It’s The Third of June, Already; Music, With Cats

CAT-themed sites are preferred if you wish to repost or reblog; ask permission!

Boss Last June

Here’s the Boss (pic taken last June), making an appearance so he can supervise our efforts today!

Every 3rd of June I post this deftly worded mystery in song form, Ode to Billie Joe, written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry. In 1967 it was number one for four weeks and it even knocked the Beatles out of first place; it stayed on the charts for 20 weeks. It had eight Grammy nominations, with four wins.

This is the best version for vocals, IMO.

IMO the song is effective and lasting partly because it doesn’t provide an answer, but leaves the listener wondering and imagining.

I think this song endures because it has authenticity; Bobby Gentry grew up in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta and speaks with an accent and rhythm of the US Deep South, where I now live, and the lyrics are worded in ways I’ve actually heard used here. That makes it real; sometimes everyone everywhere can recognize the sound of real people talking even though they may not have heard the actual speakers. That’s how stories become implanted in minds and resonate, even across years. That’s also part of why the song was such a hit, in my opinion.

This version has IMO the best visuals, plus an explanation of how the rivers are positioned.

I was captivated by this song when I first heard it, though it was years later, after I’d learned more about how storytelling works, when I realized just how brilliant it is.

Summer photos from May/June last year:

Sky Sweep

Green-Blue Scenario

Mimosa standing out

When I wrote my MUSE Award winning cat book I tried to capture the daily aural ambiance of the place I live in, a university town surrounded by coal mines, agricultural lands, and industrial areas. I mixed scholarly language with occasional local sayings, and I also borrowed from many regions of the US, several other languages, old counter-cultural slang, and from the expanding terminology of cat people, as in “floofer”. Language and the way it forms and grows is a topic that fascinates me.

Links to get the book are at the upper right and on the page “Order the MUSE-Award-winning book.”

Her sweetness Moonpie is here to close. All our cats are thriving and we’ll get back soon with pictures of all those kitties! Still working through some computer issues.

Our little Moonpie last June

Posted in Cats, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 65 Comments

Big Cat Identity Kerfluffles

Check with me before reblogging or reposting. Cat-themed sites are preferred.

Lynx loose in the house!

That’s a Lynx in the picture at about 7 months old. Our household domesticated cat named Lynx, that is.

It’s spring, and animals are showing up on game cameras. I’ve always seen facebook discussions of just which species of wild cats are out there. Many people claim to have actually seen cougars when out in the wild. There’s never been a consensus of opinion; persons working in professional wildlife capacities always say these sightings are mistaken identity – maybe bobcats or large dogs – and there are no cougars in Alabama.

Lynx, pictured here during last year’s run on tp; he wants everyone to know that a bobcat actually is a lynx.

Boisterous young Lynx!

In one chapter of Catwoods, I looked into these questions. I cited a paper by an expert in the state whose opinion was, no cougars are present here. Even with the wide range of statements, when I wrote the book I never thought this would turn into a controversy. Don’t serious investigators, or even savvy casual observers, search for, weigh, and consider any and all data? I tried to paint with a broad brush.

That chapter was sparked by an encounter that my husband and I had with an unknown animal in the night. We are two highly observant and thoughtful persons who respect science and I did honestly state our opinions, that there might have been a cougar out there. I relayed experiences of other credible persons in the state who had reported actually seeing a cougar. Gulp! I agreed that this would have been a passerby or escaped captive and that there are no breeding populations. And I didn’t say any of us are infallible. I’ve read online discussions of “What kind of cat was that?” for years but only recently did I see one become sort of heated. Gulp again.

I was striving for scientific accuracy as much as possible in the book, but I also included observational history of my own, and some from others. So that might be called informal and/or anecdotal evidence, as I’m not a biologist. I don’t usually speak in absolutes because there is always more data out there to be added in the future, and, there’s always research, and articles, that I just never encountered when researching for the book. Due to the illness which began before I wrote it, I was not able to get out to go do onsite library research, or to talk to people.

