Odd casting of a movie

I watched a Netflix rental film the other evening, with Bijou ensconced on the cushion behind my head (for some reason he is shy about using my lap) and went along with the story well enough. The Best of Me held no violence, no sweaty sex. Oh yes, there was some violence involving trashy men and bullying of the leading man, Dawson, who up and moves from his abusive father’s shack into an elderly neighbor’s garage.

The film does a lot of flashbacks of Dawson ready to graduate from high school and his sweetheart Amanda. The older Dawson 20 years later has brilliant blue eyes; the young one has brown ones. Their noses are markedly different; the shape of their faces differ, which a semi-beard on the older one doesn’t manage to mask.
Young Amanda has apple cheeks and a small chin; the older version has a well-proportioned face and chin. Their voices, at least, sounded about the same.

I did not dwell much in bewilderment but took the oddments as an added fillip to Nicholas Sparks’ novel. I understand the movie was a bust at the box office, but it was good enough entertainment for an evening at home with Bijou purring at my head.

By the way, Bijou’s favorite program is NatGeoWild. He was entranced by a giant sloth creeping across the screen.

Images of Australian cassowary look into the camera angry face.

Some kind of GOP intellects

The aftermath of the attack on Paris has brought out some illuminating statements from among the GOP presidential hopefuls:

“Close down the mosques in the United States!”

“Allow in only Christians!”

“Start a database to monitor muslims in the United States!”

The only saving element in all these displays of would-be presidential actions is that these heavy thinkers have not yet got the authority to implement them. Not that any one of these solutions would get passed. Can you imagine the new furor in Congress?

And oh yes, “The refugees are like rabid dogs.” The issuer of this remark also proposes to repeal Medicare and Medicaid.

Kitty love bites

Now that he is joining Loaner and me on the bed, which he had avoided before, he heads straight for my neck and settles down there. This somewhat constrains my movements because Loaner is at my left hip as well. Still, the effect of so much family closeness sends me straight to dreamland.

But there is one other matter to contend with. Bijou will reach up now and then and bite me on the chin or cheek or nose. Are they love bites? Those of my readers who know kittens, what do you think? In the morning I give myself a fright at the mirror at seeing blood tracks on my face. I don’t know what else to do to discourage him except by tapping him on the nose and saying BIJOU! sharply.

He gets pretty wild scampering up and down the bed until Loaner, at the end of her patience, goes WAAH! whacks him and manages to do what I can’t. It is Mojo all over again. That boy would go berserkers then suddenly cuddle, eyes closed, with melting sweetness. When he was really little he kneaded my shoulder, uttering meows of contentment. People try to lessen the sorrow of losing him by telling me he might be living with someone else. Compared to the image of him being mauled by a predator, I can almost hope that is the case, even if I don’t care for him wanting to be with anyone else. Complicated, isn’t it?

Photo: Bijou is behind the rose bush


Bijou, a kitten to reckon with

He wouldn’t eat one entire day, not breakfast, not midday, not at 5 p.m., didn’t meow in between for chow and went on with his day’s business playing with his toys and romping outside. By 5:15 he had me on the ropes, and I called the vet hoping they hadn’t all gone home. But someone was still there, advised me to try again next morning, and not to worry about his having a stomach blockage until then.

Next morning I opened a can of Salmon Dinner paté, mixed it with kitten kibble as usual, and watched as the little stinker gobbled it up. I had not quite noticed during the past days that his interest in “Gourmet Beef” and “Mixed Grill” had been waning; on the day of his fast he had therefore served notice that beef bits were no longer on his menu, even if it was on mine.

So now he gets Salmon Dinner paté more often than any other flavor; as a favor to me he will eat Chicken Dinner paté. His big sister Loaner is fond of anything and has taken it upon herself to finish up whatever he leaves on his saucer. She also has begun licking his little face, a sign he is well at last, for he must have smelled odd to her while plastered with Lamisil for his ringworm. All of the little guy’s challenges: a bruised leg, ulcerated gums, conjunctivitis, ringworm, and a fever, have cleared up, and he has emerged with a full, shiny coat and impish nature. Because of his all-black coat, I kept him close on Halloween, but would have kept him close anyway.

And may the person who dumped him when he was barely a weanling be dumped in his/her turn.

