Extra Sharp

The tongue of a male Gila woodpecker sticks out of his beak as he looks out from his nest in a saguaro on the Latigo Trail in McDonnell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona in May 2019

It must seem unfair to the insects of the Sonoran Desert, given all the sharp spines they have to navigate, that some saguaros are extra sharp. The tongue of this Gila woodpecker is just sticking out of his beak, it’s a long tongue that wraps around in his head that he can shoot into cavities to snare insects with the sharp tip. I’m so tickled I get to see these amazing birds every day (except times like now when it is dark when I leave for and get home from work).

Dining In

Our cat Sam licks his lips as he eats inside a cabinet while wearing a baby's oneside after surgery in October 2019

Sam a week and a half ago after his surgery to get a few teeth pulled and a cyst in his back removed. He was in pain and the other cats didn’t fully recognize him yet, Boo in particular hissed at him, so we let him hide in the cabinets as much as he wanted and even let him eat in there. Thankfully as the sedatives wore off the little fellow’s appetite returned, sore mouth and all.

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.