Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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A New Colony Member

gray and white feral cat
A new colony member!

Still trying to get those other stories and photos! So I’m filling in with some other thoughts, in this case a small colony of feral cats I see on my errand walks.

You’ve seen one of this series already when Bella had a big yawn. Here are a few more from this walk: the feral colony I always encounter on a walk to the grocery store. The kitty above is a new member!

I’m so glad to be back to walking. One of my pleasures when I had to run errands was to talk the time to walk to Main Street, about one mile round trip, and the occasionally the grocery store, about three miles round trip, both for the walk and the exercise and social time, but more for the photos I’d get along the way. I was two years in coming to my hip replacement, and I stopped my walks much of anywhere about 18 months before.

Apparently, I can’t take a walk without a camera, a real camera, not a cell phone, because cell phones don’t see the world as I do. Not even just down to the post office or to the grocery store. Except that my DSLR, my constant companion, needs to be cleaned and repaired and of all things I haven’t gotten to that yet. Since my camera went out of service in November I’ve actually decided not to walk somewhere because I had no camera to capture the million things I find to be really cool as I walk along, that special way to perk my creative instincts on any given day. Passing up a great photo makes me sad and frustrated, and I understand that the whole process is very important to my nature and creative self.

But I still have my Pentax K1000. I mentioned to a friend that I’d considered getting my hands on some black and white film to use in my old Pentax K-1000 for my Christmas walk on the trail, but I couldn’t find any to purchase anywhere, and had no idea who developed it now. There is nothing like black and white film, and it’s been years since I’ve used it. He mentioned he had a few rolls and he’d give me some, which he did, and I waited for the right moment to load it in my camera and head out the door.

gray and white feral cat
The distance view.

Above is the uncropped photo of the new kitty. I wasn’t using a zoom on my camera, and with film you can’t change lenses like you can with a digital camera, because removing the lens exposes three to five photos, and that’s too much to waste on a 24-exposure roll! But I was able to get close enough to this kitty to get a fairly clear photo. The kitty looks like my Bootsie, so of course I presume kitty is a girl, and I’m going to call her a girl just because. Below is the first photo I took of her with her tabby sister.

Two feral cats
A new friend!

This photo was cropped out of a larger one, no need to share the full frame. I cropped in until the film grain took away the details. This colony is tiny, in fact I’ve only called it a colony now because there are three cats! Until now there were only two tabbies, brother and sister. I know this is the sister because she’s built a little differently from her brother, and I had seen her brother across the driveway just before.

I’ve seen the tabbies for years and photographed them before in other walks. The people who care for them live in a very nice house and own a small contracting company with a large garage and some big trucks in the yard next to them where the house was removed. They also have several little Yorkies; in fact, they bred the parents twice then stopped, keeping two of the puppies. Everyone is fixed. If I see them I wave “hello”, and I’ve thanked them for their care for these cats.

The kitties have very nice accommodations underneath a brick porch with two Igloos and a poultry light to keep the area warm. I have never gotten a good photo of it because of where it is, but you can see a portion of it in the photos below, in the dark area behind the scaffolding. I also wanted to share them to show that, though I tried my hardest to focus on the cats, for some reason I had focused on the grass. I knew I’d done that the first time, so I tried to make it better the second time, and only made it worse. Ah, the days of film I was pretty disappointed, but what else to do but laugh?

I walk past this colony both to and from the grocery store, and I took the photographs above on my way back. But I saw the tabby boy on my way to the grocery store, and he was as vigilant as always, leading me a bit of a way, then heading off. It takes longer to set up my film camera and focusing on a moving cat is a real challenge, especially in really dim overcast with a shutter speed of about 30, so I didn’t catch him until he was headed into one of his secret spots and stopped to turn around and look at me.

When I saw this photo I wondered why I’d taken a photo of this pile of wood and the building. Was it the bench that I photographed for some reason, or the contrast of the blocks and the branches, the combination of textures and shapes? Sometimes looking through photos they just don’t catch the thing that inspired you…but wait, that building is where the cats live and, oh! I see him! See if you can find him before you scroll down.

feral tabby cat
Find the feral in this photo.

And here he is. The film grain increased when I cropped it down to the area where he is and it’s not the nicest photo, but then again maybe it is.

feral tabby cat
There he is!

Anyway, here’s my buddy on an earlier walk, leading me down the sidewalk, also black and white, but taken with my Pentax DSLR on a sunny day. He’s got one ear turned toward me, listening to see if I’ve followed.

feral tabby walking
My friend the feral tabby.

I photograph cats wherever I see them, especially feral cats. I have quite a collection of photos to use with articles and possibly even artwork someday.

You can see more photos from these walks, including the tabby above.

A Walk in Black and White Film

Misty Morning Walk


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Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

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From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

One thought on “A New Colony Member

  • wavez two ewe bootsie N tabby frum dai$y tuna & mackerull; hope thiz findz everee one doin sooooper grate N ya N joyz de week oh end ~~~ ☺☺♥♥


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