A Sign

A fork-tailed bush katydid eats the stem of a gladiolus

I’ve adopted a live-and-let-live policy towards the katydids in our yard. Unlike the swarms of little aphids, there aren’t very many of them and they don’t do much damage, so I tolerate a few chewed up plants in exchange for a few pictures. It’s actually more than a live-and-let-live policy, as when I trim the roses I try to make sure that any katydids on the cut stems make it safely back to the main plant before the stems go in the yard waste bin. The fact that I go to any effort to save the lives of some of my garden pests is probably a sign that I need to see a therapist.

This one preferred the gladiolus over the roses, you can see the holes in the stem it gouged out. The flowers were already spent so it wasn’t hurting anything. I’d usually leave the spent flowers until I was sure they weren’t eating them anymore.


Our cat Sam sleeping on our guest bed when he was a kitten

A picture of little Sam asleep on our guest bed back on Christmas Eve, his third day with us. My wife and I alternated time with the new kittens in the guest bedroom and time in the main house with Scout. I thought that my time with the new cats would be reasonably productive while they slept, it seemed like a good time to get back to more serious writing.

However, Sam foreshadowed one of his traits rather early (foreshadowing being a sign of a high quality kitten) in that he wanted to sleep on you if at all possible. And when Sam zonked out, he went into a deep and tranquil sleep and you didn’t want to move for hours, even though your arms and legs were falling asleep. Since he was curled up in my lap, I couldn’t type very well, so I read books or browsed the web instead until it was time to walk to the candlelight service at church.

Rumor has it that I joined Sam in restful slumber a time or two.

In any event I have no complaints, it was both peaceful and comforting. My wife and I had taken time off around Christmas so it was a good time to get the cats acquainted with each other and with us, as well as a good time to transition from the sorrow of losing Templeton to the joy of welcoming new life into our home.

I have many treasured memories of Christmas over my life, but bringing Sam and Emma home will always be one of my fondest.


A close-up of our cat Sam sleeping as a kitten a few days after we adopted him

When I wake up in the morning, Sam is usually the only one in bed with me, tucked up tight behind my knees. Scout is sometimes there but otherwise comes in when she hears my alarm clock ringing. Sometimes, though, all three cats are in bed and tucked up tight next to me or sleeping on me, mooring me to the bed. One such morning I woke up on my back with all three cats sleeping next to me. I carefully shifted over to my side, as if on command all three cats filled in the gaps and curled up again, like furry little tugboats keeping me in bed.

I drifted back to sleep. Good thing it was a weekend.

Emma Shows Me Up

Emma Shows Me Up

When Emma first came to live with us, she was immediately taken with our furry mice and convinced she could train them. I was equally convinced she couldn’t. So you can imagine my chagrin one day when I’m playing with Sam and look over and see that Emma had trained one of the mice to stand on its tip-toes.

She’s never let me forget it.


Our cat Sam holds a toy mouse in his mouth as he lays on his back on the hardwood as a kitten in 2007

As you can see from yesterday’s post, little Sam is quite the wrestler but this hasn’t always been the case. During his first week with us, even this little furry mouse was able to pin him to the floor. Cut him some slack though, he was just a little kitten.