Thursday, November 14, 2013

Steller's Jay

Yesterday as Luna, Millie, and I ambled around the yard, 
we evidently alarmed this Stellers Jay. 
It was noisy!

It shrieked at us for a while, and then it gave up and took flight.

The Audubon website calls that shrieking the jay’s “piping notes (worry call).

I’m sorry; piping notes may be the technical term, but its a raucous shriek.

I hate that sound.

And it scares my cats.

The bird in flight is kind of pretty though.

My sweetie pointed out that the jay outlines a heart in this next picture.

How did I miss that? 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Dog Invades...and a Cat's Territory Expands

When Luna first came to live with us, we had to upgrade our fence a bit.

It wasn’t quite chihuahua-proof.

So I started wandering around the yard with her, 
just to make sure we’d blocked all her points of escape.

Mollie was the first one to follow Luna and me on our rambles.

We’d see her silhouette glide by...

 or glimpse her pointy little ears poking up above the weeds...

or just get that weird sense that we were being watched.

I kind of hoped that Mollie would get so comfortable around Luna that they would play together. 
Years ago, before I married into the family, the household included a beagle—
and Im told that she and Mollie did play together. 

But once Millie started following us as well...

Mollie bailed. 

Shes afraid of both Luna and Millie, and evidently 
trying to keep an eye on both of them was just too much for her.

(She reminds me of an otter here, sleek and glossy, about to make her dive.)

There she goes!

Of course, Millie has always been a nosy, sociable cat. 

When we put up a new shed a couple years ago, she inspected our work.

She has also supervised our caterpillar hunting...

helped with our butterfly chasing...

and monitored our sand dollar rinsing.

Maybe she just likes us. 

But even I was surprised when she followed Luna and me 
(and sometimes the grandkid) into the scrubby far back yard...


after day...

after day...

Well, you get the idea. 

Don’t you?

(With the grandkid.)

Luna’s arrival has thrown the territorial boundaries inside the house into disarray. 
Millie is completely flummoxed that Luna just will not be intimidated off the couch by glares, growls, and hisses, and that us pinkies (humans) won’t let her smack Luna to the floor. So I thought she might enjoy having the house all to herself when I’m out with Luna. 

But no.

There seems to be a bit of jealousy involved, as well as curiosity. 

Millie likes to get between Luna and me.

Luna likes to keep an eye on Millie.

Along the way, Millie has evidently discovered some places on our property
 that she has never, ever seen before.

Even though she’s lived here all of her nine years.

Or maybe she’d just never given them a careful inspection before.

There are newfound perches from which she can see the dog coming...

but Luna cant get to her.

And there are good hiding places... 

from which to spy on Luna.

But Millie’s very favorite new spot seems to be the old playhouse.

Ah, the playhouse.

There’s a platform for lounging...

windows to peek from...

things to sniff...

risks to take...

places to pose...

and multiple exits.

Sometimes, she even gets to watch the dog go by.

The funny thing is, I’d kind of been waiting for the grandkid to take notice of the playhouse. 
Little did I know our big, bossy alpha kitty would be the one to fall in love with it... 

and that a little dog would lead her to it.