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