Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oliver & Sally

This blog's characters:
Oliver - Shelby's younger, more agile cat - played by himself
Russ Lathrop - Shelby's "boy" - played by himself
Zilda - Shelby - played by herself
Me - Me - played by me
Stunts by Sally and Lizzy
No creatures were harmed in the making of this blog - except for Lizzy's tail

Saturday morning (5/17) I got a text message from Nashville:

Russ Lathrop (5/17 9:46 a.m.):
Oliver just caught a salamander!

Me (5/17 9:53 a.m.):
As in with his teeth? What’d he do with it?

Russ Lathrop (5/17 9:56 a.m.):
He came strutting across the yard with his captive in his mouth ready to offer it up as a sacrifice to his beloved human. Then dropped it to play some more…until Zilda grabbed him so we could leave.

Me (5/17 9:53 a.m.):
And beloved human said what?

Russ Lathrop (5/17 10:00 a.m.):
Good kitty!

Me (5/17 10:30 a.m.):
Yes good kitty – is the sally dead?

Russ Lathrop (5/17 10:33 a.m.):
Nope… Escaped the throes of death by mere moments only by the whim of merciful Zilda…much to the chagrin of a reluctant kitty.

Here is a picture of the mighty hunter and his prey, Sally.

The Sally is under his left paw. Either Oliver is showing us his ferocious side with that face – or the sun is in his eyes.

Fast forward two days and I receive this picture share:

No, that's not a hairball that Oliver is looking at. He has another captive.

Russ Lathrop (5/19 1:04 p.m.):
Oliver brought his temporary detainee into the house as I was trying to get out the door to the airport. Said detainee was mercifully released…sans tail!

Two amphibian/reptile-like creatures in two days. Great stories of the mighty hunter Oliver’s exploits to tell your children and grandchildren. A true American fighting off terrorists Sally and Lizzy, I thought.

Then my new California side kicked in and I began to wonder if there was more to these hostile actions? What effect had L.A. had on Oliver? Is he a victim of absentee parenting? Did he escape the Hobbit Hole while Shelby devoted her life to Oscar and get mixed up with the bad cats of Compton? How did we get here? And I say “we” because it literally takes a village to raise these cats…

Me (5/19 1:11 p.m.):
Have you witnessed him throwing any gang signs?

Russ Lathrop (5/19 1:18 p.m.):
He has been wearing really loose, low riding jeans. Runnin the streets w/strays. He may even be responsible for recent “tagging” in the Fido Alley

We may never know the answer.

What we might know though:

from Russ Lathrop
to Jacqueline Chapman
date Tue, May 20, 2008 at 6:51 PM

Upon further investigation, I believe Oliver’s Temporary Detainee was a Ground Skink. “The Ground Skink is sometimes mistaken for a salamander, but unlike a salamander it has scales.”


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Album Review Posted

Just had an album review posted here:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother's Day Card From Gandalf

Happy Mother's Day.

i just wanted to show you what I do for my chores. Here I am leaving my hair and litter on Grandpa's chair.

Hope you have a Happy Mother's Day and I can't wait to see you so I can leave my hair on you.


Mr G

My Mother's Day Card From Tia

Hi Mom,

This a picture of me doing my chores. I'm doing my weeks washing stretch while I sleep on Grandma's lap. Actually, I'm only doing a 1/2 weeks washing. I didn't feel like doing the whole stretching out thing for Grandpa to take a picture.

Happy Mother's Day

Love Tia

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Tale of Two Squirrels

"A Mouse Tale" happened back in March.

And I kid you not that six weeks later, I witnessed this on the streets of Pasadena, too.

I was out for my Sunday morning walk through Pasadena - a weekly ritual of mine. I was coming up to the corner of Del Mar and Los Robles, about five blocks down from my apartment complex. I was waiting to cross over Los Robles to head three blocks to my Starbucks and then the final two to my apartment with my morning coffee.

As I was waiting for the light to change, I saw ahead of me down Del Mar, on the other side of Los Robles, two squirrels in the grass looking for the opportunity to cross Del Mar. They were not at the cross walk like the mouse from my previous story. They were preparing to jaywalk.

So, the coast was clear from both directions and the first squirrel took off. It did not wait for the second squirrel to decide anything - it ran and made it.

Meanwhile, the second squirrel almost left with the first squirrel but ended up hemming-and-hawing over it all. One foot down off the curb, pulls it back up. Down, up. Down and go! By the time he decided to go, a car was coming down Del Mar on the far side of the street - right where the second squirrel was headed. He kept going. Stopped in the center lane...briefly. Then made a run for it. You've never seen a squirrel run. He made it just in time.

But I think, lucky for Squirrel No. 2, the car saw him indecisively wonder where to go next in the street and slowed down.

Or was it the red light the car had that slowed it down? The light changed and the car continued on. I crossed and wondered, "What is it about Pasadena rodents that make them take on the streets like that?"

A Mouse Tale

[This is dedicated to my sister Jennifer who so valiantly killed a mouse recently by slamming it against a cupboard wall with her food processor.]

A true story. I watched it with my own eyes.

I was coming up to a street corner and saw a mouse starting to run across five lanes of traffic. During morning rush hour, no less. I thought for sure he made his death wish.

I watched him as I waited for my walk signal in the opposite direction. He made it halfway easy enough since he had the walk signal but when the light changed, he was Frogger – darting forward, left, right, left, right, forward, wait, slow, stop!

I watched his progress with such amazement that I almost forgot to walk on my own walk signal, and I found myself looking back as I crossed to see how it all played out. I thought for sure his doom was certain with only lane to go. “Oh! Watch the silver mini van!” I actually said under my breath.

He stopped in the middle of the lane. I wasn’t sure if he stopped or if a tire helped him stop. He was not moving. I didn't think he'd been hit but maybe he had. Or maybe he was just in shock from his near-death experience.

“Come on, come on, little mouse!” I muttered, when suddenly he popped up and scurried across the last lane. Success! He actually made it. Crazy lucky mouse!

I felt like cheering or something but contained myself to a smile and a giggle. I couldn’t wait to tell my sister my mouse story – mine had a happy ending. Hers, not so much, at least for the mouse. Jennifer was semi-pleased with the outcome.

Monday, May 5, 2008