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 2022 -- a road trip for the cats, back to the lake

Melvin usually knows where to go when family life just gets too much for him.

Two small cats, each of whom is probably unaware of the other's presence. Or not.

The Hall Monitor is monitoring again. This a small mostly-private staircase out of our upstairs study down to a back entrance to the building. Both cats like to be let out in the morning, since it's got the only direct sunlight at that hour, but Choupette doesn't always come back when called.

And can be perceptibly resentful when fetched. Her expression is nearly always the same.

Choupette can often be extremely determined.

Melvin has settled into what has usually been Choupette's saucer, waiting for Season 8 of Endeavour to appear on the screen.

To Melvin's irritation, we've chosen to remind ourselves of Season 7 before settling down to see whatever Season 8 will bestow upon us.

Choupette is a favorite with everyone, and grandson William is a renowned cat fancier. Mid-May 2022.

Despite all the excitement, not all of the cats are terribly interested.

But few cats can resist a bouncy cat-toy on a string.

[Photos by Dmitri]

From time to time, though, Melvin needs to withdraw from the party for a brief respite.

Melvin is not unfriendly, really, but neither is he gregarious.

En route to Wisconsin, near Morgantown, WV, 30 May 2022: An experiment in synechdoche -- a single goose feather (fetched from our recent Monongahela riverwalk) stands in for a whole goose. Choupette reverts to predatory instincts and wrestles the feather into submission, then moves on.

Rapt attention in the hotel called 'The Cranberry', near Morgantown, WV

Especially for the birds in the tree next door

At the Tropics restaurant adjacent to The Cranberry, we have a theme-oriented photo opportunity. (Photos by the gracious manager of The Cranberry)

Melvin was cool about it all, of course, but Choupette was panic-stricken, could not be got back out, and had to be hauled out the front.

Visiting sister Susan and family in Ashland, Ohio, someone has gone to ground.

Not as sociable as might have been wished.
Tomorrow we're off at dawn (or nearly so) for a six hour trajet past Toledo and a large chunk Michigan to catch a ferry.

Choup's ready. Hart, Michigan, has the closest pet-friendly accommodation we could find to tomorrow's ferry dock in Ludington.

Docking in Manitowoc the next day, and roughly three hours later, now in north-central Wisconsin, we're in the Northwoods and Gazillion Lakes district. And after eight months locked up in a condo in Virginia, here are two cats who recognize our destination and are giddy with anticipation.

Choupette is supervising the unloading of the heavily-laden car, and both cats are settling in enthusiastically.

Cats on the lake

After eight months stuck in a semi-urban condo (where 'going outdoors' meant the hall corridor), and six days in the back of the car or locked up in hotel rooms, Melvin the Doge and demonic little Choupette have arrived back at the lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods, 3 June 2022.

They seemed to have recognized the cottage, but now they're wondering what grass is.

A little reluctance showing up here. But persistence, determination, will win out; after all, it's just grass.

It's all coming back now . . .

. . . like bouncing on the trampoline

The White Cat from the other end of the property is invading the sacred turf.

-- We'll wait and watch; maybe he'll go away.

Choupette will not stand for other cats pestering Melvin, and has seen the White Cat off with a stoney glare.

Only one cat on these premises is allowed to pester Melvin.

When the world, or the pestering, become overwhelming, Melvin retires from society for a while. A quiet time for repose, reflection, and recharging the social batteries.

Choupette has her own way of coping -- mainly baleful vigilance.

Something has been detected hiding in the ferns.

Teamwork and the instincts of the hunt

Choupette importuned us to be allowed to have a view of the inside of the old boathouse, but . . .

. . . she instantly disappeared. Fifteen minutes later, we're very frustrated, and Choupette is probably laughing at us from somewhere here.

But then miraculously reappears. And we grab her from behind.

Having graduated over two years from hunting bugs to occasionally hunting the odd shrew, vole, or chipmunk, perhaps it's on to fish now.

The White Cat has reappeared and is glaring threateningly.

-- Good luck, Melvin. Call me when it's over.

A wet and chilly early morning in mid-June, the cats were desperate to be let out to romp about -- but are having second thoughts.

A group siesta, but . . .

. . . still vigilant

-- Another chilly morning. What shall we do today?

More of that eternal vigilance

The hunt is on -- something moved, or buzzed, in the foliage.

Nothing so far

Cats hate rain. Any port in a storm. We're on the refurbished pontoon boat, our bookish refuge in times of hostile weather.

Active cats can hunt for bugs (and small mammals) or . . .

. . . they can hunt each other.

A performative face-off

Back to hunting bugs (or small mammals)

Late June: A playfully vicious ambush

The Sentinel
(that White Cat had better know what's good for him)

Carol's visiting for the week, and her car seems to be infested. But it's just Choupette, ensuring that she's not left out of any impending adventures.

Melvin's wriggled back into his favorite hideaway; oh, but . . .

. . . that's not Melvin.

It's like someone blew a gentle whistle and said 'Drop everything. Sleep.'

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 15 April 2024.

Fun with Melvin and Choupette