Cat Assisted Look Back at Spring

Smug and comfy Ultraviolet

Ultraviolet the Cat sits with me during almost all computer work now. She comes cooing and trilling, “urururururp,” “ooo ooo ooo eep” even before I’m fully seated. “Come on up, Sweetheart.” She jumps up, stands for a moment, moves around. She looks at me while her floofy tail sweeps over the keyboard. Well it needed dusting anyway. Her tail sweeps across my face. Still cool. When it moves towards my tea, not so cool. She settles, and purrs.

March photo of violet and sweetgum seedpod. The pods fall over the winter but come April there were still a lot left up in the trees.

Sweetgum sphere fell from tall trees, landing next to ground hugging violet

I took some photos in town of ducks visiting from the nearby lake. I’m told they’re Muscovy Ducks. One huge drake walked right up to me expecting me to toss him food like everyone else in the neighborhood does. I was sans duck fare but I think they found some bugs.

Duck buddies

“Those look right tasty, can I have some?” says Ultraviolet.

Well hello, big fella!

“Um, no . . .”

The day was cloudy so I pushed the color up a bit.

“Are they all for Shelley?”

March ripples

“No, cats only get duck from cans.” (Much as it pains me, cats must be fed meat, because they are obligate carnivores.)

Wisteria, souped up

“Well that’s confusing. I’ll go catch ’em myself, next time we’re in town.”

Enhanced Iris

“They’re bigger than you.”

Newly transplanted spiderwort


Ducks in April

We take UV with us to town on days the weather personnel says the sky might smash us. That’s where we rode out the 2011 EF4. You have to stay alert to conditions outside and track information sources every second. On April 22, fifteen minutes after arrival, we were in the polygon for a tornado warning. Ultraviolet was still in her carrier. We hurried to get Shelley into a carrier. Shelley commenced to hollering. All three phones let out grating blasts and their screens filled with TAKE COVER NOW. The tornado siren went off. We were about to get everyone into the safe room when the TV weather person said it was over. Conditions in unstable air change fast, for better or worse. The town siren stopped but the Shelley siren didn’t. We released both cats into their respective rooms and they were both happy again. Thankfully we had no further alerts that day but I still felt chilled. A little too much déjà vu; a warning soon after arrival at the same house just like before, same month, different year. April 27, 2018 was the 7th anniversary of the 2011 tornado.

Our friend’s cat, Shelley

“Shelley put up an awful racket! While I had to wait next to her, I could just smell her! What’s she doing in my post anyway?”

This picture is from another day but she really is right here

“Let’s look at some creeks, ‘K?”:

April creek

“Drinking creeks! To wash down fresh duck!”

A cloudy day with parrot setting

“Um, no . . .”

Green meeting blue under clouds

Heavy rains in May meant the creek was roarin’ by in great waves. Like a choppy ocean in a trough. I went closer with hesitation. Even UV agrees the pictures show the water is too muddy and fast for her to attempt the slurp she craves.

Waves moving down the creek. Cloudy day with parrot setting on camera

Rough and reddish creek


Not as smooth as it looks

Spooky moist beauty

I really didn’t want to get this close but I did.

A few days later, Tropical Storm Alberto rained on us some more. Waves were even more gigantic so I stayed farther away.

“But that flood water’s all gone now, amirite?” chirps Ultraviolet. We’ll talk about walking down there later. Where were y’all last night? I missed sitting with you.”

“We went ‘next door’ to hear live music.”

“I heard that low thumping rhythm sound from out in the woods!”

Ultraviolet in profile

(UV has a prominent forehead in front but it then flattens into an almost but not quite pantherine curve.)

“Wonderful counterpoint bass beat to the booming katydids, don’tcha think, UV? They played lots of Van Morrison, Ray Charles’ “‘What’d I Say’, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ by . . .”

“Rolling Stones!”

. . . “‘Crossroads'” by . . .

“written by Robert Johnson!”

“And you know all this how?”

“Human kittens. They had parties when I lived in town. Oh you look sad!”

“Human kittens and their families are being so mistreated now. It’s horrific.”

“I saw it on your screen. I knew it made you awful blue. Like in some of the songs.”

“It’s serious heartbreak.”

“I will purr for you always.”


(Still not feeling so hot. Still hoping to get around more and explore everyone’s websites, and comment more. Thunderstorms drive me off the computer every day. Yikes! But I’ll have more time later in the year I hope. We hope for better, always.)

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in black cats, Cats, Creeks, Nature and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Cat Assisted Look Back at Spring

  1. lbeth1950 says:

    I used to put mouse videos on for my kat. He loved them.

    • Catwoods says:

      That’s a great idea, Ibeth1950! We’ll get around to trying that one day. Ultraviolet will watch things move on TV or on the computer screen, so I’m betting she’ll react to those videos made for cats!

  2. What a great look at Spring from UV’s point of view.


    • Catwoods says:

      Jean, thanks, I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures! I really enjoyed your summer pictures and it’s so nice to see them because our own summer pictures will be further delayed.