Catwoods is essentially nonfiction, although there are brief breakthroughs of fiction when I “voice” the cats. I had actually seen that done in other nonfiction cat narratives. I did always try to base any statements I invented for the cats on actual cat behaviors known to science.

So y’all, the book is a memoir, mostly about smaller wild felines, the somewhat domesticated kind we call housecats. I present facts and state honest opinions. Readers are welcome to form their own conclusions.

On a lighter note regarding mistaken identity, if you looked across a field one hazy evening and saw that guy in the pictures above . . .  Though he doesn’t look quite so lynxie now that he’s older. Getting the book helps us support wraithes, er waifs, like the Lynx kitty above.

And this guy! A moody older picture of Boss:

Awww, wistful Boss!

And, all our other kitties and their feral elders too. I just wanted to do something quick and not post everyone’s pictures this time. I hope the other kitties won’t mind. Gulp!

I’m still using older pictures. We’re still trying to arrange more picture space so I can start using more recent pictures. With multiple items on the to-do list it’s going to take awhile.

Lynx to get the book are at the upper right for Amazon, and on the Order the MUSE Award-winning Catwoods Book online page which goes direct to Borgo Publishing.

Posted in Book topics, Cats, Nature | Tagged , , , , , | 63 Comments

Black Cat Beauty Through All Seasons

Boss is a wise kitty

Boss is here to brighten things up a bit.

I usually wait several weeks between posts, and I’m not ready to do a long post. But I wanted to strike a pleasant note by leaving a couple of pictures here until I can post something longer.

Cats are a force of nature, livening up whatever scenery surrounds us.

And, another spring picture!

Crabapple blooms

In spring many kittens are found, and some might have radial hypoplasia. These cats can be cared for and can live a happy life. My post about our late Little Buddy, “Our Cat With Feline Radial Hypoplasia” is here. It has stayed on the first page of a google search for “feline radial hypoplasia” for years. He was my late Mom’s cat who came to live with us after she passed.

There is even more about Little Buddy in my book, Catwoods. If you have read the book, thank you so much! If you like it, please consider that the kitties and I would love to see some more Amazon reviews! We have all 5-star reviews so far, but we’d like to have more! And if you haven’t yet read it and you order a copy, that will help us take care of our kitties and their feral elders!

I’ve had an Instagram account for awhile now and have yet to figure out exactly how I’ll post there, as we work on photo stuff. Thanks so much to all those who have followed it! I will post eventually, for now I am “liking” and enjoying the posts of others.

Posted in black cats, Cats, Nature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 77 Comments

4/27/11 Tornado, 10th Anniversary

We survived. Many did not. Church bells will ring at 5:13 pm today, the time when the tornado hit the town 10 years ago, for those who didn’t make it.

Our cats survived, too.

I’m just going to post links to some videos and an article. These are not my work, they were done by others as specified at the links.

Tornado Synced

When my husband rebuilt the house we survived in, he made it even stronger. He purposely left a piece of glass embedded in the wall, as a reminder.

The PTSD is getting worse, not better. Sometimes I wish we’d moved to another part of the country where tornadoes are far less common. But we’d have been leaving a lifetime of treasured friendships. And we wouldn’t have met our more recent and wonderful cats.

If you’re driving around and you see a tornado, here are safety suggestions.

What to do if you see a tornado while driving

Stay safe! If you see a tornado don’t watch it or video-record it like some of the folks in the videos did. Take cover. That said, the following is one of the most intense videos of a tornado ever:

Jason Rosolowski video (It seems to be starting from late in the recording, you may have to to drag the starting thingie back to the beginning.):

Jason Rosolowski video

You can look under the “Tornado” category here for various posts I wrote about it.

Be mindful of tornado safety and look up your state’s safety information. Use helmets. The lowest level of of any structure, in a small interior room like a bathroom or closet, away from windows, is said to be the safest.

Tornadoes have occurred in every contiguous state of the US.

Still working on photos and computers, we’ll be back soon with spring pictures and kitty photos.

