the before mentioned nerve deficits and at 6 months old he has yet to weigh in over 3 pounds. His tail has a couple of odd little kinks in it, and the very tip is flat no matter how I try to puff it out into a normal tail.
A month and a half later the out look for him is a little brighter, while he isn’t growing like a normal kitten he is active, playful and eating much better. The doctors and I suspect that he may possibly have some form of dwarfism, and will never get much bigger than he is now. We ran a couple of simple tests to check for the most common causes but they came back negative. Is it because he was malnourished for the first 4 or so months of his life? Possibly. Does he have some other congenital defect lurking unseen? Probably.
No matter what, he has a home here.
My adult cats took him in a fairly predictable manner, Callista hates him (as she hates everything), Jasio is his big brother and The Niblet goes between resenting him and resenting how nice he is. Honestly. He has no clue.
The nice thing about Callista hating him is that in his mentally deficient world she pretty much doesn’t exist. His mother and most of his siblings were all black and white and he imprinted very strongly on black and white cats, to the point where he utterly ignores Callista. This is just how she likes it.
On the other hand he saw Jasio and immediately ran up to him, purring and headbutting like he was greeting a long-lost brother. Jasio was a little put off by this at first but now they are fast friends.
Seriously, how am I supposed to make the bed in the morning when they are snuggled like this?
Oh stop being so damn cute together!
The Niblet, on the other hand, is annoyed that there is a new cat in the house. She mostly puts up with him because no matter how many times she slaps him down he always comes back with purrs for her. I rarely catch her grooming him, but often find them snuggling, albeit a little reluctantly.
While at first he was terrified of Kiska, he has come to realize she is a valuable source of warmth in the winter time.
So I give you Hector, the newest addition to my home, who isn’t nearly as evil as he looks in this picture.
Step one of any vacation to some place is “getting there”. It took us two and a bit days to drive across the Great Plains into the Rocky Mountains, two days of mind numbing Kansas and Missouri, which in retrospect were not as mind numbing as eastern Colorado, even Nebraska was more interesting than eastern Colorado.
I promised an arch, so here it is, the St. Louis Arch!
We didn’t stop to stare, since we were just passing through and only stopped long enough to refuel and take a potty break. I also bought a Snickers bar while we were refueling. While I didn’t really want one at the time I felt that it is always good to have a little bit of chocolate available at all times, you know, in case Dementors attack us or something.
Next we had to drive through Kansas, all of it. The neat thing about Kansas is that as you go from east to west if you have an altimeter on your GPS (as most Garmin GPS offer these days) then you can watch as you climb from around 1000 feet about sea level to around 5 or 6000 feet. Seriously. That is the most exciting aspect of Kansas.
Well, and all the dead corn. This year’s drought walloped Kansas farmers very hard and it was hard to drive past all those fields of dead corn with out thinking of all those people who are watching their livelihood wither in the harsh Kansas sun. Missouri and Illinois farmers had it tough, but I think Kansas is where we saw the most stands of corn that were black and dead.
In the meantime nature offered us a spectacular sky full of ominous clouds, with out a drop of rain.
We camped our first night in Kansas at what might have possibly been the coolest campground of the whole trip. Of course, I might just be biased in favor of it since I am a crazy cat lady! There was a whole colony of cats living there, the proprietor of the camp ground said they got a lot of abandoned cats, so she rounded them up, fed them, had them neutered and kept them vaccinated while providing shelter but not making them into housecats. TNR at work folks!
The darling little SweetPea decided she liked the looks of us and spent the whole evening at our site, once we had eaten dinner (and yes, I shared with her) she alternated sitting on my lap and my fathers.
Given that just a couple of days before I lost my dear Xerxes to carcinoma I was a more than a little grateful for a kitty to cuddle with. Oh yeah, big part of the reason my blog has been so quiet as of late. I wasn’t coping well with that. I’m still not, though vacation helped quite a bit my home isn’t the same without his quiet, calm presence watching over it. I plan on doing a memorial post for him once I can get up the gumption to go through all the photos of him and select a few to share with you all.
The next day we made it to Colorado and passed into the Rocky Mountains. If I could live anywhere in the USA, it would be there. We were greeted by more stormy skies, but it didn’t do more than drizzle on us for a few seconds. Upon reaching a peak I looked out the window, and saw this arch.
I may be slacking in the “taking interesting photos and posting them” area of my life, but I’ve found some time at work to have to have fun with our hospital cat!
Meet Bella, who tolerates being the victim of year old memes…. DOUBLE RAINBOW!
She is a good cat, a patient cat, a cat who only hangs out with the nurses when her favorite doctor isn’t in the building or is having a really busy day. Mainly because the nurses do things like this when she sleeps in our chart bins:
Bella came to us several years ago from a multi-cat household where she was everyone’s whipping boy. If something happened in the house to stress another cat out they would take it out on her no matter who was at fault resulting her hating other cats. So now she lives in a building where hundreds of stranger cats pass through on a regular basis. Yet she is happy there.
Even when little kittens take over her bed in the doctor’s office.
This is Dimtry, one of the many of foster kittens who have passed through my home.