Friday, August 27, 2021

Year of the Person

Hey, guess what? 

You know, like Nixon. 

Pottery Class Project

These wild outdoor cats get up to all kinds of things when I'm not looking. 

They made these bowls for their cousins who live in a house in Hamilton Park. Then they left the bowls behind their cousin's planter outside a window. 

Wacky kitties.

Patio Invasion

 Stop, thieves! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Bart - Exiled Into the Multiverse

Paola, who lives upstairs, snapped a shot of this apprehensive moment between Jay and Bart.

"Jay, I can come over?"

"Bart, no. Yard is mine."

"But Jay, you let Gigi visit."

"Gigi is bigger than me. You are small, Bart."

"But we are both Flashes."

"I want to be the only Flash."

Monday, August 23, 2021

Getting Out of the Rain

"I hope the cats don't get wet," said a friend when I remarked on the steady downpour coming our way this morning.

"Oh no, they hide in the nuns' garage when it rains," I replied confidently. "With the raccoons."

Turns out that is not always the case. When I got home from pottery class this evening, I saw both Jay and Gigi cowering under the side bay window overhang.

I tried to lure them into the house by putting their dinner on a towel just inside the back door, but they only stayed long enough to eat a few bites, then they darted back outside. So now I have a dirty towel and some cat food on the floor.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Not So Wild After All

Jay likes being scratched behind the ears, but he's still a little weirded out when he realizes a giant is the source of the nice feeling.

You Say You Want A Revolution

I tried to give Jay Garrick the less-feral-than-before cat a Revolution flea treatment.

It wasn't a total disaster but he wasn't really into it. He did tolerate me scratching his scruff this morning, but I didn't have a Revolution vial nearby then.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Neighborhood Moments

After dinner with Denise, I biked from Hamilton Park to Lafayette on a Citibike. When I got home, all the bike stalls were taken, so I had to ride over to the Liberty State Park rack to drop off my bike.

I walked back to Lafayette Street, and this turned out to be a good thing, because I arrived just in time to hear the neighbor talk on his phone while sitting on his stoop.

"Reparations, now that's a different story," he said. There was a pause as the person he was talking to responded. Then he laughed.

"40 acres and a mule. Imagine that in Jersey City. 40 acres would be a nice chunk of money!"

Another pause as I dug around for my key, as slowly as possible so I could eavesdrop.

"40 acres in Jersey City..."

His voice trailed off as I went inside.

Bart of Two Worlds

I thought I saw Bart over by the neighborhood pool. It might have been Bart's brother--I couldn't get a clear look at his ear to see if it was tipped. I tried to get closer but he avoided me and hid in the bushes, because he was embarrassed at being drunk.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Scaredy Cat

This went poorly.

Social Statements

My mom, sister, and I met in Shepherdstown, WV on Saturday. It's a good stopping poing between where they live and where I live. 

After an outdoor lunch, we wandered into an art gallery to find political statement quilts by artist Carol Williams.

The artist had also written opinion columns for a West Virginia paper for some years, until she gave up in despair about a year ago. 

 "I asked myself what I had achieved. And the answer was nothing. I hadn't bridged any gaps or convinced anyone of anything." 

 Having just driven past a bunch of "Your president is an idiot, Tr*** 2024" signs on my way to town, I was inclined to agree. Still, her quilts are amazing.

Monday, August 16, 2021


A cautious encounter.

"Are we friends? Are we adversaries? Whose patio is this anyway?"

Sunday, August 15, 2021


Climate change is bringing back marsupial megafauna, this time in Jersey City.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Invasive Species

Here's this guy again. 

Pesky Kitty

Someone knocked the game camera off its stand and it ended up pointed at the wall. 

Wasn't me.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Saturday, August 07, 2021


 "Hey, demon! That's MY supper!" 

Local History

Here's some video of the old church down the block. It looks so cool--I hope I get a chance to try to buy a part of it once it's finished, but I bet the condos will end up being a bazillion dollars. Things have changed a lot since I bought my inexpensive house off Craigslist in 2015.

"The gentrification of the Lafayette section of Jersey City is rapidly changing many of the landmarks in the area. The partial demolition of a historical church in August 2021 brought the attention of many concerned neighbors. The church, St. John's A.M.E., was known to have a role in the Underground Railroad in the 1800s. With the redevelopment of the area continuing to replace the visible markers of the rich history of African Americans in Jersey City, we struggle to keep their historical presence in the light."

Monday, August 02, 2021

Orange Cat, Orange Cat Bowl

 Jay is eating out of the new bowl I made him! 

I know I'm ridiculous sometimes. 

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The R in Trap Neuter Return

Here's the end of the Bart saga, in which he demonstrates his alias (Impulse).

