Not His Type

Yesterday my cat, Scout, and I watched a hawk fly all around our backyard here at Doright Manor, lighting briefly on a lamppost before flying dramatically to the ground. He poked around in the grass for a minute or two before doing this:

I told Scout it looked like he was initiating a mating ritual. Every now and again he’d stop his dance and look directly at me, as if to say, “Hey, good looking….”

Scout yawned and said, “I’m almost certain that hawks perform an elaborate aerial mating ritual in place of a dance. And, honestly, you’re not his type.”

Cheeky cat.

Peace, people!

Now This Storm

All the night things were fooled by the glowering skies. In the hushed anticipation,

Frogs began their nightly chorus as crickets laid down a steady beat, echoing into

this false dusk, punctuated suddenly by stabs of frantic lightning, bombarded by the

rolling of a timpani, mallets on skin, presaging the arrival of a downpour, the

outpouring, the deluge. We hunker down, my cats and I, after a sharp crackle and

concussive reverberation. Too close for comfort. The lake creatures have gone mute,

given up on their futile choruses, now that the storm has come.

We had a lightning strike a couple of minutes ago that might have topped anything I’ve ever experienced. It was close, the thunder immediate, and my heart is racing. Wish I’d still had the camera going, but the audio would have needed censoring.

See that bare spot on my lawn? That’s still fallout from last year’s Hurricane Michael. And we’ve got a potential hurricane heading this way as I write this. I’m not ready for another storm season.

Peace, people.

Where The Toys Are

My cats, Patches and Scout, have two baskets full of toys. Studly Doright and I get a kick out of watching them sift through the baskets’ contents until they find the toy that most exactly fits their needs at the moment.

Sometimes it’s a weird blue thing with feathers on either end.

Often it’s the plastic ring off of a plastic milk carton.

Most often, though, it’s a stuffed mouse.

We have at least a dozen varieties of mice.

The current favorite toys, though, are catnip filled pillows.

Notice that the edges have been gnawed and drooled on.

All of the toys pictured above, as well as several more, had been in hiding for awhile. I had wondered about the pillow, but the cats have so many toys I hadn’t really worried about a few that had gone missing.

Then this morning I was doing some stretches on the den floor and this is what I saw beneath the sofa:

Now I can’t get this song out of my head:

https://youtu.be/Rk4ZKVKP7Vc

Peace, people!

Tragedy in the Forest

Our elder cat, Scout, and I were lounging on the back porch yesterday afternoon having a heart to heart talk about the birds and the bees. Scout has been spayed, so it wasn’t THAT kind of talk. Instead, we were captivated by the appearance of what I believe to be a barred owl that makes a showing at Doright Manor every evening around 5 p.m.

It looks a great deal like the owl found on the Audubon Society’s page:

I told Scout that she wasn’t to try to make friends with the owl, as such an attempt wouldn’t end well for her. She assured me that she wouldn’t leave the safety of our screened-in porch, but she hesitated to vouch for her younger “sister,” Patches, saying something along the lines of, “The idiot will most likely be shoved, I mean, might accidentally run right out the door and into the grasping claws of that owl.”

There’s no love lost between my felines.

Within seconds of our conversation we heard a ruckus coming from the lake.

To me it sounded as if a predator had absconded with one of the offspring of our pair of nesting egrets. Ours aren’t as large as those pictured below, and would make a tasty snack for an alligator or even a turtle, but from the sound of the commotion something swooped down from the sky and alarmed our great egrets.

Scout turned to me and in all seriousness said, “Gee, I hope that was, I mean, wasn’t Patches.”

Such concern.

Peace, people!

Snuggling with the Standoffish Cat

This one, my Patches, doesn’t think I know she’s nestled next to my leg. If she knew I was aware of her presence, she’d meow as if she’d been mortally wounded while simultaneously leaping from the bed onto the floor and racing from the room.

Which is exactly what happened immediately after I snapped this picture. At least I have visual proof now that Patches sometimes needs to be snuggled, in spite of what she tells her friends.

(Cartoon by Scott Metzger.)

Mermaid Tuesday

I’m wandering around Apalachicola on this beautiful Tuesday morning.

Saw a bunch of mermaids,

a pirate,

some surf boards,

and other sea-themed paraphernalia.

I chatted with a seagull,

and enjoyed a mimosa with my brunch,

before driving to St. George Island for a short walk on the beach.

I bought each of the cats a catnip stuffed pillow in Apalachicola, and now I’m home watching them go nuts over their new toys.

What a great day!

Peace, people.

In the Middle of the Night

A couple of nights ago I was awakened by the sound of feet running down the hall and into our bathroom. I sat up, noted that Studly wasn’t in bed, and called his name. There was no answer.

I got out of bed and hurried into the bathroom worried that Studly, who’d been under the weather, had gotten sick. The bathroom, though, was empty. Hmmm. I checked the den and there he was, snoring away from the comfort of his recliner.

Returning to bed, I surmised that the cats had enjoyed one of their tumbling runs through the house, even though the sound of running feet had seemed much louder than two middling sized cats could’ve generated. Again I dozed off into dreamland.

Sometime before dawn, I was startled awake again by the same sound of running feet. This time I noted that one cat, Scout, was sleeping peacefully beside me and that her “sibling,” Patches, was firmly ensconced in her favorite chair. Studly, was still in his recliner snoring like a freight train. Obviously I had experienced an auditory dream. It was unnerving.

Have any of you experienced such a phenomenon? Often I hear music in my dreams that lingers over into my waking life, but the sound of running feet was a first. I don’t want to hear that ever again.

Instead, I’ll listen to Billy Joel.

https://youtu.be/yb9rvpTDIsg

Peace, people!

The Natural Order

A fat fluffy red fox jogged briskly across my backyard this morning, halfway between the house and the lake. Patches and I were sitting on the deck enjoying a cup of coffee, when the fox caught the two of us off guard.

We watched avidly as Mr. Fox scurried down into the forest, and continued watching long after he was out of sight. Patches’s tail whipped back and forth as she followed his every move; whereas, mine remained static. My tail doesn’t often whip these days, even when I’m agitated or excited. One of those unfortunate cases of “use it or lose it” I’m afraid.

Eventually I had to refill my coffee, so I left Patches on guard where she remains as I write this:

No fox is getting past her. Nosirree! Unless of course someone offers her a treat, then all guard duties will be abandoned for the sake of a catnip flavored nibble.

Now, to the point. This little essay began with the words, “A fat fluffy red fox….” The order of the words rolled off the tips of my fingers and onto the screen. Could I have also typed, “a red fat fluffy fox” or a “fluffy red fat fox?” Sure. But why did my initial word choice feel the most correct to me? We tend to say, “clear blue sky” instead of “blue clear sky,” and Patches would be a “cute black and white cat,” and not a “black and white cute cat”; although, she most definitely remains black and white and undeniably cute.

Apparently I’m not the only one who has pondered this ordering of adjectives. When I googled it I found this interesting article.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj-2dXV_8LgAhVNhOAKHSqbB6sQzPwBegQIARAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fblogs-trending-37285796&psig=AOvVaw0merRecZG_17DUM74VQjSX&ust=1550500785616506

Isn’t English wonderful? It’s also often confusing and in some ways, limiting, but it’s always interesting. And some folks can still get away with using adjectives in the wrong order. I’ll leave you with another fox, George Strait, and his rule bending song, “Blue Clear Sky.” How I’d love to see him in my backyard.

https://youtu.be/JLh5Y9PRFSc

Peace, people.