Posted in Tornadoes, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 59 Comments

Springing Through Time With Cats

Moody Franklin

(Pictures and words are for the use of Catwoods Porch Party only. Reposts for the love of cats and nature are welcome. See the “Extended Copyright ….” page above for more info about why I start posts this way.)

All who love cats are deeply appreciated here!

Franklin has decided he likes editing and will um, cheerfully bring his opinions to the keyboard. (Actually he’s rather insistent that we do things his way.)

While I wait until we sort out the photo overload, we’ll hop all over seasons and years for cat pictures, and use the few spring pics we have. So weird sky pics from the severe weather days will have to wait.

Glorious Stripey!

We go back to last autumn to catch Stripey lounging about and looking regal!

Thoughtful Boss

Boss looking dreamy on a winter evening.

The crabby apple tree

The crab apple tree was the earliest bloomer.

Moonpie the cutie!

Moonpie has the tallest ears!

Dandy Lion

The first dandelion I saw!

Oh wait, while we’re being all springy, let’s not forget the deep freeze that happened in February!

February brrrr

That’s the light snow we had with sub-freezing temperatures for a few days.

February Cedar Waxwings

The Cedar Waxwing Division of the cold spell bird invasion made for excellent Bird TV.

Boss and Spooky

All cats tuned in. A good chance for a little “Protect me big brother” snuggling.

Early flowering

Back to flowering trees. (We’ll get to the severe weather pics between these events when the photo thing is sorted.)

Wisteria, delicate and sparse

Gray spring day

. . . wisteria, and that scent, but not for long and nothing like the sustained wisteria explosion we had last year.

Sweet violets

And these, this year’s violets. Those are last year’s violets in the border.

The violets are all mostly gone now, they only stay a short time. But these kitties, they bloom with beauty and charming hi-jinks every day throughout the year. Some older pics of the Kittens, they were such little cuties:

Valiant Spookums

Young self-assured Bossy Cat

Boss with hints of color skittering on his furs.

Lynx does his nails

Ouch, Lynxie! He likes to flex his nails on my jeans.

Grand Lynx

Here’s Lynx with an important message: Fellow blogger TW from the wonderful blog Stunning Keisha could use some support and purrs:


Shelley Girl

Our friend’s cat, Shelley.

And here’s Boss with another important message:

Evening Boss

He’s finished reading my MUSE Award winning book Catwoods, and recommends it highly! We so appreciate everyone who has read it, and we need for more people to get the book and read it.

People who like Catwoods really like it and tell me they read it over and over again. While some are old friends, there are others I don’t know from far away, California, New York, Michigan. It’s 364 pages full of cat stories from many decades, music and art and the “languages” that arise between cats and humans, and some human language too. Yes there’s some colorful southeastern variant language, that’s where I and the kitties live. Getting the book helps us care for our kitties. Click on the cover at the upper right for Amazon or “Order the Catwoods book online” page, under the Franklin banner for the link that goes direct to Borgo Publishing, our indie publisher.

Posted in black cats, Cats, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 72 Comments

Cats Show Off, While We Catch Up

Franklin about the same time of year in 2019

(Pictures and words are for the use of Catwoods Porch Party only. Please don’t post the link on fb pages or other media that isn’t animal-themed, or reblog without asking permission; I post this at the top so it shows in any reposts. See Extended Copyright and Image Talk page for more info.)

I so appreciate lovely readers who care about cats and animals! That’s why we are here, to celebrate and to advocate for cats and the natural world, and art.

The spring light in the above photo of Frankie is similar to what I see now (I did tinker with the color), but time has moved on.

Boss the climbing panther

Three difficult episodes of severe weather alerts have drained and scrambled us recently. All of us, cats and humans, came through physically safe. But there were lives lost. So I’m sad and tired, posting in a non-linear, time jumpy sort of way. More details on those alerts later when I (hopefully) have the pictures that go with them. We’ll use pictures out of sequence. Our show-off cats won’t mind as long as they look like the gorgeous creatures they are.

Spooky Little Girl

Spooky is getting even friendlier! Yay! That’s a leopard tail toy in the background, not another cat’s tail.

