Thursday, January 3, 2008


Pee-Oh-Gee-Oh, recharging his batteries.
Betcha wanna bury your hand in that supple-looking belly, huh?
I wouldn't, if I were you. It's his lure. And when you're drawn in, he snaps like a spider.
The result is: claws and teeth.

For someone who totally hates cats, I sure take a lot of pictures of them. ("A lot" is relative, by the way. Out of all the pictures I took last year, my pictures of the cats represent maybe 2% of all my photos. And that's a generous estimate.) Today, Pee-Oh-Gee-Oh was being especially nice and photogenic. I took a few pictures of him napping in what little moment of sun we had.

DBC: intense and just a little curious about my goings-on

Then, tonight, while I was sitting in the office in the dark with only the glow from my computer providing the light, I snapped a few pictures of the Dirty Bastard Cat sitting on the filing cabinet behind me. He was pretty cooperative.

PeeOh-GeeOh in the night
Exchanging glances

Wondering in this light

What were the chances

He could rip my head

Right off my scrawny neckkkkkkk....

One of the beauties of learning how to shoot pictures in low light is, I can take pictures of the cat without getting "red-eye" (or, in the case of animals, "green-eye") effect. The best way to achieve this is by adjusting your apertures, then enhancing the photo in a photo editing software. Of course, it also helps that Pee-Oh-Pee-Oh actually sat still for this.

It's the ghost of Pee-Oh-Gee-Oh Present... Ahhhhh...

In this last picture of the Dirty Bastard Cat, I adjusted the time my shutter was open. In this case, I think it was about two seconds. For this picture, he didn't sit still and the result is "ghosting." Given that he's a little specter in my life, I thought this was appropriate.

Finally, Bee asked me to make a point of snapping pictures of the older cat, Frieda. She's 18 and a handful. Bee says, she thinks Frieda doesn't know she's old and I keep telling Frieda it's "time to go toward the light." And yet, she continues to live despite peeing red (yes, we've taken her to the vet and she's been medicated, etc., but the problem persists. She doesn't manifest signs of pain), being incredibly skittish (Bee is a very quiet person. I'm not. I think I freak Frieda out, even though I'm trying not to. She looks at Bee as if to say, "Why is the Noisy One here?"), and having a heart murmur (which you'd never know and seems to have no effect. This cat goes up and down two flights of stairs multiple times a day with no visible distress whatsoever.)

So, here's Frieda. Bee thinks she's part Maine Coon. She has the most human-like, expressive face on a cat I've ever seen. When she looks at you, it's like she's trying to communicate with you telepathically. So far, though, I'm missing the message. Bee rescued her from a shelter in Washington State many, many years ago. I keep telling Bee, she's going straight to heaven for that. (I, on the other hand, am going straight to hell because, in the wild, I'd have kicked this cat to the curb by now. Thank God we don't live in the wild, huh?)

Frieda in a rare moment of peacefulness

One more thing to note: neither of these cats were very vocal until they came to live here. Now, they talk all the time. That's entirely my fault, because I meow at them. Pee-Oh-Gee-Oh and I can have minutes long conversations. It's so bad, Bee calls him Chatty Catty. I call him Buttercup. As in, "What's up, Buttercup?" (I'm not sure he likes that. I think it offends his masculinity. I call him that to keep him humble.) As for Frieda, she has a Betty Davis meow. It's not a pretty thing. We're thinking she's sneaking cigarettes from the alley cats when we're not looking.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 1/08


Jess said...

These pictures are really great. I especially love the depth of field in that last one.

Debi said...

J, you are a nut! I had no idea. The "other blog" is so informative and photo-focused. And here, over here, is this the "rest" of you. I laughed my fool head off.

I suspect being a cat-hater living with thee cats it is imperative to have a good sense of humor. The cats, however, do not look amused. Adorable, aloof, but distinctly not amused.

I've added this blog to my reader too. I wouldn't want to miss any more of the "flip" (get it? get it? inside joke.) side.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Jess: Thanks! I thought the one of Frieda turned out well, too!

Debi: Yeah. This is my other side. I try to stay politically neutral and "just-the-facts, ma'am" on my photography blog. This is the blog where I tell you how I feel and where I write a little more about home life.

Oh, I should clarify. There are only two cats in this house: Frieda and Pogo. The latter has the most nicknames; at least, from me anyway. I alternately call him Pogo, Pee-Oh-Gee-Oh, Dirty Bastard Cat, and Buttercup. Frieda is just Frieda or Frieda Belle. Although, lately, we've taken to call her Bette Davis Cat.

And good joke! Where's my pink yarn? LOL!

Di said...

Dude, when Frieda really DOES run into the light, you are gonna feel SO bad when Bee's all weepy.

Tsk tsk.

(NB: This line of thinking never stops me from mocking The Cat Here all the time too...)

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Di: I know. I'll probably cry a little, too. She's a pretty little cat. (Still, as you point out, it doesn't stop me from hatin' on 'em.)

Phoenix Touch said...


Lovin' the picto-blog here. I especially loved the label: "ensuring domestic tranquility"! Laughed my ass right off on that one. And thank god for that... it was getting too big!


Cele said...

Being a dyed in the wool dog person I use to have cats. I kind of miss having a cat around, but Ducky is very allergic to cats and oh yeah hates cats with a passion. When he goes to the light, I may get another cat. I miss the snuggle. Well Arlo snuggles, but 70 pound Bassett doesn't purr, he just leaves bruises from kneading my leg.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Abgue: I'm always glad when I can be of service! ;-)

Cele: You crack me up! Picturing a 70 lb bassett hound "snuggling" is just too sweet. And hilarious.

I grew up with dachshunds (and hope to have one again some day. Frieda has to go toward the light first, though) and they do this thing we call "butt hugging." If you lay down on the couch for a nap and you're lying on your side, they nestle between your butt and your bent legs because it's warm. Not that I miss that, per se. I rather like that they'll lay at my feet or sit by my side on the couch, but still. It is a rather endearing little feature of weenie dogs.

Unfortunately, the cats aren't fond of me because I'm the alpha cat. Ergo, they don't snuggle with me. Bee gets all of that affection.

Liseysmom said...

I have a three cat heating system at night. One cat sleeps on my head, one curled up on my tummy, one keeping my feet warm.

Erik, on the other hand, thinks that 3 cats is bordering on weird cat people...

Adriana Velez said...

Great photos. I don't know why, but the sight of a sleeping cat gives me an enormous sense of well being.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Lisey's Mom: Erik's a better woman than I am, if he's willing to live with THREE cats. Oy. Unfortunately for them--and much to their consternation and resentment--the cats aren't allowed in the master bedroom. See? I'm just so not a cat person. You and Bee should get together, though, and trade notes.

Adriana: I find watching a cat sleep to be a fascinating mix of envy and disgust. Envy, in that it just looks so peaceful and serene. Disgust, in that that's all they do all frickin' day. I keep telling Pogo he needs to get off his lazy ass and get a job! :-D

Anonymous said...

I'm like Adriana Velez -- the sight of a sleeping cat is soothing to me.

Frieda is just beatiful, oh my GOSH, I want one like that.

Thanks for sharing pics of your kiddos!


Bevy said...

What a cute cat - we have a part abbyssinian that looks like yours too. His name is Samson - but he's a chicken!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Phoebe: Frieda's all yours, if you want her. (Just don't tell Bee.)

Bevy: Pee-Oh-Gee-Oh is a pretty handsome dude. A little overweight, but handsome nonetheless. And boy, does he know it! Conceit is his middle name!