The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

Bound of the Day #2603

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Bound of the Day #2603

And while we are on the subject of dream homes and white picket fences: Jeff and his brother are just about done fixing up the house they bought a year and a half ago, and hosted a party today to show off the work they’ve done. Jeff’s brother is a mad man, building bookshelves and overhauling the backyard and lugging five hundred pound stone slabs into place, raising gardens and bridges, painting colorful abstracts – all while working as a lawyer for the US Department of Justice. His productivity is inhuman, but it’s certainly paid off.

Their dog Moose loves the backyard, and insisted that the guests throw his slimy tennis ball across the creek so he could run down, leap across, retrieve it and return for another go. I tried to receive the ball while handling my camera, and Moose kept dashing through the narrow line of focus I’d set up.

I wonder what Jeff and his brother will do now that this massive project is finished. They might have to just tear down the whole house and start again – what do you do when there’s nothing to work on?

battle’s end

Written by Umbrella Man

November 7, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Posted in animals, dogs

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Goodbye of the Day #2577

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Goodbye of the Day #2577

We gave up Zinky today. We’ve been trying to work out his litter problem for several weeks now, and weren’t able to make any progress; it eventually became too much a source of anxiety for us to keep going.

This has made both of us so sad. Zinky is such a sweet cat, and has made Laurel so happy over the past ten months, and it seemed that she made him just as happy. It just became too stressful to keep raising him, and with the apartment in constant disarray we hardly had any time or space to connect with him any more.

Laurel couldn’t bear to take him to the humane society herself, so I took the responsibility instead. He had the morning to enjoy the fresh air on the balcony, and I stood by him for a few minutes while he watched the birds in the trees.

He likes fallen leaves, and would often carry them in from the balcony like little found treasures.

With a bundle of cat supplies and a letter from Laurel, I called a car to bring Zinky back. Once we arrived, I couldn’t hold myself together enough to give Zinky a proper goodbye; our time on the balcony would have to serve.

It’s nice to think that there’s some perfect solution to every problem, but of course there are many situations where this isn’t the case. We couldn’t keep Zinky; we couldn’t bear to let him go. I have to believe that this is the best thing we could have done – that he’ll find a good home, with a kind family present and patient enough to train him, and a safe space to roam outdoors. Laurel and I will be able to finish our own home, which still doesn’t feel quite settled, even though we’ve been here for nearly two months. We’ll be able to visit Laurel’s family, and perhaps take long trips abroad, without worrying about leaving him alone here.

I’m so tired. Hopefully we’ll all feel better in the morning.

Written by Umbrella Man

October 13, 2015 at 12:47 am

Posted in animals, cats

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Landing of the Day #2572

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Landing of the Day #2572

The seagull’s participation in this photo was a lucky accident, but I wish I’d waited just a fraction of a second longer to close the shutter; she deserves a more significant place in the frame. She and other seagulls landed on the rails by John and me as we ate lunch, their beaks dripping with seawater, as if they’d been hunting for fish instead of foraging for stray french fries.

What did seagulls eat before humans started leaving their food everywhere?

The gulls weren’t the only birds out at the wharf today, either. A few fearless pigeons ambled around the edge, looking for snacks with a somewhat more gawk-eyed expression than the seagulls. One crow showed up, a stark shadow next to the other birds, and a tiny singing bird appeared by our feet as well. I am used to seeing all these different species in their own niches, giving the place a particular flavor; there must have been an avian conference somewhere nearby.

This is such an “almost” photo – maybe I’ll get that perfect shot someday.

voices through the walls

Written by Umbrella Man

October 7, 2015 at 10:56 pm

Posted in animals, birds

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Talk of the Day #2571

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Talk of the Day #2571

We meet with Zinky on the floor now, or on the stairs, since we don’t let him in the bedroom anymore and the couch is still out of service. This makes it harder to get the human/cat affection both parties want, but we get by.

Laurel sat here tonight and talked to Zinky about love. He may not have appreciated the sentiment, but he’s innately warm and fuzzy, which is perhaps just as good.

your feeling shoulders

Written by Umbrella Man

October 6, 2015 at 11:26 pm

Posted in animals, cats, friends, people

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Explorer of the Day #2565

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Explorer of the Day #2565

We are trying to ease Zinky into his exploration of the neighborhood. Laurel stayed home yesterday, leaving the door open so Zinky could come in and out; today I worked at home, closing the door now and then, letting him in occasionally. Tomorrow he’ll be on his own.

Zinky experienced his first rain today. The earlier showers didn’t seem to faze him, but when it began to pour I saw him running back and forth outside the window, totally at a loss of what to do. I let him in, toweled him off, and when the rain eased off he went out again.

He likes getting into shrubbery, it seems, and keeps coming back covered in leaves and bits of spiderweb. Eventually I stepped out and found that he had somehow reached the other side of the fence; he walked back and forth a bit, unsure how to get back, until I lifted a bit of the chain link at one point and he slipped back through.

Let’s hope for some good adventures tomorrow.

bells of civilization

Written by Umbrella Man

October 1, 2015 at 12:23 am

Posted in animals, cats

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Photo of the Day #2563

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Photo of the Day #2563

While I was out helping Anton move yesterday, Zinky peed on two of the couch cushions, crossing a line he never had before. We’d trusted him to leave the couch alone, even after wetting the bed, the new chair, a towel and a bag full of laundry; he’d always been safe in the living room.

So Laurel arranged a vet appointment and I left work early to take him there, wondering if a urinary tract infection might be responsible for this behavior. He rested on the scale there very obediently, and only complained a little when the doctors pulled out their instruments to inspect him.

They didn’t find anything, but recommended a pheromone spray and some pills to help him with the stress from our move to the new apartment.

When we got home I sprayed the spray in the living room, and when Laurel arrived we gave the couch cushions a second treatment with the anti-stink enzyme spray. The room smelled of urine and pheromone and chemistry, so we opened the doors and windows, which let in the smoke from a neighbor’s barbecue. There was nowhere for us to sit together, so we spent the evening at our separate desks working on our own things.

Tonight, just moments after Laurel had been playing with Zinky, he wandered over to the couch – now exposed, since the cushions needed airing out – and left another puddle in it. We hadn’t had time to recover from the last incident; it felt like having a sandcastle kicked down halfway through repairs.

I wish we could communicate with him.

The way things are going, Zinky is making our place unlivable. He’s such a sweet cat most of the time, but we can’t keep covering the entire apartment in chemical sprays and hiding in our room.

Perhaps this isn’t the best home for him. I wonder if we can find someplace better.

Written by Umbrella Man

September 28, 2015 at 11:48 pm

Posted in animals, cats

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Paws of the Day #2561

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Paws of the Day #2561

I suppose I have been continuously busy lately, which has made me very lazy with my photos. The idealistic future in which I devote all my hours to creative activity still hangs in a distant fog.

I ran some errands around Berkeley today, walking through the heat with one heavy package or another, and partway through my journey I found this little fellow climbing a rather small tree. If he had gone up to escape from me as I approached, it made an ineffective hideaway – I could have reached out to any point in the tree. He watched me warily as he climbed, his little fingers wrapped around the slender branches of the tree.

Weary from the heat and my cargo, worried that I might be intimidating my little friend here, I left after a few snapshots; I wish I could have taken the time to get to know him.

bloop blip bloop

Written by Umbrella Man

September 27, 2015 at 12:16 am

Posted in animals

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