Stripey, Boss, and Spooky

Three sunsoakers.

Lynx watch

I highly recommend Surveillance by Lynx.

Spooky snoozes while her brothers keep watch

Everyone’s here except Moonpie.

Lovely Moonpie

Here she is, enjoying herself. All of these Kittens have such large, roundish, plush pawpads.

Stripey beauty

Stripey has tabby magnificence! And quite a set of whiskers!

Moonpie and Boss

Protect me, big brother; don’t fall asleep!

Fellow blogger Dawn’s family at Lola the Rescue Cat needs some help, click Help for Lola and Lexi’s Family to learn about it, and please help if you can. Sharing will also help.

The kitties want everyone to read my MUSE Award-winning book, Catwoods, which also celebrates the beauty and individuality of kitties! If you like it, reviews at Amazon are always appreciated. Boss is still reading it and wants everyone to know he recommends it! Click on the link at the upper right, or check out the “Order the Catwoods Book Online” page above.


Frankie on a blankie about this time last year

An extra Franklin pic!

Sunny Shelley

Our friend’s cat, Sweet Shelley! Stay tuned, spring is underway, wisteria scent is everywhere and more pictures are coming!

Posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Feral Cats | Tagged , , , | 96 Comments

Blinkin’ Feral Cats, Mewin’ Grown Kittens, and Spring

(Marvelous readers, sorry to start this way: I do posts for cat advocacy. Cat and animal fb pages are welcome to repost; Fb pages with other themes need to ask for permission. And please do not reblog without asking for permission. Photos are for the use of Catwoods Porch Party only.)

Franklin says he’s ready to post!

Here’s Franklin to get us started!

The ferals are blinking at us! As cat people we know that’s a cat way of greeting, and of course we blink back and then suddenly it’s like everyone’s blinkers are flashing! It’s an early sign that one day we may be able to pet them, and they might even want to live inside, some day . . .

Suave Boss

Here’s Boss Buddy who is a kitten of the ferals! Beautiful cats come from the streets and the woods. Boss is very smart, and looks at us with a deep comprehension. I still call these cats The Kittens; they all came from the same feral litter.

An indoor Lynx can be startling

Lynx likes to sit with his paws crossed, contemplating! Now we’re having glorious 80 degree days and flowers are starting to bloom in town, everyone’s posting them! I saw the first dandelion! They’re not in the country yet but I can see the light changing in the forest. I still don’t have the pics ready from the freezing weather so I’ll just post some timeless kitty pictures. The computer is filling up and I need to make some space . . .

Stripey the Magnificent!

Stripey is a large, long cat when he stretches out!

Our little Spookums

As I’ve noted before, Spooky reacts to us differently than her siblings do. While she eagerly dives in to untie shoelaces, she has really never liked to be stroked and petted and she dodges, twists this way and that, or just plain scampers away from an incoming “pet”. That is, until recently when I started stroking her from head to tail while she camped out with another sibling. She sits still for that, and now she has taken to running around and around us for just such long pets. She’s so funny about it, she runs around me stopping long enough for me to pet her, then runs on, emits a tiny little “mew” – I’ve never heard her meow before – comes in for the petting, then runs on, circles back and comes with another mew for another long petting. It’s so funny and cute, it melts my heart! She does the same with the hubs.

Moonpie and Boss

“Protect me, big brother!”

Moonpie Beauty

Moonpie Sweetiepie.

Stripey, Boss, and Moonpie

Here’s Moonpie with two big brothers!


Shelley Tail Wave

Catching our friend’s cat, Shelley, in a tail wave is not as easy as it looks. You have to wait and click at just the right moment as her tail goes sailing around!

