Cats Bask Their Way Through Slow Fall; October Gotcha Month

Franklin all cozy, and wild

It’s been colder than usual this time of year. This is Franklin’s version of snuggling, his eyes ever-wild.

I’m going to declare October Gotcha month for  all our indoor cats. We began bringing the kittens in around Oct. 10th last year and Franklin came in on Oct. 25 of 2018. I can’t recall exactly when the ferals arrived. We’ll just celebrate Gotcha for them too.

Stripey is grand!

Spookums keeps an eye out!

Lynx is ready for his close-up. All the kittens love this hand truck.

Moonpie, small and lithe

BossBuddy is actually only slightly sleepy here

The cats do like the windows. When the hubs rebuilt their rooms he made the sills a little extra wide with cats in mind. We knew we’d always have a cat or cats, but we didn’t really expect the sudden appearance of five kittens in the yard. A case of “If you build it, they will come”.

My cell phone died and I had to have another, so we got one we hoped would have a good camera. I never learned photography basics, I was a painter and mixed media artist until the illness. I didn’t have photo knowledge to transfer to digital cameras. I’ve been writing since I was 12, and I always read a lot, so I still retained that framework mental practice and I wrote a two volume book. Without prior experience, I do have trouble learning new things. So I’m not using digital cameras or cellphones to the max, it’s hard for me to learn the settings and they are difficult for me to manipulate with poor fine finger coordination. I’m using an ancient Photoshop program to “fix” photos somewhat, or at least to change them to something I sort of like. I’d love to have really natural pictures with perfect balance of colors and darks and lights, but I know I’m rarely coming close. I’m never really satisfied with the pictures. But they do show the astonishing scenery I’m surrounded with.

With the cellphone I can now get a few of those cat pictures that show every hair in focus, mostly shipshape although I did work on this. Close-ups are best:

Shelley has an intense gaze!

Our friend’s cat, Shelley.

Some are still way off in dark-light-color balance:

Clawsome Boss basks through an early fall day

Boss looks clawsome here but he didn’t scratch me, he was just flexing his fine claws.

For landscapes I mostly prefer the camera. I find the cellphone shots difficult to frame, too. The pictures look much better in the cellphone than in the computer, where they look much more washed out. My lack of fine finger dexterity means I open up features I didn’t mean to. During one still shot of Franklin, the phone recorded me saying “Kitten, kitten”. LOL it really startled me when I scrolled through the pictures and suddenly heard it.

I was going to put early fall landscapes here – we’re still mostly green but there are a few changes – but I have so many cats to photo edit, I don’t even have any pictures of the ferals ready this time. Jack did start to walk up to me meowing the other day when it was feeding time. He stopped and froze like “Oops, what have I done?” but I felt honored all the same.

I may go back to the format of having Franklin as presenter with Shelley doing the wave-offs, for the nature pictures this fall, anyway. This post is long enough for now.

A huge thank you to all who have purchased my book Catwoods and read it! Consider getting it if you like to read about cats, both anecdotes and science! And a forest full of animals! And art, music, and  some old sayings and language from the southeast US. It’s nonfiction but when I do “voice” the cats, I think about who they were living with before they came to us, as well as what books in our house they might have gotten into when we were asleep.

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
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67 Responses to Cats Bask Their Way Through Slow Fall; October Gotcha Month

  1. Geri Lawhon says:

    Great cat pictures. I especially like the one of Shelley the best.

  2. Fantastic photos of everyone. Spookums has a gorgeous white butterfly mustache. And Shelley has such a piercing stare.

    • Catwoods says:

      The kitties and I thank you, Indulgedfurries, we are happy you like our pictures! I’m taken with Spookums mustache too. Shelley can indeed turn on an intense gaze!

  3. Tracy says:

    I have extra big windowsills for kitties too

  4. Tracy says:

    Love these kitties

  5. Yvon says:

    Hello you all 😸
    We always love your posts, sadly we just can’t click the like-button …hopefully Humanmom can fix it soon.
    Love an purrs from Annie & Charlie

    • Catwoods says:

      Yvon, Annie, and Charlie, thank you so much for your kind words! Those computer glitches are a nuisance, I hope maybe the wordpress folks can help you, but I have a problem too since I accidentally turned off hovercards and I can’t seem to get them back on. Purrs and Meows!

