I haven’t done any hiking the past month or so, choosing instead to stay at home over the weekends. There have been different reasons on different days, sometimes I’ve had to work, sometimes I’ve been too tired, sometimes I haven’t felt that well, sometimes there was other stuff to be done. Today was a little mix of everything, I did some work early in the day, then worked in the attic to clean up the debris that fell when the new roof got put in. It was hot and tiring work and afterwards I needed to lie down for a while, then in the evening the cats and I went outside. Sam and Emma are well behaved enough out there now that I got some yard work done, trimming some plants and watering and snacking on blueberries and strawberries.
Sam and Emma have been with us for over six months now and have really brought a lot of joy into our lives, waking up at 5 a.m. to your toes being gnawed on notwithstanding. This picture of Scout playing in the catnip is from last weekend.
So perhaps my exposé of the catwalk was just a little contrived. One of Sam’s paws was moving in his picture anyway, so it was pretty obvious he wasn’t sitting still. It was easier for Templeton to enjoy catnip since he loved to eat it and I could feed it to him inside the house, but Scout much prefers to roll around in it. Some of the neighborhood cats have been wreaking havoc on the catnip growing in the backyard, killing one plant entirely and breaking stems on the other. I decided to cut a few of the stems and lay them on the sidewalk in our backyard to let Scout have at it.
I was surprised to see Sam join in the fun, as Scout didn’t care for catnip as a kitten, but as you can see she has a grand old time with it these days.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the catwalk is that it does not discriminate against the young or the old. This kitten, estimated at only 10 months old, has already given in and given up. I queried his owner (who refused to give his name) if he wasn’t ashamed to see his young charge in such desperate straits. He shrugged and said only in reply, “At least he’s not chewing on anyone’s feet.”
While I love living in Portland, it has a dark underside that most choose to ignore. Known as the catwalk – short for catnip sidewalk – once promising felines lie about nearly comatose, drugged out and destitute. Once a cat ends up here, they are unlikely to ever leave, unlikely to ever recover.
One of the things I don’t like about our backyard is that it isn’t a very photogenic place to photograph the cats. We have a wire fence around the yard which is functional yet looks terrible as a background in pictures.
We’ve made some small changes to the yard, mostly just temporary changes until we’re ready to make some major improvements. This shot of Scout comes as close to a nice background as I’ve yet found, with the catnip growing beside her, the purple flowers of the clematis in front of her, and the pink blossoms of the purple coneflower behind her.
She’s such a beautiful little creature, perhaps no one can look away from her golden eyes to check on the background anyway.