The Philosophical Cats of Summertime

As Davis’s sweltering summer overwhelmed my household, I accumulated a large collection of photographs of melting cats. (This cat-melting is a natural phenomenon that happens in very warm climes; they safely revert to normal cat shapes by nightfall.)

None of my melted feline pictures seemed worthy of a post all on their own, so I saved them all up … but now that the cats have switched over to tunneling behavior instead of plaintive melting, I believe it is now time to share them with the world. To spice things up a little, I’ve also paired each summer cat photo with a relevant quotation.

“What will it be like to die? What is on the other side? Only night and silence?”
— Isabel Allende

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Like a Rebel

I have a new (to me) camera! It’s a hand-me-down from my esteemed mother, but it happens to be an older version of the exact model I’d been eying online for over a year — a Canon Rebel T1i. I’m hoping that it will allow me to take delightful close-up photos of plants, once I learn how to use it. (Whenever I win the lottery, I also hope to buy a 100mm macro lens, so that I can take even closer-up plant photos.) It’s all very exciting.

I’d used this camera once before, on my last trip to Delaware, and was satisfied with the results even though I’d had no idea what I was doing. Here are a few of my first interactions with it:

Leaves and branches and whatnot.

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I will never understand the mindset of cats

I live with three cats, as you may know. Two of them are mine: a docile boy who bestows his love on strangers and pillows alike, and a feisty girl who likes to perch on my shoulder. The third cat is a mad-eyed part-Siamese who occasionally trips over her own paws. On a daily basis, the three of them do things that baffle my housemates and me. If one of us happens to miss a particularly insane cat behavior, we’ll regale each other with cat stories over dinner. (We’re well on our way to becoming a household of crazy cat ladies.) Here are a few of their more systematically weird behaviors:

* Sitting on objects whenever possible. I don’t mean sitting atop chairs or warm televisions; that’s normal. No, our felines insist on sitting on objects that make no functional difference to their comfort. If there’s a small sheet of cardboard in the middle of the floor, they’ll contort themselves until they fit onto it. If I leave a single clean sock on my bed, the cat will fall asleep right there, so that only the forlorn toe is peeping out. The only possible explanation is that they thrive on creating inconvenience.

* Hunting invisibles. Every now and then, all three cats will engage in warfare with something invisible. Read More

Methods of surviving the cold

During Davis’s bone-chilling grey winters, I often murmur mournfully about how cold I am and how I can barely move my fingers. I end up curled in a ball as I work at the computer, wearing fingerless gloves and drinking hot black tea. But do you know what? Despite it all, I’m not the wimpiest one in the house when it comes to cold. I now have concrete evidence of this fact.

On a mid-chill day when I was comfortably strolling around in only one fluffy jacket, I noticed a strange lump under my bedcovers. What on earth could that be? I knew I’d made my bed that morning, and yet this strange formation, similar to a gopher-mound, had appeared.

I investigated further, peering into the mouth of the blanket-cave… Read More