  3. So good to hear from you, Leah! I love your stories; your writing draws me in and takes me there. Thank you! Beautiful photos, always. I wish you healing and hope you are feeling better soon….

    Hugs from Pamela (Cat Lady in the Canyon) and her crew, Bobcat and Lexington

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Pamela! I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures and thoughts! I have always enjoyed all your posts too and look forward to more. Thanks also for the well wishes, they are always welcome and needed.

      Hugs and greetings going out to you, Bobcat and Lexington from Ultraviolet and me!

  4. floridaborne says:

    Haven’t seen a post from you in a while. Hope to see you back soon. 🙂

  5. chattykerry says:

    So lovely, Leah. I loved the sweetgum sphere – gives me an idea for a fairy story… Toffee and Katniss send love to Ultraviolet.

    • Catwoods says:

      Hi Kerry, I’m happy you liked the pictures! I’ve always had a fascination for those sweetgum things and have picked them up since childhood. You don’t want to step on them with bare feet, though, ouchie! If you write a story I’d love to read it! Ultraviolet and I send greetings and love to Toffee and Katniss! ❤

  6. Tornados sound so scary. We have had some small ones in our Country, but thankfully not in our environment..phew… I think I would move 😀 Your pictures are lovely, Ultraviolet 🙂 I’m glad I’m a tuna cat, so the duckie is allowed to swim for me 😉 Pawkisses for a Happy Weekend 🙂 ❤

    • Catwoods says:

      Those tornados are indeed scary! I’m glad you haven’t had to experience them. I actually have thought about moving to escape them, but it’s not so easy to uproot ourselves now that we’re older. Ultraviolet and I are happy you like our pictures! I do love duckies myself! But Ultraviolet sees them differently … Purrs and trills going out for you! ❤

  7. niasunset says:

    Good Morning dear Leah, Have a wonderful day and new week, Love, nia

  8. Candace says:

    Hope you feel better soon. I had to google “parrot setting.” Haha.

    • Catwoods says:

      The parrot setting surprised me too! And it took me several years to go looking for it after a friend mentioned it. Thanks very much for the well wishes, Candace!

  9. 2ndhalfolife says:

    We have those ducks around here too. They are quite bold. Hope you feel better soon.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for the well wishes, 2ndhalfoflife! I find they are lots of fun to watch. I just read that there’s a domestic variety as well as a wild variety of Muscovies. So I think that the bold lol, ‘friendly’ ones must be descendants of domestic ducks used to humans. Of course, even wild ducks and animals become a tad friendlier if you feed them.

  10. RMW says:

    I should have picked a vegetarian pet but i love cats! Hate the idea of serving up cans of chicken, turkey and duck but cats can’t live on tofu!

    • Catwoods says:

      I adore cats too RMW, all animals are fantastic but no others snuggle quite like kitties do. They definitely can’t exist on plant-based foods though,

  11. Cate says:

    Hoping you feel better soon. We would practically kill for your rain/water, though I doubt you’d be willing to trade for our drought/wildfires and record high temps. Extremes everywhere, a planet in transition, and she will no more regard our wellbeing than we have regarded hers. I just hope the wild spaces and wild things outlive we destructive humans. Thanks for another nature-appreciating post.

    • Catwoods says:

      I wish I could send some (gentle) thunderstorms your way, Cate! For the past week it’s actually thundered all around us, no rain, so we’re a little dry too although nothing like out west. I hear you about the planet! I’ve watched the changes over the years and I’m not too optimistic but we keep on advocating . . . Thanks for your well wishes and insights, Cate!

  12. Tornado? Crikey! Sparta Puss says that Ultraviolet should go duck hunting 😂

    • Catwoods says:

      Aha ha ha Sparta Puss might change her mind if she could see the size of those ducks! It gave me a start for a moment when the big guy (the one in the solo portrait) came at me. Not that he was aggressive, but he walked up fast.

      • Lol 😀. Sparta Puss came over the garden wall with a full sized seagull in her mouth once, as big as her. It was flapping get and yelling but couldn’t reach round to bite her because she had it by the back of the neck. I shouted, “Put that bird down, ” and she miaowed and the seagull flew away as soon as her mouth was open. I swear she said ,”D’oh! ” 😂

        • Catwoods says:

          LOL, that’s impressive! Sparta Puss is a mighty hunter! I’m glad the seagull got away. We’ve always intervened and rescued lizards and mice caught by our cats, too.

          • If it had caught her with its beak, we would have had a massive bill from the vet! She’s such an idiot lol 😁

            • Catwoods says:

              True, birds are pretty tough and well armed especially the larger ones! Cats always think they can catch anything that moves . . . I bet those ducks could pinch pretty hard even with those blunter beaks if they decided to.

              • Oh yes, they could do some damage. Don’t they have teeth?

                • Catwoods says:

                  I don’t know about teeth but wikipedia says ducks have “serrated lamellae” within their beaks which sounds sharp enough to me! I have heard geese can be aggressive and will pinch really hard with their beaks. Yikes, not good for cats to become too interested in these big birds.