  6. Charlee: “Happy effective gotcha day to all the kitties!”
    Chaplin: “We totally agree about the importance of windows. Most of ours came with big sills, so that works out well for us.”
    Charlee: “We always enjoy all your great pictures, no matter what they were taken with!”

  7. cat9984 says:

    Your pictures are always beautiful. I can’t believe it’s been a year for the kittens and 2 for Franklin. They all look happy and healthy.

  8. Happy Gotcha Days to all the Catwoods cats! I always forget to recognize it or mention it, but Bear was gotcha’ed in October as well. He was a feral I fed who eventually let me touch him … it was getting colder and I couldn’t bear to see him suffer a winter outside.

    • Catwoods says:

      The kitties and I thank you, mommakat and bearcat! October has been a good month for Gotcha, how interesting it was also Gotcha for you and Bear! We have brought ferals in who became friendly lap cats too, although it took awhile – it’s all in my book – my late Mom did too and also had a couple inside who never became friendly.

  9. Simply gorgeous photos and I love that your hubbie built extra wide window ledges for the kitties!

  10. Lavinia Ross says:

    The photos are beautiful, Leah, and your crew is very lovely group of cats. Your book is on my list, and I wish you success. 🙂

  11. pollymorse says:

    You have a very nice feline family there! They should keep you nice and warm this winter. Nice pictures, too. A nice large windowsill was a good idea. Us larger felines need more butt room.

    • Catwoods says:

      Indeed I think we should have made those windowsills even wider. These kittens aren’t done growing yet, and will definitely need even more butt room! The kitties and I thank you, we are happy you like our pictures!

  12. They are all beautiful and I love your pictures!

  13. catscue says:

    Beautiful kitties and beautiful photos too! ‘Build it and they will come’ at your house, my vet says we must have a ‘Come Hither’ sign on our house, she tells us to take it down each time a new one arrives – MOL – as if!

    • Catwoods says:

      The kitties and I thank you catscue, we are glad you like our pictures! Ahahaha on your “Come Hither” sign. Those cats who wander into our lives are always precious indeed!

  14. Very sharp pictures! My favorite pic of one of my cats as a baby was taken on an old Blackberry and is so blurry! 😦

  15. Charles Huss says:

    I love all the photos, especially BossBuddy.

  16. Mee-yow WOW Franklin yore so furry hansum! Miss Leah you tooked furabuluss fotoss of Franklin!
    An Bossy iss hansum too! Stripey an Spook an Lynx an Moonpie all lookin fine….
    Autumm sorta just appeered didn’t it Miss Leah?? Wee have had rain allmost efurry day!! Today wee had HAIL an mee was out inn Condo….LadyMew launched off couch to get mee beefore mee gotted hert!
    Hope yore Autumm iss sunnier an dryer than ourss?!?!?
    ***purrss*** BellaDharma

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you BellaDharma an LadyMew, the kitties and I are happy you enjoyed our pictures! So sorry you’ve had all that rain and oh my, hail too! It’s good LadyMew acted fast to get you in out of that weather BellaDharma! We had a few sunny days but now we are about to get several days of rain because of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. We won’t be in the worst of it but on Saturday we have a small chance of some wind and severe weather, sigh. Autumn happens slowly here,we are so far south; it’s definitely starting but our trees are mostly still green. I hope to have some early fall pictures up in a few days, not sure when. Meanwhile I will enjoy the colorful autumn pictures from farther north in the US and in Canada!

