February 27, 2023

stray cats, loving cats, caring for cats


I love a sweet stray named Putty.

He's at least ten-years-old.  Putty first appeared on our deck in 2013, when we had Ollie, our first cat.  Putty has outlived Ollie. 

And he still comes around.  Who knows why?  Maybe he likes the kibbles I feed him.  Or the warm yurt he can enjoy in cold weather.  Could it be he feels the love at the Mrvos residence? 

When I first met Putty, he was leery of me.  He'd only approach the food dish after I had closed the door.  But in time, he became more trusting.  Now, he'll come when I call his name.  He'll let me rub his coat, pat his head, and smooth his tail.  

It's surprising he's in rather good health.  He navigates the steps to our deck with ease and he can leap up to the railing to lap water from the bird bath (which I keep exceptionally clean). Occasionally, he'll have a nick or a scrape that heals on its own.  One time however, he had a bloody abscess that required urgent attention.  Luckily for Putty, I was able to find a veterinarian who came to our house to treat him. 

My sweet stray shows few signs of slowing down.  Just more gray hair in the black spots of his coat.

Sometimes, Putty will disappear for days and I'll worry if he had gotten into a fight, if a coyote had found him, or if he had been mistreated cruelly by someone.   

A few years ago, an aggressive stray had roamed into our yard and the two of them got into a fight.  Afterwards, Putty stayed away for nearly six months.  With the intention of luring Putty back to our house, I trapped the tomcat, had him neutered, and returned him to our neighborhood further down the street.  Putty must have sensed our place felt safer and he eventually came back to our house.       

Most of the time, Putty stays close by, either on our deck where it's sunny or on the patio for the shade.  But being a stray, he likes to roam and now that he's older, I fear he will never come back.  

Because he disappears from time to time, I try not to take him for granted—no matter how often he parks himself on the deck, presses his face against the door, and begs for food.  Just like my cats Lizzie and Ozzie, Putty will not go hungry.  

There is something calming about Putty's presence.  He brings me joy even though at times, Putty can be a rascal.  He's been known to be a menace to neighbor's cats.  He'll claim front porches or driveways as his own.  I try to remind others, he's one of God's creatures, so be nice to him.  He has lived his entire life outside facing other strays, dogs, possums, raccoons and coyotes, and all kinds of weather.  He deserves to be treated well.  He deserves kindness.  My sweet stray Putty deserves an abundance of love.    

À la prochaine! 

February 1, 2023

house number, personal expression, neighborhoods, safety


I'm an observant person.  It's in my nature to notice things, sometimes odd things.   

So, one summer day when I was outside for a walk, I began to scrutinize the house numbers in our neighborhood—I know, you're thinking weird.  But here me out.  I was surprised to find quite a variety.  As you can expect, many were standard and fairly common, "nothing special" as my mother-in-law would have said. Though others reflected the homeowner's personality.

Come along with me and let's have a look.  Below are photos of houses in my neighborhood.  

This house number is difficult to see.  What does this number say about the house owner's style?  


And this one near the garage door instead of by the front door?


Here's another:


And this one:



And lastly:  

                                                                          Laid back. 

The variety of house numbers gives our neighborhood a welcoming, homey vibe.  But I get the feeling that I'm one of the few that even notices them.  They are probably one of the last details anyone would think about when buying or building a home.  And yet, the International Association of Certified House Inspectors (InterNACHI) has guidelines, especially so that emergency responders can locate them.

Here's their suggestions:   

  • Be sure numbers are visible (at least 5 or 6 inches tall) when approaching from either side of the house.
  • Remember script numbers or numbers that are spelled out can be difficult to discern. 
  • Use numbers that contrast with the background.  Brass or bronze numbers are difficult to see. 
  • Trim back shrubs or trees that hide numbers.   
  • Keep flags and decorations from covering up house numbers. 

Many neighbors could give a sh*t about following the recommendations.  I'm not judging them.  It's their choice.  Some people however, understand the importance of having house numbers that can be easily found.  And some of these neighbors had gotten a little fancy.  I've noticed folks had balanced readability and creativity.  They had combined safety with flair.  They found a way to thoughtfully flaunt their style.

À la prochaine!