Sylvestris and Felis, Fall Creek Edition

Franklin, felis sylvestris catus, office assistant

Sylvestris is said to have several meanings; the one I see most often is “of the forest”. But for this photo essay it will designate “forest”, and felis will designate “cats”.

Reflections of the forest in a steam

Many creeks run through sylvestris; this one is closest to us.

Leaves pause at the rocks

Boss and Lynx

Felis can’t live in sylvestris anymore. It just isn’t safe for kitties there, or in any of those former forests now modified to be cities, suburbs, and other places. (We do have to make an exception for those cats who are feral and cannot live indoors with humans.) Sylvestris became attached to the name felis. My own feeling as to why that fits is because of the unusual way in which humans and felis became acquainted. We didn’t deliberately breed them for domestication like we did other animals, they stepped out of wild spaces and came to us, drawn by the rodents around our stored foods. Both species adapted to each other. Lynx really looks like a small wild felid, I think!

Colors sneak into view



Sun and trees painting water

Autumn seeps

Sweet little Moonpie

Momentary unstillness

Casual  gathering

There aren’t a lot of leaves gathered in the creek now, like there were on the last trek down there. Rain washed those away. There also aren’t any fully turned trees all red, all orange, or all yellow. The sweetgum and oak trees are just now getting going so maybe? in a week or so? Maybe more leaf patches in the creek too? Our weather doesn’t know what to do with itself.

Stripey the performer!

Stripey doesn’t do windows often. He loves to roll around and play! He’s a big show-off, sort of like Sylvestris in autumn.

Dense yet patchy

I like the color mixes of the slow fall, myself.

Reflections reach the depths

Magnolia float

About four of those broad-leaf magnolia trees are part of this jammed up leaf bunch.

Y’all, I have so many pictures already of the creek, the trees, and all the cats; enough to likely keep going all through the winter, and with more in the camera. So here’s our friend’s cat, Shelley, for her cameo; it’s sunset, the light is low, so her pupils are wide to gather in more light:

Evening Shelley

And, here’s Boss again, pretending to ignore my book, Catwoods (another way of saying felis sylvestris), which would make a great holiday gift. That silver decal is a nifty MUSE Award Winner sticker! And, it’s a long book, about 363 pages, for long winter reading ahead. Boss won’t be impressed unless we can publish the second book, where he comes along!

Boss and Catwoods book

There will be more pictures, I just work slowly. I may be slow to respond to comments, too.

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, Cat Topics, Creeks, Nature and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Sylvestris and Felis, Fall Creek Edition

  1. da-AL says:

    What a lovely post! Would you be so kind as to guest blog post for my site? if you’re so inclined, here’s a link to general guidelines:

    • Leah says:

      da-AL, thanks so much for your kind words, I appreciate it! And thanks so much for inviting me to do a guest post for your site! I would love to, and I’m really flattered that you asked me! I love your site, I think it’s excellent! I don’t know how soon I can though as I am struggling to keep up with everything and have a worsening health condition. Best regards and Happy New Year till then, Leah

      • da-AL says:

        all the more reason for me to send my very best thoughts to you dear Leah, for a healthy happy 2021. as for guest blog post, no worries — anytime is a great time. ❤

  2. chattykerry says:

    Aaaw, I love your cats, Leah. Balm for the soul. We had a cat fence inside our forest because there are too many cars and predators for kitties. It has been really cold here and the squirrels have been knocking at the back door for nuts… The lady who lives in my house is nuts!

    • Leah says:

      The cats and I thank you, Kerry! My dream is to have an enclosed outdoor space for the kitties, a really sturdy catio of sorts. That won’t happen for awhile though. Squirrels are cute and fun but they can really be a nuisance too! We’ve had three really cold nights in a row, brrr and argh! Cheers and Meows, Leah

  3. greenpete58 says:

    Stunning photo/art as always, Leah. I did read Catwoods and really enjoyed it. Put a review on Amazon. My wife is now sheltering neighborhood ferals, so the book will be in her stocking this Xmas. There are also a few “Southern” things in there that I borrowed for my own recently released book. (Hope you don’t mind.)

