Category Archives: Cute!

Hunter the farm kitty

Look at his little tongue!
Look at his little tongue!

This month will see more visits to the pig barns. Our Uni-affiliated research barn has a resident kitty, who catches mice in the offices and generally provides comic relief during the workday. Apparently he also runs around outside sometimes in the summer. This photo shows him chasing prairie dogs around the grain bins.

June kitty report

This cute kitty art was created by Katja, Leif and Christina’s daughter. Outstanding!

Travels, even without a great phone, still present some opportunities to capture local wildlife. Here are some kitties discovered in June.

Ava is Leif’s veteran kitty. She is not overewhelmingly friendly, but will tolerate pets on her terms. Katja walked me through some Ava ground rules: “If she is under the bed, leave her alone. Don’t scare her, or she will scratch you.”
7th ave orangey
I saw this 7th ave orangeya few times on my way to and from the dentist in Vancouver. He was up for some pets, but mostly he was out running errands and didn’t have much time to hang out. Till ex.: he needed to eat some grass to resolve his tummy ache.

Bear hug!

WHUT?!? I was so surprised and impressed to get this guyon my latte #suckitstarbucks
WHUT?!? I was so surprised and impressed to see this guy on my latte #suckitstarbucks

Sometimes right when you think ‘I need a hug’, one arrives.  This has been a biiiiiiiig work week – Almost 50 hours done before I woke up Friday morning.  Today I had felt I had enough time  to go get a coffee with a friend (to drink in my office, natch).  The latte came with this little bear hug in the cup.  Aw!

A friend joked with me when I got tenure (PS, my tenure and promotion application was accepted after all) that now it was time to coast because now the University is ‘stuck with me!’
However, it has not worked out that way at all.

I applied for a lot of grants, never thinking that they would all get funded. Not all of them did, but more than I expected. This is nothing to complain about, it is a wonderful vote of confidence from the funding agency and a great boost to the productivity of my research program. BUT it is a lot of projects and students and data collection and management… which means not a lot of paddling and yoga and visiting and art and travel and reading (fun stuff).

Jack wasn't dull at all, he was homicidal.
Jack wasn’t dull at all, he was homicidal.

So I feel a little hard-done-by, complicated by the fact that I chose this kind of career (back up job of fitness instructor not off the table) and then chose to have a million projects and students, and also chose to be in my office for 50 hours and not go out paddling this week.
I DID IT TO MYSELF!    …and that’s why it really hurts.

For some people, ‘doing it to yourself’ might preclude complaining, but NOT ME.  Luckily or unluckily, I am not shy or constrained by gender norms to a degree that I can’t have a grump-out in this sea of ivory-tower privilege.  If you want me I’ll be smoking a melancholic cigarette to pass my ennui (just kidding I’ll be reviewing student papers and doing some stats).

Life is chat
Life is chat

Knitting bomb!

Some ‘captain cute’ (as Elizabeth would say) has taken it upon themselves to beatify the riverfront walk by adding some warm woolly sweaters and cuddly forest friends. I’ve never taken on a public art project like this, but I appreciate that someone else did! Since it arrived before any foliage it was a colourful addition to my commute. Here are a few different views…


IMG_20160509_193837 IMG_20160509_193850


Pet Racoon

Taking a day nap in a crow's nest
Taking a day nap in a crow’s nest

The big ponderosa pines outside our Vancouver apartment have a surprising amount of urban wildlife. We’ve seen raptors eating smaller creatures, crow nestlings, and hoards of finches. This week we had a new visitor: and adult racoon who sleeps in the crows nest during the day. The crows were initially not thrilled and spent a long time yelling at thim, but then they flew off to start over in another tree and he is now in the nest during the day several days per week (I presume the other days are spent at his girlfriend’s place, but they are not yet ready to move in together full time). The photo isn’t fantastic, but you can see his little ears and stripey tail bulging out over the small nest like he was Maru the kitty.

One more kitty of Mission

This kitty is cuter in real life because s/he is so friendly!
This kitty is even cuter in real life because s/he is so friendly!

Here is one more kitty of Mission, one who launched out of the yard as soon as we stopped to look at him, and then rolled all over the sidewalk to get his/her belly scratched. I named this kitty Kiev, since the house has a sign advertising homemade Ukrainian sausage and pierogies. As we walked away, this kitty did donuts around our legs and tried to climb our pantlegs.

Kitties of Mission

Cappucino the cute Whidden Crescent Kitty
Cappuccino the cute Whidden Crescent Kitty

The last few weeks mom has been telling me about the cute kitties that have been cozying up in the backyard. Not one but TWO nieghbourhood cats that come by for a visit when my mom is gardening, but who actually belong to the neighbours so my parents don’t have t worry about taking care of them. Perfect!

Look at his cute little socks!  He comes by often for pets.
Look at his cute little socks! He comes by often for pets.

The most recent one is Cappuccino, a blue-eyed siamese-type cat who is jump-into-your-lap friendly and very soft. He is a little bit hissy if you touch a particular spot on his back (a la meowy-scratchington), but overall a good nieghbour.


This is not a tail pull, but rather the end of a cat-pet.

The other kitty has been around for longer, and loves mom but is a little more shy with everyone else. His tail has a funny bend in it so that it crurls over his back like a pug – se we named him Benty. Mom has tried to feed him some choice meat scraps but he doesn’t want treats – just a social visit. Even though this guy wasn’t thrilled with me, the whole situation showed me where my cat-whispering skills comes from.

Close-up of Benny by Mom’s chair

Sister visits!!

Forest walk selfie

I visited Elizabeth for a few days. Fresh from the airport we went for a forest walk, saw the ocean, and ate blackberies. Also on schedule: good eats and laughs.  Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

Ocean front selfie
Elizabeth hiking up from the beach and pointing out a native banana slug to the prairie tourist
Super high tide led to a beachy log jam
This little dear and his hundreds of friends have become a scourge on Victoria gardens  They are dog-size but can jump over 6 ft fences.

Farm kitties

Although I’ve had some luck, many farm kitties are not very friendly. Sometimes you get the idea that they once were petable, and deep down they want pets, but that it is a long term project to actually get your hands on one as an advanced cat whisperer. I rarely take photos of them since they are usually running away. This week I found some barn kittens and even picked one up, but the minute I took my hand off to pet him this 8 week baby LAUNCHED out of my hands and into the hay to scurry away with his siblings. Here are a few of the photos I have managed, mostly grainy due to extreme zoom!

This guys feels safe to look out at me since he knows I can't squeeze in that hole.  This reminds me of a Swedish postcard I sent Graham, although the postcard kitties are objectively more cute (and higher res)
This guys feels safe to look out at me since he knows I can’t squeeze in that hole. This reminds me of a Swedish postcard I sent Graham, although the postcard kitties are objectively more cute (and higher res)
In the space between taking a few steps away and then running for it, he stopped to turn around and look at me.
In the space between taking a few steps away and then running for it, he stopped to turn around and look at me.
Another view of 'Welcome kitty'
Another view of ‘Welcome kitty’