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

Back to Wisconsin in the appalling Dead of Winter

We've just returned from Italy -- Naples was grand! but back in Staunton, Virginia, 5 November 2023, it's good to be home.

It appears that the cats still remember us, though . . .

. . . for some reason, Melvin has taken up cowering in the upstairs shower.

And even Choupette is lurking.

Something must be going on downstairs.

Choupette's standing sentinel duty for us up in the study on the mezzanine.

Every once in a while, Choupette gets into a mood and taunts us. She knows that she's well out of our disciplinary range out there.

She just blithely ignores all of our entreaties, and snickers quietly to herself.

But we know that she's always bluffing. (As long as Melvin doesn't trot there, too, and they get to wrestling.)

Here are two cats waiting patiently for the next bus,

-- Kids, the bus doesn't run here anymore.

-- Ignore him. It will be coming along soon.

We're headed back to Wisconsin now, for a special Christmasy clan event and to spend some time with
Cousin Rob, mid-December 2023.

Four days on the Interstates -- Melvin is always cool, sleeps in the back the entire trip, whereas . . .

. . . Choupette tends to harbor grievances, but (mirabile dictu) she's on best behavior for this trip, chemically induced.

Kristin's cottage is vintage and has been added to several times over the decades, but alas it's uninsulated and uninhabitable some eight months of the year. Thus, we'll be welcomed in the matriarchal house just two doors down.

Our feline companions spend eight months of the year incarcerated in the condo in downtown Staunton, and four months roaming round the Mussent Point property (and sometimes, unadvisedly, off it). They seem to be surprised and curious to be here in the off-season, especially never having seen snow before.

Melvin is entirely at home with the snow and the temperatures and can spend quality time poking round, possibly wondering why there are no insects to harass.

He must have feet like galoshes.

We're in the larger guest room at the far end of the main cottage, and Choupette must familiarize herself with its possibilities and opportunities.

The cats are settling in in the manner to which they're most accustomed.

They've evolved a satisfactory routine at this over time.

They're both mainly of the curled-up-in-a-ball sleeping persuasion.

Pinky, aka Sweetheart, aka The White Cat, has a fairly complex relationship with our lovely little pets, and sometimes it's best just to drive him away.

Choupette is sort of overjoyed to be outside again, but she detests the snow on her little talons. Doubtless, though, she's noticing the utter absence of potentially fun prey like chippies and mice.

Sweetheart and Melvin, for some reason, are bothered neither by the snow nor by the (to us) murderous cold air.

That meeting was resolved amicably, and Melvin is off on a reconnaisance.

He either doesn't realize that he's standing on about a metre of frigid water or doesn't care.

When Melvin explores the terrain, he's very thorough.

Melvin naturally wants to investigate, so we have to dissuade him forcefully without crashing in kneedeep ourselves.

Prepared for any more snowstorms that should come along . . .

It's awkward for poor Choupette, who (unlike Melvin) cannot bear stepping on the snowy bits.

It's an awkward way to go about exploring, and not much fun.

The poor little fellow can't get it out of his walnut-size brain that this isn't still the place to wait for someone to open the door.

As mentioned, Cousin Rob has been feeling poorly, for sure, but with never a complaint and extraordinary courage. We've gathered for a special party at everyone's favorite local restaurant to celebrate how much Rob has always meant to us.

[Cousin Rob passed away two weeks later. A horrible loss.]

But here's Granny Kristin with her newest best friend.

Choupette observes someone sneaking towards her scratching post.

It's okay, he's family.

Every morning the cats assemble at the kitchen window to watch herds of grey squirrels chasing all round before the new day gets under way.

The next day -- the grey squirrels are at it again.

Melvin is intrigued by the ice, impervious to cold obviously, and always curious.

That's a fallen tree underneath the ice, but he probably can't know that.

-- Hey, wait, Melvin! Don't go there . . . no, Melvin!

-- Oh Melvin, PLEASE!
(He trotted out on his own five minutes later.)

They're plotting something. We're in Manitowoc WI at the moment, 29 December 2023, and having a good look round.

Resting up for tomorrow's interstate ordeal, a seven hour trek to Hurricane, WV, near Huntington . . .

. . . but if it's got to be done, then 'twere well it were done quickly. Choupette's ready.

We're back home now, and Melvin's still mightily attracted to nature shows on the telly . . .

. . . especially about birds.

He can sit for hours, enrapt.

But Melvin also enjoys European cop shows. He has an estimable range of interests for things that move around on the screen.

Melvin, deep in his thoughts

A quiet late evening viewed from our downstairs reading chair

Melvin and Choupette resenting our attentions

Whenever the grocery cart is out, Choupette fears missing the next road trip.

Melvin and his addiction to nature documentaries

Conspiracies in prospect?

Exhausted from chasing one another all round the flat, all in good fun we hope, it's time for an aimable rest.

And a brief wait for dinnertime

Dinnertime for cats

Choupette is hiding in the study.

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