Now here’s Boss:

Boss with Catwoods the Book

Boss has decided he likes my MUSE Award-winning book so he’ll sleep next to it. He’ll let me know when he’s ready to read it. He’s busy now studying modern lit to prepare. The style is somewhat experimental in places, in ways I can’t quite articulate . . . I tried to write from within the experiences instead of just about them. I go for the scholarly language, and the lavish poetics, along with the ambient language of the region I live in, the southeastern US. I zip in and out of viewpoints and reality. I sometimes “voice” the kitties, but that has a weird logic to it that goes back to something that arose in a conversation with my late mother, (which will be revealed in Vol. 2); it’s according to who the kitties lived around when they were young cats. And, I always keep cat behavior in mind, having read in depth about it and observed a lot of it, too.

People tell me they read the book over and over, so do get a copy! It’s a long, deep storytelling about life with kitties. Go directly to Borgo Publishing or click the picture at the upper right to go to Amazon.

Stay tuned for more pictures!

Posted in Cat Topics, Feral Cats, Nature | Tagged , , , | 91 Comments

A Weird Weather Story, with Cats As Usual

(Marvelous readers, sorry for starting this way.): Please do not reblog without asking for permission. Photos are for the use of Catwoods Porch Party only. Posting my link(s) on cat, animal, and nature fb pages is fine, but I ask that fb pages about other topics ask me first.

“Lets go,” says Franklin, “I’m ready to tell a story!”

Here is Franklin to begin our adventures starting on Valentine’s Day. Pictures were all taken earlier, actual pictures from this event will be posted at a later date.

An ice storm with accumulation was forecast, to be followed by prolonged sub-freezing temperatures. Travel wouldn’t be possible. We can’t stay in the forest in an ice storm because branches loaded with ice will fall and block the roads. Been there, actually. So we went to town. Ice, snow, and freezing rain were coming that night and the next day, and the warning was extended enough to place our area just within winter storm range. So, dicey.

Franklin made his grand entrance into the house in his carrier. Shelley pitched a hissy and told him he smelled worse than any dog, ever. He was soon whisked into his private deluxe royal quarters so he had the last “hiss”. The hubs triple checked the shelter for the ferals.

The next day, Monday, no precip had started here yet, and on the radar map we saw a narrow streak that looked like thunderstorms, next to the winter storm expanse. Weather info said some “warmer” air was pushing the winter storm slightly farther to the west.

Our five “Kittens” on a sunnier winter day

The hubs went back to the country for something he forgot. While the roads to the west were becoming impassable, I was in the rooms with The Kittens when suddenly a wild wind sprang up, things were blowing around like crazy outside, and I heard stuff hitting the house and the fence. All kittens ran and hid.

The wind was over soon, thankfully the hubs got back, roads to the west kept on icing up, and the weather info said the winds were caused by a gravity wave storm. That’s a rare sort of storm and I’ve had a hard time finding clear information on it. But I know we’ve had  some much more serious ones in 1998 and 2009. I recall one when the storm traveled to the east but the trees all fell to the west. Links for those interested: National Weather Service

Alabama Wx Weather Blog

We got mostly cold rain that day, the temperature sank fast, the kittens came out of hiding but acted edgy for a long time.

On Tuesday we woke up and it was 15 degrees and lightly snowing. The hubs thought the ferals would need some less than frigid water so he warmed some water and took it out to them. We got a dusting of snow and it sort of faded over several hours, I won’t call it “melting” because the temp would stay under freezing all day. Even so, flocks of Robins and Cedar Waxwings came to the yard that afternoon and The Kittens were spellbound by bird TV for a long time.

Protect Me, Big Brother

That’s Spooky and Lynx. The kittens sometimes snooze two by two, and there will be others in the photo series “Protect me, big brother”. Less often, the two girls snooze together. Spooky has always taken evasive action to avoid being petted, but we’ve found that if she’s with another cat, we can pet her fairly easily! I always start by petting the other cat, so she observes that it works really well; then I move on and lightly pat Spooky. The hubs is now able to approach Spooky when she’s alone, and pet her! Great progress!

It stayed below freezing overnight and the next day until around 10 am.

We made it home Wednesday night, exhausted. On Saturday, persons in parts of my state are still dealing with after-effects of snow, sleet, ice, and cold air. It’s been cold in both houses but at least we never lost power and we have heat. I feel for the people and animals in Texas and other areas hard hit by the cold and winter weather.

