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.

Cat hijinks in winter 2022-2023

From Ascoli Piceno to Chicago, and thence to the Old Y in Staunton, Virginia, 3 December 2022

Choupette maintains a vigil to ensure we're not disturbed while watching the telly.

-- Who needs a wristwatch? We can always tell when it's time for dinner.

Whenever there's a suitcase out, being packed or unpacked, Choupette wants in on it.

After nearly a year of ignoring the little cat toys, Choupette is regaining her savage enthusiasm.

We'd have to sell off our car to buy a camera that could catch Choupette in full flight.

But with two small targets, almost equidisant, choosing the next victim looks paralyzing [that's the Buridan's Ass Paradox; look it up].

Melvin and Choupette are in earnest conversation, possibly planning some small malfeasance, or . . .

. . . just expressing their affections.

His brief nap over, Melvin can climb back out of the drawer now.

Melvin taking his ease

Awaiting dinner

Whenever dour Choupette sees the baggage cart come out, she falls victim to what the bloggers are calling the 'FOMO Syndrome', the Fear Of Missing Out (apparently a serious national threat these days, worse perhaps than MAGA, the so-called 'Second Amendment', and the bizarre US Supreme Court).

-- If you leave me behind, there will be a great Curse to follow you -- forever.

How did this happen? Can it be untangled?

Choupette's all in a tangle; even Melvin the Doge is showing some concern.

-- Maybe some of us just want to be left alone for a while.
Until dinnertime.

-- What did I just say?! Left alone!

-- Are you going to let that little winkie talk to me that way?

-- Really, enough is enough. She's just being performative.

We've just ferried the groceries in and have thoughtlessly left the cart out, where it can mislead Choupette into thinking we're going on another trip.

Sharing a spot in the sun on a winter afternoon.

Choupette passing a quiet afternoon

Melvin often joins us for telly night, but doesn't much like documentaries, especially about Pompeii.

Once again, the Choupette and Suitcase Syndrome

Choupette admires the screen background but . . .

. . . doesn't recognize the Mezquita of Córdoba.

Back on guard

A private door from our study leads out to the top of a stairway 3½ floors down to a back door to the alley behind the Old Y. It's virtually private for us, and the cats like to sit outside the study and challenge us to chase them down a few flights of stairs to round them up.

But recently, they've been much better behaved and therefore earn a little more latitude. On mid-winter mornings, that's almost the only direct sunlight in the flat.

Cats at rest . . .

. . . conversing quietly in cat murmurs

Melvin is deep in thought, again.

-- Melvin, look up! Smile for me!

That's a Melvin-smile, the best we're going to get.

Now what?!

-- Choupette, get a grip!

The Avocado

Choupette's acquired a few small infections on the side of her neck, and she's been given a few curative shots by the vet. The Avocado Collar will prevent her from scratching at them.

-- You did this to me!!!
In fact, she had miraculously got it off within ten minutes. But soon got better anyway.

The Morning Ritual. Once Melvin has awakened us, unerringly between 6:55 and 7:05, they plant themselves outside the bedroom door and wait for us to go to the kitchen and verify that there's enough catfood left out for them. There always is, but it's the ceremonial nature of it that endures.

An ambush is being arranged, and Melvin is oblivious. This could be awkward.

As the plot unfolds, sneakily, we're trying to warn Melvin, but he has no idea what we're talking about (he came from France).

-- We've never tried wine before. Should we?
-- No, not me.

-- They're going to find us back here. See if you can get the closet door open.

Ooooh, that's awkward. A panic attack perhaps.

-- We're here now, Choupette, come on out of there.

-- No.

A frequently paranoid little cat . . .

. . . but a magnificent yawner

We're in an hotel next to the Natural Bridge near Roanoke -- Kristin's flying back out for some babysitting in Chicago, and we'll be on our own for a few days.

Choupette is concerned about some random noises in the corridor.

Thus the Middle of the Night Watch

With Kristin off the premises, daily observances fall to the old dad.
-- Forgot our dinner did you?!

-- Do you mind? This is a private conversation.

Dinner's over, Melvin's waiting for the television evening to begin.

Though Melvin's asleep long before the film is over.

Whereas Choupette is occupied with finishing off the last of the Greenie cat-treats.

Marlowe, Dmitri, and young William are visiting for a few days here in the Shenandoah Valley, and we've already toured through Jefferson's Monticello, the Luray Caverns, and the Montgomery Hall jungle trail. Today's agenda include the 'cliff trail' at Sherando Lake, followed by an outdoor lunch at the Blue Mountain Brewery. 26 April 2023.

-- Hey, Choupette, what's this?

-- It's prey, obviously.

How many small Burmese cats can vault a meter off the floor, for no sensible reason? It's just a bouncing red blur.

We'd thought Choupette had outgrown the mouse-hand gag a long time ago, and . . .

. . . Melvin, too!

Choupette taking up valuable dinner table space

Melvin settling in on William's temporary bed on the mezzanine, and . . .

. . . the old dad catching up on the origins of the Proto-Indo-European Ur-language that spread evolutionarily from the Pontic-Caspian steppes to become the foundation of nearly half the world's languages. (It's hard going.)

Cats in repose

The Cat Whisperer

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 14 August 2024.

Fun with Melvin and Choupette