Touchdown Celebrations Are Getting Out of Hand

Saturdays and Sundays in the fall are usually full of football and this weekend was no exception. Saturday morning I hit Ellie on a crossing route and she sprinted untouched into the endzone, dropped the ball (baby hedgehog), and peed on it. There weren’t enough yellow flags in the world to be thrown for this truly unsportsmanlike behavior and, after consultation with league officials, play was halted.

A moot point since the heavens soon poured forth and we headed inside, my wife decided it was a good opportunity to give the whole hedgehog family a good washing. Play resumed on Sunday with no showboating by my star receiver, she brought the ball back to me after each score, like she had been there before.

Good girl, Ellie, good girl.

First of the West

A red squirrel sits on a tree branch beside Shoshone Lake on the Shoshone Lake Trail at Yellowstone National Park

I was first exposed to the noisy chatter of red squirrels while hiking in West Virginia when I lived back east. I would see them a few times more before moving to Oregon, where I wouldn’t see or hear them again until my first real trip to Yellowstone in 2004. On my first hike in my first few hours in the park, I came across this red squirrel near the beach of Shoshone Lake on the Shoshone Lake Trail. I’ve since seen them quite a bit in the park, but good pictures usually elude me, so this first picture remains my favorite of my pictures of red squirrels in Yellowstone.

Templeton! Who Raised You?

Our cat Templeton eating catnip with his tongue sticking out

Templeton was not sticking his tongue out at Scout but rather licking his lips after chowing down on catnip, which was usually followed by him laying on his back on the concrete sidewalk and wiggling around, a legacy now claimed by little Sam. While he is definitely his own cat, he does share many of Templeton’s traits.

He’s a full-on no-apologies I’ll-sleep-on-your-legs-until-you-can’t-feel-them lap cat, just like Templeton was. He sticks his head out the door to greet me the moment I come home, just like Templeton did. He then goes downstairs to his food bowl and meows loudly to be fed, meows even if his bowl has plenty of food but he can actually see a bit of the bottom of the bowl, meows just because he likes the comfort of having me come down and go through the motions of feeding him. Just like Templeton did.

He’s an excellent groomer and yet never has hairballs, just like — well, Templeton was an excellent groomer.


Our cat Templeton peering down from my bookcase

Templeton used to love to sleep atop the bookcases but as he aged he had trouble jumping that high. If he sat beside my bookcase to indicate he wanted up, I’d place him up there for a catnap and get him down when he woke up. On this particular day, I climbed on top of a chair so that we’d be eye to eye when I took the picture.