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!

Lagniappe:

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.

Lagniappe:

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

Disquiet

Wavering

Patchwork

Depth

The forest was a big show-off:

Entangled

Leaves Leaving

Mixtures

Entwining

Oak Leaf on Ground

Water is just plain fun:

Abstractin’ by the Creek

Natural Not a Bridge

Whorling

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 . . .

Straggling

Edgy

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!?

Lagniappe:

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

Purring and Hissing All-Cat Greetings

Franklin “relaxes”

Franklin, master of Resting Grouch Face, is not about to purr. In fact he’s about to pitch a hissy.

Franklin: Phsssssst. I thought all-cat meant me only, not those others. I’m all-cat.

Me: It just means no landscapes, no water scapes.

Amiable Boss

Boss, our most agreeable cat, is purring!

Franklin: Phsssssst!

Lynx intensity

Purrrrrr, says the not-so-wild Lynx.

Sleepy Spooky

Feisty Spooky: Phssssst!

Frankin: Phssssst!

Stripey rolls!

Sunny Stripey’s always rollin’ and purrin’.

Moonpie checks us out!

Moonpie is a complicated creature. She might purr, or she might hiss. You never know.

Shelley and her shadow with Christmas lights

Our friend’s Sweet Shelley: Just purrrrrr y’all!

Franklin: Phsssssst!

Boss is serene after reading the book

Franklin: Phsssst. That’s not me on the cover. (It’s our late Minx.)

Me: Um, but you’ll be in the next book, along with every cat here. (Several people tell me they read it over and over, so get one! It may not arrive before Christmas Day now, but there are 12 days of Christmas. Great for winter reading, too.)

Cats: Purrs all around.

We, Boss, Lynx, Stripey, Moonpie, and Shelley, are purring. We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Franklin, Spooky, and our ferals (who are staying hidden), say, We hiss you a Merry Christmas!

We wish everyone Happy Holidays!

Posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Cats | Tagged , , , , | 110 Comments

Cats and Creek, Traditional

Franklin shows off his inner panther

Here’s Frankie in 2019, demonstrating the panther-slung-over-a-branch style of repose.

Today we’re going back to the old way of autumn creek posting, with just a two-cat escort. The “kittens” will be back soon! The reason being, there are so many pics my head is spinning.

More than meets the eye

I’m never satisfied with the creek posts and I keep going back because there is always something I missed.

The Flow

I don’t really go with the flow, I go back, seeking more.

Other shores are sparkling

The other bank with its other leaves beckons.

Not so easy approach

It’s really not far.

Bumpy space

But there’s so much right here.

Hazy Misty Leafy

I’m going to make this shorter as I suddenly needed to leave the computer as I was posting. In my haste I hit the publish button too soon, so sorry about that. I hope I can restore this post.

Here’s Shelley, our friend’s cat:

Shelley loves this vantage point!

Boss and Catwoods Book

Here is Boss after reading my book. It has put him in a good mood! Check it out for your own winter reading or for holiday gifts, it may seem a little expensive but it is a long book, highly researched and with lots of information.

Back soon, again, sorry about the mixup and I hope, temporary disappearance of this post.

ETA: Thanks so much  to everyone who commented and whose comments haven’t appeared here. I had to scramble today and published too soon, then I had to disappear the post in order to finish it and apparently the comments are being treated as being for a different blog. I’ll try to restore them when I can.  They are in my email notifications.

Posted in black cats, Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 83 Comments

Sylvestris and Felis, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Edition

Franklin, gorgeous kitty

Here’s Frankie to start us off. These pictures are all from October and November; most of these leaves are gone but I got their pictures before they absconded! And we still have fall color out there! (And several more creek and forest trips in the camera and phone!)

Up close glimpses

Another forest

Merry Christmas!

These days we designate an outdoor evergreen as our Christmas tree. This perfectly-shaped cedar has grown really tall since last year. It’s on the other side of the creek, so we view it from a distance. Years ago when younger, we’d find ways to cross the creek but that was well, years ago.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays!

Boss and Lynxie

That’s cool with us, say Boss and Lynxie who have yet to climb a tree, indoor or outdoor.

Expanse of creek

Though it’s not a large creek, we are now too creaky to slog across or walk to the rapids where we used to cross on the rocks.

Details

Water pictures

Moonpie and Stripey

Moonpie and Stripey are buddies!

View from the Leaf Islands

Lone leaf

A story that stays

Lynx, Stripey, and Moonpie

Lagniappe:

Shelley Meows

Our friend’s beautiful Shelley, mewing.

Stripey checks out Catwoods

And here’s Stripey who took time out of his busy schedule to creep up on my book and check it out thoroughly. Stripey meows that every one should get Catwoods during the holiday season either for gifts, or winter reading. It’s a long book, about 363 pages.

Posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 75 Comments

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

Expanse

Spooky

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.

Posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 80 Comments

Cats Present: Creek and Leaf Scenes Change Fast While Fall Stalls; with Music!

