Blackout Shades

The tail of our cat Trixie is visible behind a blackout shade in our bedroom on July 22, 2022. Original: _ZF23653.NEF

One nice thing while I was quarantined in July is the bedroom has blackout shades on its windows, so I could keep the room dark to make it easier to try and sleep off the illness. It’s hard to get them to come down the last little bit to the window sill but sometimes I leave some extra room regardless, to allow curious cats to sneak in behind them for backyard birdwatching. Trixie was one of my convalescence companions, though at times it was hard to tell if my fever had returned or I was just feeling flush from the heat of Little Furnace sleeping on my legs.

It’s the first time I’ve appreciated the bedroom being so big, normally it’s just wasted space for us but it was nice while it was my home inside our home for a couple of weeks. It gave me plenty of room to play with Bear when he was allowed in, it was nice to have time to bond with the pup, normally hard to do except on the weekends.

Ordinary Days

Our dog Bear sleeps on his dog bed while our cats Boo and Trixie sit on the futon on April 10, 2022. Original: _Z721143.NEF

If this seems like a picture of an ordinary living room, it is, and it’s why I love it. When we first adopted Bear we kept him in our large bedroom as he would sometimes chase the cats. I wasn’t too worried he was going to physically hurt them but he needed to be calm around his furry masters so they wouldn’t live in terror of him. He had lived with cats before but I didn’t see much indication of it and felt if he didn’t get better quickly we wouldn’t be able to keep him.

I took the picture in April on a day off when I brought him into the living room and had him stay on his bed and let the cats come as close as they wanted. The cats grew up with Ellie so were willing to give him a chance but not if he was going to chase them. The first day I had to keep him on a pretty short leash but on this the second day he was much more relaxed. When he fell asleep I got up and sat on the couch and Trixie came in and sat behind me, eventually even Boo worked up the courage to sit beside me. When they were both a little more relaxed I got up to take a picture of the three of them, and while I did Boo stole my spot. Some traditions must be upheld even in the presence of a scary dog.

I’m thankful to say Bear’s cat manners did improve as he got used to the little ones and he eventually earned his freedom to roam the house. With Boo I would feed both he and Bear some of Boo’s favorite treats and Boo would come right up next to Bear for those, which helped them get used to each other. I had to laugh when one day I came home from work and both Boo and Bear came to meet me at the door, with Boo standing underneath Bear, a sign of how far we had come. Trixie was less afraid of him from the get go but I knew she was getting used to him when she was sleeping on my legs and Bear came in and gave her a good sniff and then licked her in the face and she took the indignity in stride.

Well Well Well, Nikon, We Meet at Last

My new Nikon Z fc mirrorless camera joins our cat Trixie under the Christmas tree on December 21, 2021. Original: IMG_6470.dng

The title is a slight exaggeration in that while this is my first Nikon camera it is not my first Nikon, that distinction belongs to the Coolscan III film scanner I had many years ago. The Z fc is an experiment for me on multiple levels, I’ve long wanted a camera with focus bracketing so as long as I like the camera I’ll be picking up Nikon’s macro when it comes back in stock. I’m hoping the Z will take over for when I want to go even lighter than I can with my little Sony’s. Plus I want to try out the Nikon user interface, and as well see if I like the flip-out LCD screen as much as I think I will. Came close to getting the Z7 II when Nikon had a sale on refurbished gear but I wasn’t quick enough on the draw, but I think this one will be a lot of fun too.

If Trixie seems a little unsure it’s because she’s been in a mood all day, Sam had a checkup at the vet today and seeing the cat carrier brought back bad memories of her last vet visit, which we are all trying to forget …

I Call This One Bitey

Our cat Trixie sleeps on a blanket on the couch on October 4, 2020. Original: _RAC6186.arw

The other day Trixie was due for a routine checkup but knew something was up and hid under the bed. I coaxed her out by softly calling her name and, feeling safe, she came right to me only to realize she was betrayed. I carried her wriggling form to the cat carrier to cries of “Judas! Judas!”. She needed to go back in to have a tooth dealt with but this time knew better than to trust me so I had to move the bed to get to her. I best not repeat her words from that morning.

This was her first time under anesthesia and she must have been pretty terrified when she was coming to as she bit one of the vet assistants. We have to keep Trixie quarantined at home and watch for signs of rabies but that’s not a problem as she’s an indoor cat (I mean, except that one time). Thankfully the vet called to let us know her victim is doing well, I guess it’s not that unusual (there’s even a medical term for it) but it’s our first time dealing with it.

My deepest gratitude to all the vets out there who have to deal with terrified patients who don’t understand they’re trying to help.

(Today’s title is a nod to one of my favorite Simpson’s episodes, Marge vs. the Monorail, it’s similar to a line from Homer about the opossums living in the monorail cockpit. I watched it yet again in honor of Trixie and it still makes me laugh after all these years.)