Dwight Peck's personal website

Melvin the Doge and Choupette

A small collection of poignant photos of fairly cute cats, extracted from other webpages on this site.

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.

Summer 2021: Cats romping on the lakeshore

We're en route to the lake in far northern Wisconsin for the summer, and taking a three day break along the way.

This is the Hemlock Lodge in the Natural Bridge State Resort Park in Slade (a town which can scarcely be said to exist; pop. 300, post office closed in 2004), about 50 miles southeast of Lexington, in the Red River Gorge area.

Here are two cute little cats who've just spent eight months in an upstairs flat in a condo building in Virginia, with windows that can't opened. Aside from the odd 4 or 5 hour road trip, locked in a motel room, that has been their world. Soon they'll be let loose into the Wisconsin wilds for the summer, but for the moment they can refresh their memories about what fresh breezes and an abundance of foliage can be like.

Tree leaves actually waving and bouncing in the breeze; fascinating.

Leashes obligatory on the balcony. This cat is a practiced railing dancer.

Still, it was a longish drive from the horrible motel and restaurant experience in West Virginia last night, and it's time now for another nap.

Taking turns in the comfy suitcase (to be honest, Choupette invariably rushes over to push Melvin out of any enviable snuggly place he's found)

Mesmerized by La Nature. The next morning, we'll venture out to see the famous Natural Bridge.

Melvin and Choupette are having a sharing moment in a comfy suitcase.

Now the cats are exiting their carrier in Kokomo, Indiana, and already feeling at home.

Settling in for the evening

But it's time for the humans' dinner -- we have to go out for a while.

And now we're back.

Next day, all packed in and ready to head north. Turn on the A/C, it was in the 90s°F yesterday.
(-- Climate change is a commie hoax.) [-- What's a 'commie'? -- Erm, like a Nazi!]

Melvin sleeps all through every trip; Choupette normally squawks for a while, but eventually relents and snoozes too.

Now for a stopover at Emily's and Clinton's and Hazel's new condo (top floor), Chicago, Illinois.

Melvin has retired into radical shyness and prefers to hide in the back room for the length of our visit.

All the cats (except for Melvin) assembled for review: Choupette, unmistakable in the foreground; Pugsley the valiant with Kristin; and gentle Wednesday hiding up on the cat-tower out of everyone's way. Clinton seen in the mirror-wall.

Choupette contemplating the rapidly changing venues during our week on the road.

Wednesday, seldom entirely convinced that it's safe to come down . . .

. . . or to come out from behind the antique cradle.

Kristin's cottage on Mussent Point: Our annual pilgrimage to the Wisconsin Northwoods, covering a week of Interstate highways with a few days of hiking in Kentucky, brings us to the little lake at the northern end of the state.

After a week snoozing on the Interstates, Choupette feels more at home in the car and needs to be coaxed out of it again.

Melvin the Doge, on the floor, and little Choupette, staring out the window of the back porch -- it all must seem vaguely familiar.

Assuaging their doubts, preparing to brave the new environment

-- Do we have to walk right on this grass?

The old fascination with authentic foliage returns to Choupette.

Choupette's lakeside explorations

Melvin wants to know what's up.

-- None of your business.

Off for a satisfying trampoline session

A jubilantly bouncing cat

Choupie's a little disconcerted by her newfound freedom
(eight months locked up in a condo can do that to anyone).

Hide-and-seek round the flower pot; it's Melvin's turn but Choupette awaits an opportunity.

Choupette's bored now and off to eat some more grass, but . . .

. . . nothing disturbs Melvin's meditations.

Rain storms in the afternoon can be fascinating, even for a young cat who hates water.

The insect hunt is officially on.

Cooperation -- Choupette herds the insects northward through the foliage, and Melvin is ready.

A practiced team of insect hunters. But toward the end of last summer, Choupette graduated to a few little voles or shrews, yuck.

Some sort of feline ritual dance is taking place on this crumbled old picnic grill dating from before several US wars.

This is the tricky part of the dance, the coordinated backing-up step.

But another meditative state comes upon Melvin, and Choupette loses patience.

Now what's Choupette got up to? Staring for long moments up at something . . .

Uh oh, it's a bird in the tree. That's not good.

Choupette snoozing rolled up like a danish pastry with fur on it.

Summer guests at the lake -- Pugsley and Wednesday, not so terrible when they're snoozing. They're siblings, so they're very close; they're also younger half-siblings of our Choupette; it's complicated.

Pugsly (the grey one) is a determined eater of his cat food and, in this case, of Choupette's as well.

Choupette can only hope that there'll be some left over.

Opportunistic napping

Choupette, eyeing the ceiling beam and dreaming of an aerial adventure

Melvin patiently planted at one of his favorite bug-watching posts.

An afternoon nap

Melvin the Doge and little Choupette are processing along the dock, hesitantly but of their own volition, to see what it's all about. Neither is fond of water at all, to be honest.

Having got this far out, they're probably wondering if it's a good idea at all.

Back on terra firma, they can check out the safer surroundings . . .

. .. . and congratulate each other on their bravery.

Later on the 14th of July, still another late afternoon thunderstorm makes the cats edgy, very edgy.

No gambolling about in the sunshine this afternoon -- the rain is bucketing down and thunderclaps are stressful for cats.

If they spoke better English, we could explain to them and calm their fears, but nothing works (and, besides, Melvin is French).

We even tried providing Melvin with an improving book to pass his time with. Nothing worked.

A sneak attack . . . this time, it didn't work.

But the lurking Choupette can be very patient, and dedicated.

Someone should warn Melvin that this is another ambush.

Another faceoff!

Melvin is prepared, and Choupette's flying leap goes awry.

And now they're friends again, and will go exploring in the woods as usual.

Melvin keeping out of the hot afternoon sun for his nap, under the trampoline

Melvin the Doge in his meditations . . .

. . . and the catamaran buoy.

That little structure looks a wreck, but Melvin loves it.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 6 May 2022.

Fun with Melvin and Choupette