Aug. 3rd, 2015 11:51 pm
plonq: (Average Mood)
At one time, we used to head out almost every weekend to explore different parts of Manitoba. Initially we would go driving in the Probe, then we would take the Volkswagen after we swapped out the former for the latter.

We had both been lamenting of late how we had fallen out of that habit - our weekends seem to be full of other stuff these days. Since we had no other plans this weekend, we hopped into the car and drove up to the ruins of the Pinawa dam that they retired back in the early 50s. We did not know what to expect, but what we found was pleasant hiking and some surprisingly photogenic scenery.
Pinawa Dam

As I walked past Merry on my way to bed this evening, I had to turn around and come back here to post an entry. She was lying on her back, back legs splayed in all directions in the hopes of procuring some belly rubs. It occurred to me that our fat, lazy, belly-rub loving cat had come a long way from the foster kitten we adopted.
Retro Merry

It also occurred to me that if Pippin had survived, we likely would not have adopted this kitten. Part of what drew us to Merry was her tragic back story. She and her brother were orphaned kittens, who the shelter had paired up with a cat who lad lost her own kittens. She took to them right away, and cared for them like they were her own. She was actually a very personable cat, and one of my favourites of the cats we fostered.

When we brought home the fosters, there were two kittens; a larger female one that we named Merry, and her smaller brother who we named Pippin. They were both active and playful when we brought them home, though Pippin had (as [ profile] atara described it) a poopy butt. That is not entirely unusual in foster cats, as there are often bugs making the rounds at the shelter. Unfortunately it became clear over the next few days that he was not improving, but becoming weak and miserable.

[ profile] atara took him back to the shelter to see if they could help, but their vet ruled it as "failure to thrive". There was nothing we could have done differently to have changed the outcome. Merry thrived though, and by the time we took her and her adoptive mother back to the shelter, she was a bouncy, healthy kitten.

Two weeks later when nobody had adopted her yet, we went down there and adopted her ourselves. We had promised ourselves that we would not get into the habit of adopting cats that we fostered, but we had grown particularly fond of Merry, and she got along really well with Belladonna while we'd had her. She still does.

And that's how we ended up with this.



May. 31st, 2015 09:59 pm
plonq: (Generic Mood)
I find it amazing how I can be so busy, yet accomplish so little in my life lately.

We trekked into town this weekend to take in one of the walking tours in the "Doors Open" event the city was holding this weekend. Yesterday we did a self-guided walking tour past many of the historical houses in a neighbourhood that neither of us had ever been to. Today we took a walking tour through the Exchange District where the guide pointed out, and filled us in on the history of a number of ghost signs around the older parts of town.

It was a fascinating tour, full of enlightening bits about the people, politics and commerce that built this city. I am glad that they are finally starting to regard these painted signs with the same view toward heritage as they do for the buildings that host them.

I took a few pictures on the tour, and if [ profile] atara finishes up in WoW before too much later, I'll burn up some bandwidth and append them to the end of this post.

In the meantime, here is an old picture of Merry. I have been going through some of the thousands of pictures I have on my hard drive, looking for ones that I think are worth uploading. There are many that I simply did not post because I did not have decent software at the time to deal with some of their technical problems. Now I can actually salvage ones like this.

I am not usually one to get into shipping in a fandom, but I confess that I have taken a shine to this particular pairing. I daresay I might even write a fanfic.

Twidash - Dance
by mysticalpha on DeviantArt
plonq: (Masturbatory Mood)
Lately there has been a lot of talk about being too sedentary, and how sitting still for too long can lead to everything from obesity to varicose veins, diabetes and cancer. It can also lead people to calling you lazy.

As I have learned, it also attracts cats.

"You may resume petting me now."
plonq: (Flying cat)
Normally I do not end up with two cats curled up together under the desk lamp by my computer, but circumstances led to an unusual accumulation of felines.

Merry is lying in Belladonna's usual spot.

