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.

The Law of Jaw and Claw

Our cats Sam and Emma playing, Emma about to swat Sam with her paw

I trimmed the claws of all three cats today, and even though Sam wasn’t too happy about it at the time, if you’ll look at Emma’s paw I think he was appreciative of it later. No matter how it looks, this was all in good fun and part of their normal horseplay. Sam is still smaller than Emma but at least it’s not as lopsided as it used to be — not that his small size ever stopped Sam from rough-housing as a kitten.