Lion, portrait of the king of beasts

Good news about wildlife protection

As many Americans have, I received this message today from SaveAnimalsFacing Extinction.org:

“Washington State initiative Measure 1401 resoundingly passed criminalizing the selling, purchasing, trading, or distributing certain animal species threatened with extinction, raising the bar beyond where laws already on the books in New York, New Jersey, and California have previously gone to to protect big game.”

For those of us who care, this is a still a minute step toward a total United States (never mind worldwide) ban of wildlife trafficking, yet it is heartening to hear encouraging news of this kind.

I understand there are big-game hunting clubs in this country and that the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the lion is a member. I remain curious as to how his dental practice is progressing under this distinction. That other hunter who killed a very large bull elephant is not an American citizen. There was also a woman–I am not sure if she is American–who posted her picture on Facebook grinning over the limp neck of a giraffe that she had shot. These types of people have to be very strange human beings, an anomaly in these so-called enlightened times. Remember when Ernest Hemingway posed proudly next to his kills? THAT man belongs rightly in the distant past.

Thanks to depredations of the biggest, strongest wild animals, we can look forward to puny specimens in the future, products of the diminished gene pool. That is, if there will be any left.

Big elephant mother and small baby

The conflict over wolves

I read Nicholas Evans’ novel “The Loop” recently which caused me to skim through parts of it all the while knowing exactly what was occurring in those paragraphs.
It wasn’t merely fiction. I knew very well those incidents are ongoing in America’s wildernesses.

Evans’ story brings very close to the skin the perilous state of wolf survival. I sign petitions day after day to save wolves in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and wonder, like thousands of us who do, why the Fish & Wildlife people are not protecting wolves more. Evans depicts the F&W function in those states as a balancing act between wolf-hating cattle ranchers and nearly hopeless attempts to re-introduce the animals and monitor their well-being.

The main wolf-hater in the novel is a man who scorns us as “bunny huggers”, and I suppose he represents cattlemen all over the country. We bunny huggers may not appreciate the cost of slaughtered cattle but on the other hand we do seek to preserve not only wolves but an entire spectrum of wildlife that is being killed off all over this world. Despite horrendous daily mortalities among human beings, our numbers continue to burgeon and to encroach upon habitats of animals that may become extinct. We pollute the atmosphere and waters, setting the Earth on a path that soon will have no return. Our forests, especially in the Amazon and Indonesia, are being cut away at a rate that is unsustainable for wildlife.

Yes, I care. I manage to avoid eating meat 95% of the time and I know my puny efforts to conserve the life of animals in shrinking habitat are effective only 5% of the rest of the whole.

Will we have any elephants left in a decade? Will the new wealthy Chinese finally grow tired of acquiring ivory trinkets? Is the Chinese government sincere in imposing a ban on ivory imports or is it just lip service to appease international concern? Other borders of entry encompass entire southeast Asia. What are they doing to stem the trade? I do not believe they care about world opinion, while the poachers continue to shoot and poison elephants to supply the demand.

These “big-game” hunters who pay $60,000 for a license to kill a trophy animal belong on my wall of human trophy heads. Times have moved on, gentlemen, from the days of Ernest Hemingway. Move on, yourselves.


A lonesome trek around Cape Cod

….and so I arrived at the B&B, was welcomed and shown a pleasant bedroom by the owner couple. I then, armed with a map, ventured out to explore. The wooded terrain was what I expected….until the strip mall. I supposed it was efficient to cluster stores all together rather than have them spread out here and there, but I might as well have been in a nameless suburb for all that. No doubt I suffered from the outsider’s romantic vision of a Cape Cod of crashing waves and an intimate village, which I did eventually encounter.

First, though, I found my way to the Kennedy compound at Hyannisport. That done, I strolled along the town street, and for lunch had lobster. Lobster lobster lobster was my diet for the next three days. Next, I took the ferry to Nantucket; either there or Martha’s Vineyard, but Nantucket’s whaling history drew me. The waters leading there looked very eastern, unfamiliar, rough. I walked up and down Nantucket’s cobbled streets, had lunch, walked some more, and wondered what the hell I was doing there. It started to rain heavily. For the sound of a friendly voice, I called my neighbors in California and could have wept to hear them say my name. On the return trip, the passengers called out excitedly on sighting sea lions on rocks. I stayed in my seat.

Bulletin about Bijou: His coat is full and shiny now and he is climbing trees. In an effort to keep him around longer than I managed with Mojo, I am imposing curfew at 6 p.m. and meow as he might, he stays indoors until morning. (That’s his yellow yarn ball he is wrestling with)