Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pretty


Light fare today. As I already announced, since I graduated, my Columbia home page is soon to dissolve, so I moved everything to my own new domain (see Item 2 in Important News). But one thing I had at the old site just for friends and family were some family photos. They are many years old now, but I like them. They're pretty. So I thought I'd move them here and share with you all. But first a bit of background before each set.

Our garden has changed a lot. Especially now that it's Winter, and over the years various plants have moved or died (I'll be doing a new planting this Spring). Though FYI the flowers featured below are the infamous Canterbury Bells that freaked us out and thus inspired one of the jokes in one of my funny blogs (Item 28). Photos of the Morning Glories aren't included below, but both they and the Bells have since perished. One of the Glory plants rapidly produced something like a hundred followers (literally...they grew, bloomed, and died) in a period of about ten days and then the whole thing dropped dead. That was eerie. But the Bell plants also grew gigantic stalks in a matter of days, rising, rising, as if they were soon to just uproot and start charging at the doors. The speed of these growths was like something from a Jules Verne novel. Nevertheless, they were quite beautiful, and I got some really good snapshots with my conventional camera (you can click on them to enlarge)...






And then the cat. Of course, unlike the images below, Paiwacket is now an adult cat of enormous mini-mountain-lion stature. We live in something of a wilderness, so Paiwacket had to cultivate his inner badass, just to fight off the loose dogs, local feline toughs
, raccoons, skunks, opossums, killer squirrel squads, murders of crows, lost deer, platoons of wild turkeys, and occasional hoard of sheep. He also has to navigate some terrifyingly vast brambles. The vet keeps complaining he's overweight, but I don't see any fat on him. I suspect it's all muscle.

Reminds me of a weird cat I had as a child, pure white and gigantic. White, I think her name was. She grew freakishly strong, with bizarrely dense, giant, rippling muscles like some cheesy comic book supervillain cat. She had a litter of 14 kittens, which we raised--and then lost them all to attrition over subsequent years, each one in a new, strange, different way, like one of those darkly funny children's books. I can't remember what happened to White, though, it was so long ago. I can't even remember for certain her name. I can recall the names of all 14 kittens, but then I grew up with them.

White either disappeared, died of natural causes...or was put down. Because one thing I do clearly remember about her: White went insane. She started stalking the neighborhood attacking local dogs. Just for fun, apparently. And she was kicking their asses so badly the neighbors constantly came to us complaining about it. Eventually some neighbors started complaining that White was ravaging and terrifying their Dobermans (!) and I think threatened to sue. You go kitty. Maybe she was the resurrected spirit of a poor kitten gobbled up by dogs, now raised from the dead to get her ghastly revenge. Maybe.

Anyway, that was then. This is now. Our Paiwacket isn't that muscly or crazy. He's more the timid type...though wisely so, given the abundance of wild threats around here. Oh, right, you want to know what's up with the name. More traditionally spelled Pyewacket, it's a historical name of an actual (well, alleged) 17th century witch's imp. But we knew it as the name of Kim Novak's cat in Bell, Book, and Candle. One of my favorite films. Hey, Novak's just damn sexy in that, and that's saying something, since blondes aren't usually my thing. But that's not the only reason I like it. Honest.

But to hell with sexy chicks, here's our Paiwacket, in his kitten days...










6 comments:

freethoughtguy said...

Paiwacket is TOO cute, but how about some grown-up Paiwacket pics? And tell me: what's his nickname? Pai, Pie, or Pi?

David Fitzgerald said...

D'dh! I forget how dangerously cute that cat was in his kittendom. Of course, Wack Master P is still gorgeous. Great pics.
-D

WAR_ON_ERROR said...

Hope you don't mind me having fun with some lolpaiwacket.

Rick's Mom said...

White cats: Our first white cat was White Fang. We also had Black Tooth. Those were the names of bears on Soupy Sales. You never saw the whole bear, just their furry arm/paw.

The muscular commando cat was male. He moved with us to Oxnard, but as soon as a baby cat arrived, he split for good. His name was Uglik. You had named him. He was short-haired, white and muscular. Some days he'd come home from his adventures so covered in dust he looked gray. Never found out where he went.

A neighbor girl tried to claim Uglik as her own, but her mother brought him back to us. She was NOT having that cat in her house! He was a good cat, just not tolerant of other beasties. He did love Black Tooth, but apparently not enough to care for her children....

Hallq said...

Richard! I'm disappointed in you! I saw the title and was expecting a grand philosophical reflection on the nature of prettiness, and instead I get cool cat pictures!

Richard Carrier said...

Rick's Mom said... The muscular commando cat was male. He moved with us to Oxnard, but as soon as a baby cat arrived, he split for good. His name was Uglik.

No, not that cat. I'm talking about the mom of the mass litter that included El Gato Gorgo (who just dropped dead in the middle of the kitchen one day for no reason) and his kin (from rocking-chair-mishap kitten to eyeball-sticking-out kitten). I'm pretty sure this mom was the white, freakishly muscly cat that beat up all the neighborhood dogs (I'm sure I recall how bizarre it was having a mommy cat look like something from a monster movie--although I know my color memory is bad, so she might have been tan instead of white). This was all after Silbar I think. Boy, we had a lot of generations of cats!