Bird bath

Sometimes Pinky chooses to sleep in a drawer. I have not allowed her into my lingerie drawer, therefore she is more curious about that one. Often I am careless about shutting the drawers fully. One day I find her sitting amid a mound of my underwear, as she pulls more out through the gap with a hooked paw. Instead of chasing her away, I sit down and watch to see how long she persists. Pinky continues happily until she can no longer reach anything then, bored, she ambles off.

Some evenings she comes inside to the dining room, eyes my lap momentarily, then goes to the kitchen for a bite to eat. Afterward, she trots quickly back outside. I know she is headed for a drink from the bird bath. I don’t know why she prefers the bird bath to her own water bowl. Which means I must scrub the bird bath every day.

Likewise, I trot to the bathroom and rush back to my chair and put up my feet, just in time, as she comes around the corner and jumps onto my lap. I can plan ahead as well as she can. She lies lengthwise, belly up, and I go to work on her. She is content if I only hold her legs. Those half-closed green eyes tell me so.


Cat napping

I have read that cats nap 18 hours a day. Since the advent of Pinky I seem to be napping almost that many hours along with her. What can I say – she is irresistible as a napping companion. She has ways of letting me know she is ready for a snooze by staring at me, jumping on and off my lap, or circling my chair. My book is steaming ahead, but I answer the summons and shut down.

Pinky’s attitude of repose is an art form, toes are tucked behind my ears, her arms pointed skyward above her head. The world is our tiny domain. I read for a while before I doze off. How long does not matter. I don’t even hear the telephone ring.

My friends have learned to call me in the evening. Being retired and accountable to no one, I have no cares about time. Besides, I need to make up for my erratic nights and Pinky’s reveille calls.

When we wake up we both str-e-e-tch and produce prodigious yawns. If it is still morning, I get up to see about lunch. If it is evening, the TV news can wait. The news will reach me soon enough.


There’s a dog I know on the hiking trail at Montclair who has an interesting story. His owner told me that he (the dog) found a crow’s nest one day and ate the eggs. Next day, and for weeks afterward a flurry of crows dive bombed and attacked the dog. Crows are among the most intelligent birds, as the poor dog found out.

And this: I watched a DVD of a stage production of Oklahoma recently starring Hugh Jackman as Curly. It was a British production and I was astounded at Jackman’s singing voice. Most of you might know he can sing but all I have known about him was his few acting roles where he didn’t sing and lately as Wolverine with the blades in his knuckles. It was the most stupendous performance by the entire cast. Their cornpone accents were so thick you had to marvel. Kudos to the British actors!


The horror goes on in northern California, the seven fires roaring into communities and wiping them out. More than 2000 homes and buildings have gone up in flames, 17 people have been killed. My great nephews there have been evacuated and are staying with friends.

And the firefighters don’t seem to be able to get a handle on it all. This is beginning to sound worse than the Oakland Hills fire in 1991 when the fire crept close to our home and we prepared to evacuate. In that one 2500 homes went up in flames and 25 people died.

Please let everyone be safe.

The House Mouse

Sightings in the dining room have become the equivalent of counting coup. None of us is sure where it lives, perhaps inside the wainscoting panel on the wall.

We know the mouse lives on food dropped from tables, and we know the exquisite timing of its forays — the moment of food dropped and the vacuuming of the floors. Traps are put out by the staff but unspoken among us residents here is the wish that the mouse eludes them. We don’t want it to be caught.

I saw it the other day. I threw it a small piece of pie crust, which was almost bigger than the mouse. In an instant crust and mouse had disappeared into the wainscoting panel. The mouse’s name? Chumley.