Bella was lying there, but she left to get a drink of water, and while she was away, Merry swooped in and stole the coveted spot right under the lamp. I put a soft pad on the desk when I discovered that the cats seemed to enjoy the warmth cast by the light.

Belladonna was not happy when she returned, and she stood for nearly 10 minutes, staring intently at the other cat who had taken her spot. I don't know if she was trying to intimidate Merry into moving (the latter was blithely ignoring her), or if her little brain was having trouble processing the change in her potential plan. Eventually she circled Merry a couple of times, assessing the situation further, before she finally wedged herself in between the phone and the lamp.

Naturally Merry was completely ignorant of the drama she had just caused, and when she noticed Bella there she responded with, 'OH HAI!"

"We're buddies, right?"
plonq: (Oh Come On)
One more cat picture because I can.

20130318 - Cat Fort

Merry has built herself a fort, and given the weather we have been experiencing here lately, I don't think anybody out here would blame her. We are rounding out a week of unseasonably cold weather with another fair dump of snow (10cm overnight, with another 5cm expected over the course of the day). Though it started off promising, this has slowly morphed the winter that keeps on giving.

[ profile] atara managed to find her noise-cancelling headphones while cleaning this weekend, and I made good use of them for the bus ride in. I caught the earlier bus because my usual one was showing as 10-minutes late on the schedule. We were making pretty decent time until a CN train blocked us for fifteen minutes. It was moving forward at a breakneck walking pace. I was half tempted to ask the driver to let me off the bus so that I could walk back, throw the angle cock and pull the pin a few cars back of the crossing. I suppose they would probably have noticed though when their rear end device suddenly stopped talking to them.

These noise-cancelling headphones helped a lot on the bus. While the ambient mechanical noises and conversation do not normally bother me, I was sitting in front of a couple 20-something girls whose idea of conversation was to natter inanely at the same time. Perhaps they have mastered the art of talking and listening at the same time, but it is just as likely that they were not actually talking to each other, and instead had phones pressed to their heads. I did not turn around to check.

The headphones gave me a wonderful sense of isolation, and let me settled down into a Zen-like state where I could stare out the window and watch the antics of the pedestrians. They were picking and slipping their way through the fresh snow, and though I am not a lip-reader, I am sure I saw a few blasphemies uttered. Other than looking cold and uncomfortable, the pedestrians also shared a nigh-universal expression of annoyance. This winter may end any time now, thank you.
plonq: (Cat-like Typing Mood)
It is going to take some time for the novelty to wear off of being able to shoot pictures of cats/people/kids/whatever without worrying about red-eye.

This is Merry being concerned that there is another cat on the bed with her. I think that she forgets that they exist as soon as they leave her field of vision because every time she sees one of the other cats, she acts like it is the first time in her life she has seen them. She obviously has very little processing power or storage capacity in that peanut-sized brain she houses.
Merry Is Concerned

If I was to go back and take this one again, I think I would try for a genuine close-up rather than cropping the picture like I did here. Belladonna is being a pest today. She is fascinated by the process of [ profile] atara setting up her new computer, and she wants to get involved in every step.
Belladonna Close

This is the new flash in all its flashy goodness, showing that it knows how to trigger remotely. I had expected it to work on IR, or radio but instead the camera's built-in flash triggers it. When I have the flash set remotely, my camera's built-in unit flashes at its lowest setting and triggers the remote flash that way. That seems a little half-baked to me, but it seems to work well enough. On the down side, that means that the fastest I can sync it to remotely is 1/200 of a second because that is the fastest my internal flash will accept.

I think that most of its external use will probably be with the light box. The rest of the time it will probably just be attached to the camera.
plonq: (Huggy Mood)
Merry loves her blanket.
Merry Blanket
Yes she does!
Merry Blanket Two
plonq: (Contemplative mood)
I was hoping to catch one of the cats napping in the sun, but the sight of a camera seems to make them restive. Here is Merry looking very orange in the sunlight reflecting off the carpet.


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