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 2023 in the Northwoods -- a cats' paradise, mostly

The end of May, the cats are back on the road to Wisconsin, via Frankenmuth, the 'Little Bavaria' of Michigan, and Manistique in the Upper Peninsula.

It's been another long drive today, and probably the cats are ready to get out of their carrier.

Arrival at 'Mussent Point' and . . .

. . . Kristin's cottage. How much will the little fellows remember?

Straight off, Choupette recalls her favorite perch for reconnaisance.

And Melvin the Doge is already beginning to feel at home again.

In fact, they both are.

Choupette is renewing her acquaintance with the 'float boat'.

Early June 2023, Melvin the Doge and little Choupette resume their customary insect researches on the lake shore in northern Wisconsin.

They cooperate marvelously for the first few days, hunting bugs & taking long naps.

In recent summers, however, Melvin loses interest in tormenting bugs and paces about listlessly, seeking a comfy site to take a long nap, whilst Choupette goes off after cute little chipmunks instead, which is disgusting, and reprehensible (in humans, anyway, but she's powered by evolutionary instinct).

Cats on the pontoon boat (the aging Grumman FunShip)

Preparing to welcome fellow passengers as (and if) they come

No cats allowed outside until 9 a.m. (by which time the night-hunting wildlife have packed it in), but it's tricky trying explain the rationale to cats.

Same for having to come in at 5 p.m. Not much for them to do but curl up for another nap.

'Sweetheart', aka 'Pinkie', is not a 'bad cat', properly speaking, but rather rough, and unwelcome on this end of the property.

Melvin, no longer so enthusiastic about batting his paws at silly bugs, prefers nowadays to shade himself under the lawn-reading chair, alongside it, or, worse, on the reader's lap.

The dock at Mussent Point will not be crowded until later in the season, and Choupie can quietly enjoy Kristin's company.

And respond to any passing hydrobikes

But she will definitely not come on board for a ride.

In the absence of chipmunk prey . . .

Choupette must make do.

Veni. Vidi. Vici!

They've never learnt how to use the telly command and just have to wait in bitter impatience.

Spotted -- danger approaching!

Pinkie (Sweetheart) slinks off ignominiously.

That's not Melvin. Neither Choupette. It's one of Choupette's half-siblings, called Pugsley, who with his sister Wednesday is also visiting for the summer with their minders.

Choupette and her human friend have the dock to themselves again.

So is she sleeping? Thinking? Remembering? Plotting? Just digesting?

We're beginning to sense a special affection for the Grumman FunShip.

More baleful looks from Choupette, who has signaled many times that she despises this show, and can't read the subtitles anyway.

-- Hey, Melvin, the bus doesn't stop here anymore.

Idle cat, waiting for the cows to come home

Choupette's half-siblings, Pugsley (right) and Wednesday, also visiting here for most of the summer. (Kindly ignore that inappropriate lamp stand.)

-- I'm trying to take nap here! Okay?!

What is this feline fascination with septic tanks?

A look of unalloyed determination

A look of unalloyed fatigue

Melvin merely watches, makes no comments.

A gathering of cats (Wednesday's still on the way), demanding their evening fix of Greenies in front of the telly.

Melvin does not wish to be disturbed.

Assigning roles in today's assault on the bugs in the grass

Sleep can come upon us anywhere, even on a FunShip.

Choupette always on the qui vive

Melvin, on the other hand, awaits our reading-and-cat-petting session getting under way.

Choupette recognizes a backyard grill as an object of potentially great interest.

-- But how do we open it?

Choupette is staking out a back porch tree known to harbor chipmunks round its roots.
They're too smart for her this time, but not always.

Coupette frequently performs antics that no one can pretend to understand.

A hastily agreed plan for whatever may come next

Melvin started out in that cosy little bed, but Choupette prevailed as always.

Something potentially sneaky has been detected in the underbrush.

The stakeout (all in vain . . . thank whatever gods may be). Even Melvin's been
picking up some of Choupette's predatory instinct. Difficult, but necessary, to forgive.

Apprentice predators or not, they're still very cute when they're sleeping.

-- So what's on for today?
-- Not much; maybe a few bugs and a nap.

The advent of sleep can't always be predicted precisely.

Melvin's favorite pose and venue in the predawn hours

-- Oh look, some fool left a drawer half open!

Don't get stuck in there.

Once again: one can never predict when the god Morpheus will overtake a cat. Imagine the dreams.

We've just discovered one of Melvin's hideouts behind the woodshed. He's taken lately to behaving admirably all day, but going to ground when it's time to come in. The other night, we gave up hunting the grounds at 11:30 p.m., and he was waiting on the back porch at dawn, shivering a little.

In the meantime, this has become temporarily his favorite crashing site when he's properly inside of an evening.

Another day ends with Choupette settled into her happy catball sleep pose.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 16 April 2024.

Fun with Melvin and Choupette