    Happy Holidays to y’all!

    • Leah says:

      Pete I did see your review of Catwoods and I appreciate it so much! And I thank you for getting my book, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! No worries on using the Southern sayings in my book, I’d like to see them at least remain known as part of the language. I’m fascinated by regional and colloquial language and the ways language forms and changes. Strangely, to me, the one negative remark I’ve gotten about the book was an objection to that language. And though I live in a college town, it’s been part of the world l live in. I see your new book is out today! And I will be checking it out! We are trying to set me up with an e-reader as the book herd here needs thinning, so I hope we can do that soon and I’ll have your new book! Cheers, Meows, and Happy Holidays!

  4. Lovely Kitties, all of them! And Sylvestris sure put on a show for us all to admire! Some of the more ‘watery’ pictures look like impressionist paintings! Beautiful!

  5. Great post as always Leah. The images of forest, leaves, and all the sweeties made the most very moving and joyful! Keep up the great work! Saludos! Ashraf

  6. Charlee: “We’ve never seen a sylvestris, but we bet they are full of birds!”

  7. tanssityttö says:

    I love black cats! Those are elegant!

  8. Tracy says:

    We here are so lucky to enjoy our mild temperatures. People want to see fall foliage from a car because it’s cold. We can meander the creeks just as these fallen leaves do. I myself spent last winter solstice running around half baked playing woodland creek priestess at the park on 216 enjoying high seventies and flowing springs that the natives used because of unusual ground saturation. I was wearing a primitive cat mask the whole time so indeed I was felis sylvestris.

    • Leah says:

      Tracy I do love those warm temps too! Your last winter sounds marvelous! Cool way to celebrate felis sylvestris! I still manage to get close to the smaller creek though I can’t go far due to the limitations of serious chronic illness. (I don’t ever say exactly where it is online.) I can’t walk as far as I used to so I hope no one gets tired of the same location for the pictures. Meows!

  9. So easy to love cats, and adding the artistry just adorns the pleasures. Thanks, Leah.

  10. Beautiful photos as usual and Happy US Thanksgiving!

  11. catscue says:

    Beautiful silvestris and felis today, Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Deb Barnes says:

    Lovely images – thank you for sharing. Thanksgiving love and purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang – Zee, Zoey, Mia, Peanut, Rolz, Kizmet, Jazmine, and Shadow.

    • Leah says:

      Thank you so much Deb, I appreciate it and I’m happy you like the pictures! Happy Thanksgiving also from us and our kitties! (BTW I left a comment on your Thanksgiving post but because I changed my username last night I think it must have gone to the moderation queue.)

  13. This was a wonderful blog! I love the kittehs and the beautiful grounds. I take so many pictures of the world around me — maybe I should showcase a few like you did!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much, I appreciate it and the kitties do too! I think posting pictures that you take of scenes you encounter daily and posting them is a good idea. I’m not able to do it every day and make the site entirely about my days, but in autumn I take so many that it seems that way!
      Leah and kitties

  14. I think Shelley is giving Stripey some competition.

  15. NormanWilkes says:

    This blog post is so lovely ❤

  16. 15andmeowing says:

    Such beautiful photos of nature and all your adorable kitties. XO

  17. Beautiful fall colors! Best watched from windows by the kitties. 🙂

  18. Mee-yow wow “Sun an treess paintin water” iss our FAVERITE foto Miss Leah!! All yore fotoss are so colorfull an lovelee. You are so tallented.
    An Boss yore lookin mitey hansum an Lynx yore gorgeeuss! Moonpie wee cuud bee bookyendss!!!
    Happy Autumm to all of youss’ there…..
    **purrss** BellaDharma an ((huggiess)) LadyMew

    • Catwoods says:

      BellaDharma, I am so glad you and LadyMew like our pictures! The kitties are happy too and they appreciate the nice things you said about them. You and Moonpie do indeed look alike BellaDharma, two gorgeous girl kitties who are black! Happy Autumn, purrs, and hugs to you and LadyMew!
      From Leah and the kitties!