Here is a link about helping those in Texas: The Texas Tribune

Moonpie with camellias

Here’s Moonpie in January; camellias bloom through the winter here.


Our friend’s cat, Shelley

Here’s our friend’s cat, Shelley, who is here to say, “Franklin stinks!” (Cats recognize and accept each other if the scent is familiar; an unfamiliar scent means fireworks.)

She also wants everyone to get my book, Catwoods, for long winter reading or to greet the coming spring. Check Amazon on the right hand side, or go direct to Borgo Publishing on the “Order the Catwoods book online page, linked to under the banner above.

Posted in black cats, Cats, Feral Cats, Nature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 63 Comments

A Look Back at Fall in Bleak Winter, with Cats

Please do not reblog without asking for my permission. Use the comment section to ask. Also please note that I have rarely granted anyone permission to use any of my photos, only about 7 or 8 times. So if you see any of my or my husband’s photos around the ‘web, please let me know. For more information, see the page “Extended Copyright and Image Talk” listed under the banner above and updated again on 2/7/21.

Franklin has a serious look as he mulls over recent events

After going through a really bleak time this winter, I have some hope things will be better now. I’m still a bit shaken up. So let’s take a look back to the beauty of the recent fall.

Curling and floating

Wrinkled Forest





The forest was a big show-off:


Leaves Leaving



Oak Leaf on Ground

Water is just plain fun:

Abstractin’ by the Creek

Natural Not a Bridge


Leafy Talk

And that’s not even all the the autumn pics . . . but I think we’ll go to a Kitten post next time, if all goes well.

Meanwhile, our friend’s beautiful Shelley:

Shelley, Tortie Princess

For once Franklin and Shelley are on the same page. They want everyone to read Catwoods so I can go on to publish Volume 2, when they come along. Never mind the Kittens, they say, so long as Frank and Shelley are in the book. Anyhoo it’s a long book, good to read any time of year but especially suited to long winter reading. Click the cover pic up on the right-hand side or go to the Order the Catwoods book online page; link under the banner above.

Posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 78 Comments

Fall Haunts Us, with Cats Presenting

(ONLY cat, nature, and art sites can repost. NO permission was given to sites/pages with other themes. Photos/text for the use of Catwoods Porch Party ONLY. For more info see the “Extended Copyright and Image Talk” page at the link above, under the banner. Lovely readers who care about cats and the natural world, welcome!)

Franklin is here to present more – not the last – of our autumn pictures; these are from October and November of the year we won’t mention. We’re done with it but the trees outdid themselves, know nothing of calendars, and I feel “meh” about winter. So here comes part of the recent color parade, and Franklin has consented to an uneasy alliance with Shelley to bring these to y’all. The Kittens pics will be back later; “Phsssst to kittens” says Frank.

Cowcumber leaf arrival

Trees sprinkled leaves slowly and capriciously but the creek still did astonishing work.

Canopy displaced

I love the festive, colorful lights of December but I didn’t get many pics of those so these will have to do . . .



Seeing upside down

Along for the ride

Pastel Extraction

Stop and reflect

Reflection Detection

Looking across

Tree sprites

The non-rapids

Brightened edges

The trees helped:

Piebald Sky

Cloudy bright

Later-reds and evergreens

Coal on creek bank

Hey, we found a lump of coal washed up on the creek bank! LOL what could this mean, so close to Christmas!?


Our friend’s beautiful Shelley

Stay tuned for the photos from late November to early December, they are even weirder than these are!

And do check out my MUSE Award winning book, Catwoods, where words paint the stories of the (so-called) domesticated cats who have always lived with us in this forest, and other settings. Purchase of the book will help us care for Franklin, some ferals, and our adult Kittens. (Franklin: “Phsssssst to The Kittens!” Me: “Oh hush Frank, you know you’ll always be top cat.” Franklin: “Ya got that right!”)

To find the book click on the cover at the upper right or go to the “Order the Catwoods Book Online” page, link under the banner above.

Posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 93 Comments