I had him in the trap all night, covered, fed, watered. He slept for a while, then he woke up and moped a bit (see "Saddest Cat on Earth" video 1), then around 4 a.m., he started in with the occasional mew.

I checked him out, gave him more food and water, but I think he might have been telling me the anesthesia had worn off and he wanted to leave.

I let him out at 7:30, and by 9 a.m., he had returned to investigate the cage.

Perhaps Bart is trying to make sense of his alien abduction. I don't know. I would be confused too if someone kidnapped me, driven me around, knocked me out, then tried to make me eat treats. Hoping this is the end of me and Bart. I have my hands full with the other ferals and my job.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The N in Trap Neuter Return

Bart is now neutered, has his anti-flea treatment, has his distemper and rabies shots, and he even got a nail trim, some antibiotics, and anti-pain injection. And a clipped ear. 

 Now he has to spend another night in the trap while the anesthesia wears off, and I can release him tomorrow back into the convent yard.

There were a lot of steps in this process! I was lucky he was so cooperative with the trap—I imagined I would catch one of the other cats (already TNRed), a skunk, any number of raccoons, or maybe a opossum. Fortunately, Bart decided to go along with me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The T in Trap Neuter Return

Presenting...Bart's Tuesday Adventure!

Starring Bart.

Monday, July 26, 2021

You Don't Scare Me, Human

 It's almost like they know they're protected by local laws. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Almost There

So close, Bart. But not close enough.

Bart LePew

I was hoping for some photos of little orange cat Bart, so I can establish his routine, but instead I got to see a lot of this black cat with a white stripe of paint down its back.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Feral #3

Meet Bart. Bart has shown up intermittently on the backyard camera for the last year. He's skinny and unpredictable. Gonna be tough to catch Bart. He's skittish and impulsive.* 

*Comic book reference. My apologies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

No Difference

Me in the morning: "I don't want to go to the pool. I don't want to ride the Citibike to the waterfront. Forget it. I've got stuff to do. I'm hungry. I want a shower."

Me when I convince myself to go to the pool, to ride the bike: "This is awesome! Why don't I do this every morning?"

Proving once again that no matter how weird I feel sometimes, I'm just like everyone else.

Monday, July 19, 2021

NYC Is Back, Baby

Manhattan got a new look over the last year and a half. 

I guess it’s not a new look. It’s an old look, vintage seventies. People love vintage.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Cave Life

City living!

Here's the iron grate under my stoop, the entrance to my little carved-out studio in Jersey City. I just had some work done on it and the iron monger's first words were "It's not pretty, is it?"

It's still not pretty but here's what changed:

  1. The door now sits comfortably in the frame. Previously, I had to give it a firm push to open and close it. 
  2. The rust is gone. There was a lot of rust.
  3. They added bars between bars as well as plates around the lock. Now I can get a locksmith to put a latch instead of a keyed lock inside so it's no longer a fire hazard. Previously, if I had a latch, a visitor could just have reached in and unlatched it.
  4. I had them leave out one bar so postal carriers/FedEx/UPS/etc can drop in small packages, such as comic books in padded envelopes. I get a lot of those.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Lifestyle Improvement

One side effect of the pandemic is it got me to use Jersey City Citibikes all the time.

These share-bikes changed how I view running errands and lollygagging. I can lollygag now because I don't need to wonder when the trolley or bus is coming.

I wouldn't ride them before because I was afraid of biking in traffic, but now we have bike lanes, many of them protected. Plus the bikes have automatic lights that click on at night.

Not sure I'd ever ride one in Manhattan, but they're pretty great on this side of the Hudson.

Thursday, July 15, 2021


I found another creature in my yard. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Hand-Building in Manhattan

 Here are some experiments from Sunday night hand-building pottery, as well as the start of a cat food bowl for a yard beast. I'm not sure I'll keep the uglier things. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Not So Feral Anymore

I'm back in JC, where a startling new development has occurred in feral cat-land.

So long as I don't move my hand or try to pet him, Jay Garrick will eat a treat right from my fingers. But he'll only do this through the partially open window, not when my giant self is outside next to him.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Stopover in BCN

I spent a few days wandering around Barcelona. 

I have been here many times, even spent 3 months here in 2004--but every visit I find something new.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Last Look at Lisbon

Here are some more Lisbon photos.

Today, I took a tram up to the castle, but it broke down and I had to climb a lot of stairs instead. 

The view from the castle was lovely, and afterwards, I caught a bus to the metro to go see some architecture at a train station--same guy who designed the fish skeleton at the World Trade Center. Then it was off to the TimeOut market for some Portuguese food (something called a prego) and finally, a ride up the hill on one of the funiculars.

The Castle Captures Me

 I took the streetcar up to the São Jorge Castle. The castle itself was like a cool old castle, but the view of Lisbon was spectacular.