      • Mee-yow iss lovelee to have a looky-like as purrty as Moonpie! All yore catss are all so lovelee!
        Mew mew mew our Autumm has terned to Winter since Novemburr 30th nite….wee now have 3 feetss of snow Miss Leah!!! EEKKK!!!!
        **purrss** an ~~head rubss~~BellaDharma~~

        • Leah says:

          Yikes on the 3 foot snow BellaDharma! I know it’s hard to deal with. We had a blast of below freezing air last night and will again tonight, we do get that here sometimes, but this is early in the winter for us! Purrs and Meows to you and LadyMew, from me and the kitties!

  19. My 2 Norwegian “Sylvestris” Cats approve this post!

  20. Dearest Leah,
    Yesterday, when we came back from our run to Atlanta, a good 2 hours + 15 minutes, one way drive, your book was in the mailbox. The personal note is appreciated very much and my husband started reading it already and told me of some of its content. Using his magnifier. At the moment I too would have to use a magnifier. Hoping that my December 17, eye surgery goes well and will help. Doing so many chores… Trying to catch up on life after so much had been put on hold while publishing our book of 450 pages. But so glad we got that accomplished. Love the cover of your book and all its info, read that over breakfast with a magnifier… Will eventually find the time to read it. Thanks for putting all your stories into print!
    The same with the above post. Lovely kitty photos and the mention of autumn unfolding. Yes, like leaves, drifting off in a puddle in the stream, that’s how our life’s stories drift off. The better for writing them down.

    • Catwoods says:

      Hi Mariette, I’m happy you like the pictures, thank you so much! And thanks also, for getting my book. I’m glad it got to you relatively quickly. I hope you both enjoy it and I hope your eye surgery does help. I am sorry you are having to use a magnifier to read, the print size was a publisher decision. I am trying to do an ebook copy and I think you can enlarge those, so if I can get that going I will send you that. I don’t know how soon that might be as we have had some complications and I’m not too well right now. It may have to wait until next year. All the best and hugs, Leah

  21. Such pretty photos and cats! I love your turquoise walls too! (I know I’ve said that before but had to say it again)😋

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much nanasworldweb, I’m happy you like the photos and kitties! I’m also glad you like the wall color. It’s fun but I have noticed sometimes it throws a little too much green into the pictures. Those would probably be better with a more neutral wall color! But, after the tornado I wanted to use the vibrant colors I prefer, lol.

  22. Stripey looks like a real character all right. That is a great view out the windows. Too bad they cannot all go outside for a walk but I understand the dangers that lurk and the fear of getting lost. Wish my leaves were washed away down the creek.

  23. Lavinia Ross says:

    They are all beautiful kitties, Leah, and the autumn photos are gorgeous!

  24. Hi Leah. You know, your nature photos in this essay remind me of Monet paintings. I like them!

  25. etikser says:

    All great photos. I love the one with the two of them in the window.

  26. B. says:

    Stripey!What a cutie!

  27. Brian says:

    Your forest is absolutely beautiful! We understand the not being safe out there thing, we worry about our ferals too. Too much construction have driven coyotes into our neck of the woods and they pass right through our back yard frequently.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much Brian, I’m happy you enjoyed the forest! Yikes at the coyotes near you! Coyotes do worry me. We’ve seen and heard them in past years, not so much recently. Coyotes have been seen in town once in a while, but not the area of town where our ferals are. The ferals are pretty good about staying in the yard where they have lots of shelter, but I still worry about them.

  28. Correne says:

    Love the colors, they’re beautiful and so are the kitties. Great photos.

  29. Your photos are delectable – so lovely, both kitties and fall colours. 🙂
    The kitties certainly love that window sill, don’t they?

  30. So enjoy your photo essays! Leaves and cats intermixed is delightful …

  31. cat9984 says:

    The cats are all gorgeous. They may all be waiting for their turn in the limelight

  32. John says:

    Leah, your cats are all beautiful! Lynx does look like a wildcat. The fall colours are beautiful too. ❤️

  33. Timothy Price says:

    Beautiful colors and cats. The photo of Boss and Lynx in the window is wonderful.

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