                  • In rural Wales, farmers use geese as guard dogs!

                    • Catwoods says:

                      That’s fascinating! I bet those geese keep everyone really safe! My husband came from a rural area and he says they used to use guinea fowl to let them know if anyone came along, because they will raise such a racket.

                    • I had my path blocked by a dozen or so angry geese once. I turned and went back the way I came. In the old days, farmers would dip the geese’s feet in tar to walk them to market.

  13. Catherine Humphries says:

    Beautiful as always Leah. I especially loved the photos of the creek. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and images.💕

  14. DS Levy says:

    Ah, Leah — you’re doubly talented, my friend. I love your writing, your style/voice. There’s humor (cats) and sadness (storms) combined, and oh how I love the words you employ (“floofy,” “pantherine,” “polygon” — I LOVE those words!). Also, your posts are always so informative; I learn something every time I read one. For instance, I didn’t know what a Muscovy Duck was, but I think I’ve seen one before, or something quite like one. What fascinating birds! And let’s not forget your photographic talents as well — I just love looking at your photos! They always take me to the place you call home, and what a beautiful place it is, and I can tell what great meaning it has to you and UV et al. Deb

    • Catwoods says:

      Deb, thank you so much, you always give me such a boost, you are such a good friend! I have fun writing the posts but it exhausts me now, too. It’s always so encouraging to know that you enjoy them! Ya know, I’ve looked at pictures of Muscovy Ducks online and now I’m not sure, these may be hybrids with other species like the basic white barnyard ducks that also walk around. I’m attached to this place but sometimes I wish I could flee – it’s much too late for that, lol – because the bad weather is so crazy-making! I’ll keep on looking forward to your posts and write when I can get through this book stuff, that’s about to start up again over the next few months, yikes. Or sooner if I can get a little spurt of energy. Again thank you for all your support and warmest wishes always, Leah.

      • DS Levy says:

        Leah, I know it must sometimes be difficult to post, but when you do it’s always worth the wait! And I, for one, am a huge fan! 🙂 Once, my husband and I saw the strangest ducks by the college pond—they sort of looked like the ones in your photos. Anyway, it was a real treat to see them—so unusual I couldn’t stop looking at them! I know what you mean about being attached to a place—I still live in the house I grew up in (60 years!). It’s a real sentimental thing for me. Our weather is bad, but never like the kind of storms you have down there. Wishing you a big spurt of energy for your book writing! I haven’t been doing too much writing of late—guess I’m letting the creative well fill up again (at least that’s what I tell myself, LOL). All best, Deb

        • Catwoods says:

          Sixty years in a place is quite a history! I do find myself longing to go back and experience places where I spent time when I was younger. I think there are times you need to kick back and chill out and slack off, without worry, because the writing will always happen.

          • DS Levy says:

            Well, this week I’m certainly kicking back and chilling out, LOL. But I totally agree—the writing will always happen when you have to write. My home is changing all around me—not always pleasantly—but for now I’m hanging in there. 🙂

  15. I love the wonderful color in all of your photos. And the beautiful kitties too of course! I can’t imagine what living with tornadoes is like. In our part of the world we get earthquakes with no warning, but fortunately the big ones are years apart.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Susanne, I’m glad you like the photos and the kitties thank you also. The tornadoes are wearing on my nerves, for sure! But as you say, there’s potential for natural disaster anywhere people live. I’ve experienced a minor quake in California decades ago, just enough to rock the house for ten minutes. And a couple of really minor tremors right here where I live, in the 80s.

  16. niasunset says:

    Wonderful photographs and your cats are so lovely dear Leah, I hope you feel better soon. We send you our positive energies, me, İbiş, Cesur,…. Thank you, have a nice day, Love, nia

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Nia, I’m happy you like the pictures and Ultraviolet and I appreciate the well wishes from you and your kitties! I am really enjoying your posts about them, and your family, and of course all the wonderful photos you take! Much love, Leah

  17. Lavinia Ross says:

    Hope you feel better soon. The EF4 in 2011 sounds like an awful thing to ride through. Glad you all were OK.

    The photos are beautiful! Best to you and UV kitty. 🙂

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for the well wishes, Lavinia, and for you kind words about the pictures. That tornado thing was indeed pretty intense. All good wishes going out to you and your family and kitties!

  18. Lauren says:

    Beautiful, the way UV light renders colors. I can see why your purple-black kitty has the name as well. Your color rendering is a great success!

    • Catwoods says:

      I’m happy you like the colors, Lauren. For me it’s all experimental and I have so much yet to learn. I’d like the colors to be really bright and still look natural. “Purple-black” is a perfect description of our UV kitty!

  19. cat9984 says:

    UV sounds like the perfect companion for wandering around outside. I really like the colors in the muddy river pictures. Especially “Rough and reddish” and the one below it.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you cat9984, I’m happy you like the pictures! It would indeed be fun to walk around with UV or otherwise share an outdoor experience with her. We do hope to have a catio one day, and maybe she can used to a walking jacket in the future.

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