You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Choupette and Melvin descend upon the Northwoods, summer 2020 -- with guest appearances by Pugsley and Wednesday
This is a small collection of poignant photos of fairly cute cats, extracted from other webpages on this site.
Impatience in Virginia -- the poor creatures have been locked up in a condo flat for the past eight months, with windows that can't even be opened, and they're both becoming desperate.
One of them is even threatening ailurosuicide imminently, but . . .
. . . relents upon the promise that we'll hit the road in two days' time.
Resting up before the long drive . . .
. . . which takes up the whole intervening day.
The baggage cart is out and ready to be packed up.
Now the car is all loaded up, and it's time to summon the troops.
-- Come on, guys. We've got a long day ahead.
(It's 19 June 2020, and we're bound for Winchester, Kentucky, today.)
-- We're ready, chief.
Kristin's cottage on the lake in northern Wisconsin, late afternoon on 21 June. Melvin slept through the entire trip -- Choupette behaved appallingly on the first day, but resigned herself and managed very well for the rest of it.
Two small cats who've just spent eight months locked up in a condo -- views of the Great Outdoors in real time will have to sink in a bit.
The next day -- Melvin is a veteran of three previous summers on the property, and must just remind himself of what his opportunities and responsibilities will be. Choupette, on the other hand, has never been out of doors on her own -- last summer, when she was the size of a peanut with a tail, eagle-bait in other words, she had to stare with envy at all the hijinks on the lawn.
So now they're loose -- to negotiate their own relationships with La Nature.
After eight months of incarceration, Melvin may not be sure that he's not just dreaming this.
But then the call of the shrubberies rings out, and he's stalking the insects just like in the old days.
Choupette, on the other hand, has never encountered a shrubbery or fern before.
But she's picking up the stalking of insects very quickly (though, alas, later in the summer she progressed to stalking tiny shrews and batting them around).
All that said, we did have to keep a watchful eye for the eagles, and several times during the summer we scrambled to yank our little friend into the cottage when one of them came swooping in low among the treetops.
Melvin's looking nonplussed -- he still needs a little time for adjusting.
The Choupette Welcoming Committee has arrived within minutes.
-- That's called a 'tree', Choupette.
Back to the shrubs and grasses, buzzing with tiny winged provocations
A little dance of joy atop a disused grill from many decades ago
Now for some coordinated insect-attack planning.
Another cat resides on the property, variously called 'Sweetheart' or 'Pinkie', or, by those who don't want to choose sides, 'the white cat'.
The White Cat has been spotted
-- Get off our turf!
Territorial vigilance (in fact, all the cats renewed their acquaintances and got along very well.)
Too much excitement for one day. Nighty-night.
-- Rise and shine, Sweet Slug-a-beds.
They've tired themselves out again, the poor little creatures.
Two cats coordinating their insect-surveillance of the shrubberies
Melvin and Choupette discover what could be a live, or a dead, snake, or a cat toy with a long feather boa on it.
That's one feather boa that will never trouble us again.
But just for good measure . . . 'in an abundance of caution' . . . let's do it again.
The coup de grâce
-- Applause, please.
The hunt for insects resumes.
Next day, a determined Choupette: unfinished business with the feathered boa . . .
. . . quickly taken care of
Under the watchful glare of Pugsley and Wednesday, visiting from Tennessee
The White Cat has been spotted.
Pugsley and Wednesday in repose . . .
. . . and not to be disturbed
Choupette has discovered the subtle joys of dragonfly hunting.
Give it chance to recover slightly.
Such innocent fun
Choupette watching for another dragonfly, to sport with
Melvin watching Choupette watching for another dragonfly, to sport with
Before we let the cats out, every day, we take a little eagle-walk round the property, and it's a good job we did today. This thing is staring fixedly at our back door.
It's a juvenile, apparently -- we'll have to wait it out.