October Greetings from Franklin

Franklin: Call me Franklinstein for today and tomorrow, it’s Halloween.

Within our slow fall season scenes at the creek change rapidly. As they say about our area, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes, it will change.” These creek pictures are mostly from October 16th and 20th and before. Then there was a rainy night. On a trek to the creek two days after, we found that all of the low rocky areas full of leaves in these pictures were underwater and it’s likely most of the leaves were washed away. I took pics of a few leaves left in the water (still in the camera). A few days later, we had freakin’ Zeta come through, not too rough where we are, but enough to sweep most of the downed leaves away. Now another boatload of leaves has to change and drop before we’ll see a creek color feast again.

Waiting for rain

Damp path of leaves

Party of leaves

We’ll be parting with these

I see at least two Tulip Tree leaves.

Distant destination

Rocky landings

We changed something, too. The long fallen branch across the top of the photo has now been removed by the hubs.

Bigger than it looks

There’s a double tree on the opposite bank that casts a long shadow.

Tranquility

Float, reflect, wait for rain

Greetings from trees

I like that the phone camera shows the reflections of pines.

On the way

More color is up there, I think the creek will get back what it just “lost”.

Forest quilting

Sweetgum

That Sweetgum leaf is early. The trees are just starting to turn. Each tree here will have mainly yellow leaves, and strangely, a few red ones.

I like this song by Michael Smith, “Panther in Michigan”, at this time of year because it mentions Halloween, and panthers. Panther is used in the US South to refer to mountain lions, and possibly in Michigan too.

There is a possible panther chase in my book Catwoods. I can’t say for sure that there was one here, I present the events and readers can draw their own conclusions. Anyhoo if you would like, get the book by clicking on the Amazon link to the upper right, or, to go direct to Borgo Publishing, check out the “Order the Catwoods book Online” page above.

Lagniappe:

Our friend’s cat, Shelley

Shelley: I don’t need a Halloween costume, I am wearing October.

Franklinstein: You must be Mary Shelley, your tail looks like it belongs to three different cats.

In memory of Clara Granata, environmental advocate and friend.

Posted in black cats, Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , , | 57 Comments

Beauties of Black Cats, Beauties of Autumn Leaves

Boss or Moonpie

I can’t always tell the two black kittens apart in the pictures; I think that’s Boss.

Moonpie in springtime

I know this is Moonpie.

Trees have been busy!

Looking out into trees glowing with autumn sunlight makes me think of nature’s beauties and how cats are part of that too. And yet black cats are in need of protection this time of year. The phases of plant life tug on our hearts and make us sentimental, can’t everyone extend those feelings, whether by logic or emotion, to include little animals? Pictured here in the light of last winter and spring, our cats now stand ready to revel in the fall and later,  purr us through long winter nights.

Boss in evening light

I know that’s Boss.

Mostly Mulberry

I love good spooky light-hearted Halloween fun as much as anyone. But sadly I have to again say, keep all cats and animals, especially black ones, safely inside this time of year.

Franklin Buddy

Franklin rocks the autumn light!

Autumn starting on the creek

The cats and I always sit around together, watching. But there’s just a little extra dimension to our watchfulness in the autumn season, for whatever reasons. Humans are hyper aware of the doings of the natural world this time of year.

Boss and Moonpie

Tree sprinkles

I see the imprecise arc of leaves falling and gathering when I go to the creek. The pictures look similar to those of last year, but present leaf placement by wind and water differs. The flowing arc of cats’ precision moves also happens in a flurry of random variations according to disparate feline impulses; moving and stopping for instants scarcely long enough to make pictures.

Black kitty, probably Boss

And we’re off!

Of a sudden Moonpie flows up and over one of her brothers. I don’t even see a ripple or flex of her powerful hind legs as they initiate the jump. It’s like when I don’t see wind, but trees move and leaves fall.

Magnificent Boss cat

There are a few red leaves down, but fall is still draggin’

Small reminder of Halloween festivities, a jack o’lantern carved in another year. I looked at our late Little Buddy when I drew the cat face onto the pumpkin. The hubs carved it and added ears. We’ll view some monster movies on that night.

Halloween Pumpkin starring Little Buddy

Our late Little Buddy had feline radial hypoplasia. His story is in my Muse Award winning book, Catwoods. I tried to use words to paint these cats and settings, without actual pictures. I am so grateful to the many people who have read the book and have good things to say! So I hope if you would like, you’ll get a copy. The proceeds will help us take care of our cats of many colors and patterns. It’s a long book, 363 pages, so that’s a lot of reading. The link to Amazon is at the upper left and there’s also an “Order the Catwoods Book Online” page above, where you can go direct to Borgo Publishing.

Stay tuned, there are more autumn pics coming and the whole gang of cats will be back soon too! (We only have one or maybe two more tropical storms to get through.)

Posted in black cats, Cat Topics, Cats, Creeks, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 91 Comments