      • Wee have so many colorss inn THE treess here Miss Leah. EEKK THE weather soundss like it iss goin bee wild there…it sure was wild here today!
        Mee furgot to meow Boss lookss so adoorabell with his pawss crossed! Hee iss stunnin!
        **purrss** BellaDharma

        • Catwoods says:

          Sometimes the weather isn’t as bad as anticipated here, but we always have to be ready; this area has had some fierce storms, we’ve been in or close to tornadoes.
          I love those paws crossed pictures too, and I rarely get one. I got several this time while Boss was sitting that way, they are pretty much the same but I got ’em. Boss thanks you for your kind words and sends purrs to you and LadyMew, BellaDharma!

          • Mee-yow mee rarelee crossess mee pawss too Miss Leah…don’t think LadyMew has efurr got a foto of mee inn that pose!
            EEKKK yore weather soundss purrty scarey! You know it was sunny here this mornin an mee went out inn Condo. An hour later it clouded over an it has been gloomy an sorta drizzley…this has bin goin on fore 2 hole weekss now…furry weerd!!!
            Give Boss cat mee **purrss** aka best wishess…
            **purrss** BellaDharma

            • Catwoods says:

              Looks like this is a time of weird weather for everyone! Our risk tomorrow has been upgraded just now, but I think we’ll be okay. It was cool yesterday and became warmer as the hurricane drags warm air up from the Gulf. I will certainly pass on your purrs and best wishes, BellaDharma, and we send the same back atcha, and LadyMew also!

  17. Correne says:

    Beautiful! All the cats seem to love having their photos taken.

  18. Dragnfli says:

    As a person who has studied photography and has a black cat, the only way to get good detail in your black kitty’s face is to use a flash or make sure their face is in the sun and then fill most of the picture with their blackness.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks Dragonfli, I’m sure you are right. We’ve had a lot of cloudy days lately. I do try for sunshine when it’s there. I did stop using flash with cats because their eyes take in 6 times the light that human eyes do, I thought flash might be even harder on them than it is on us. I wish I could set up lights to provide diffuse illumination, like bouncing a point-source light off a reflective surface, but that’s all more activity than I’m capable of now. I do see some astonishingly good pictures of black cats around the internet.

  19. You made some really sweet pics of your cats! (and Shelley, too)
    I enjoy seeing them each time:)

    Maybe Jack will eventually warm up to you and learn that peeps like you are wonderful!

    • Catwoods says:

      The kitties and I thank you, Meezer’sMews&TerrieristicalWoofs! I’m happy you enjoy the pictures! I think you could be right about Jack, and maybe Sasquatch, who will let the hubs get closer than he used to. Mom Groucho is really wary of us and I doubt she will ever warm up.

  20. Garfield Hug says:

    They are fantastic posers for photos!

  21. I count 7, is that correct? I wonder if they all get along most of the time, or if you have to break up a lot of catfights.

    • Catwoods says:

      There are 7 cats pictured. Shelley belongs to a friend (I forgot to state that but I went back and added it) who doesn’t do Internet and lets me photograph and post pictures of her. Shelley does not live with “the kittens”. Franklin also lives separate from all the other cats; he doesn’t like other cats and may never be able to live with them. The other 5 known as “the kittens” are litter-mates: Boss, Spooky, Lynx, Moonpie, and Stripey. Adult feline litter-mates who grow up together usually get along well. In the past we’ve had groups of as many as five who weren’t litter-mates but who were able to get along because we introduced them slowly and carefully.

  22. They are all so pretty! Lovely kitties. I especially like Spookums with his sophisticated white bow tie and the spray of white whiskers. 🙂

  23. They’re all adorable!

  24. Pazlo says:

    Wow! What a great set of portraits!
    That Lynx is fabulously handsome!


  25. Hi. Your cats are very photogenic. I think they enjoy having their pictures taken.

  26. Timothy Price says:

    They all look so cute and comfy. Franklin has a really wild look about him.

  27. Brian says:

    Happy Gotcha Day to all the October sweeties!!! Your photos look great to us, always!

  28. John says:

    Wow! You have so many beautiful cats! They all must get along very well. 😻😻

    • Catwoods says:

      The kitties and I thank you, John! I forgot to mention that Shelley is actually a friend’s cat. They don’t do internet, so allow me to post her pictures.

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