Bella in black and white

Here's a black and white film picture of Bella, a little over-exposed. I took it with a point and shoot. Too much flash! I like the picture anyway, because I like Bella. I want to write longer posts, but I'm busy. Flor still needs lots of help. She gets a little better every day, but it's up and down. Bella and Leo are doing their part. Hope everybody has a great Sunday.


J.J. is one of our visitors. He belongs to nobody. We emailed a TNR program in the city about him, but haven't heard back. It may be that un-neutered female cats are a priority. We have other cat visitors with clipped ears.
J.J. has had a hard life, but he's mellowed out since we started to feed him regularly. He is surprisingly gentle, and doesn't scratch. Flor picks him up sometimes and carries him from spot to spot. He doesn't protest. He is not a real affectionate cat, but he does rub up against our legs. He isn't shy or aggressive. He's just kind of there.
He used to leave our neighborhood for a couple of days and come back scratched up, but he sticks closer to home now. The regular food might be the draw. He knows the sound of our car, and blocks the driveway when he hears us pull in. He deserves a forever home, but then again, so many others do. We do what we can.
I was lucky to get this picture. J.J. moves around a lot, and doesn't show his face. I…

What color is your cat?

One thing I've learned from photographing cats is it's hard to get the colors right. I also learned different kinds of light have different colors. I sort of knew that already, but never paid much attention to it. So which of these is "right?" I think they're both right. The light was just different. But you can switch them around.

It's easy to fix colors with raw photos. But jpgs can be fixed too. I started with jpgs here. I took the average color of Leo's fur under his ear and above his eyes, the dark patch visible in both photos. I compared the colors, and adjusted each photo to the other. It's more work than raw, and the results aren't perfect, but it's possible.

I don't usually worry about this kind of thing, but sometimes it matters. I think in a collection of photos, maybe for a magazine article, it's nice to have the colors consistent. But for everyday enjoyment, I don't think about it much. I just print the photos out, wh…

Merry in Window

Here is Merry in the window of Flor's office in our last house. Plants grew outside that were thick enough to block the view. Since both Flor and I are from wetter places than Arizona, we really liked the feel of a green window with a tangle of bushes in front of it. Merry did too. I think she thought she was hidden in a jungle tree.
Thank you to those who supported Flor yesterday, either with a message or silent thoughts. I read the messages to her in the hospital. Her face lit up. She is the sweetest person in the world. Right now she is in a lot of pain. She is a fighter and making progress. They tell us her prognosis is good. She feels the vibrations of people who think of her.

I brought her a big framed picture of her holding Merry and put it on the wall underneath the television, which is where they direct your eyes in a hospital bed. Any cat person knows that a picture of you holding your favorite cat helps!

Flor and Bella

Here is Bella in my chair. Sometimes I don't get to sit down. Flor picked out Bella after Merry died. Bella's back looks like Merry's, but Bella is lighter colored. Flor soon realized Bella was her own cat! She hoped for a replacement for Merry, but got a cat who was unique and special in her own way. They're all different.

Here's Flor in Phoenix last spring. We had a wet spring last year and lots of flowers. The red flowers are ocotillo. This is about as green and pretty as you'll ever see Phoenix. The downtown skyline is in the background. We are hiking on the south side of Shaw Butte. Phoenix gets a bad rap, but is quite beautiful a lot of the time.
Flor had a difficult day yesterday. She was injured in an accident. She will get better, but it will take a little time, and she doesn't feel great right now. I wanted just to say how much I love her, and I might as well say that our cats love her too and miss her. They're not sure why the house is so em…

In memory of Silver

Silver is gone now. 
We inherited him when my wife's aunt died. The family told us he was between 14 and 19 years old when we got him. He was probably closer to 14 than 19, because we got six more years out of him.
Silver was our old man. He had a lot of health issues. He was neglected for a while after his mom's death. He was skinny. He was bleeding where he shouldn't have been. We couldn't get him to eat. Flor finally got him to accept liquefied cauliflower and hamburger from a syringe. Once he started eating again, he ate other food and gained weight.
Silver had bad teeth. Eventually, he couldn't eat anything. We had all his teeth pulled. When the vet who pulled his teeth saw him for the first time, she shook her head and said, "Old as dirt, huh?" After the operation Silver could eat puree-style wet food. He was the same old Silver. He didn't slow down a bit. 
Silver was deaf. He never knew what Flor's and my voices sounded like. Merry didn…

Cats and birds

I promised this blog would cover the environment from time to time. This post is about cats and birds.

Cats get blamed for bird deaths. I like cats. I like birds. I've already posted cat pictures. Here's a picture I took of a cactus wren, the Arizona state bird. I doubt too many cactus wrens fall victims to cats. Feral cats can't make it in the desert here. And you don't want to get near cactus like this! Amazing how they perch on this stuff.

Cats kill birds, but how much does it matter? Cats kill birds. Let's get that out of the way. The studies are not all wrong. Flor and I rescue injured birds when we find them. It happens. The questions are, what birds do cats kill, and how important are cats in the overall scheme of things. My take is that cats get blamed unfairly, except in island or limited habitat situations.

We rescued the Inca dove below a little over a year ago. We had two indoor cats at the time, and did not feed any outdoor cats. Somebody else's c…