Lens-Artists Challenge #112, Pick a Word

For this week, bloggers pick one or more of the following words, to illustrate with their photos.  The words are: Growing, Crowded, Tangled, Exuberant, and Comfortable.

I think I can find at least one photo that illustrates each word for the week.

Let’s start with Comfortable.

People who are owned by a cat know that most household pet cats spent the majority of their day sleeping.  Or relaxing.  Or peering out the window.  Cats are the world’s best seekers of comfort, and my owner, Kikyo, is no exception.  Here she is, curled up on the unmade bed.


On the path next to Snoqualmie Falls, I found this pretty bush,  growing near a stand of trees.


And, now that I look at it closer, more than one kind of plant is tangled together!  And here’s another visualization of Tangled.  In this case, cactus plants are tangled in the branches of the tree that grows in the same plot at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

Cacti attacking the tree


On a trip to Colorado, we took a tour through the Garden of the Gods park, with its winding trails among the red rock cliffs.  This climber looked pretty exuberant to me!

Rock climber’s elation

As for Crowded, at the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration, there are vendors’ tables outside the Festhalle, where the shows and competitions take place.  Those tables can get pretty crowded with accordions for sale.

And, in my back yard one year, our suet feeder was crowded with Common Bushtits looking for lunch.

Thirteen Common Bushtits on our Suet Feeder, January 2012

You know how they say that one reason real estate is so valuable is “they’re not making any more land”?  Well, actually, Mother Nature IS making more land.  Due to the lava flowing from the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, more land is being created, and we got to watch it off the deck of the Crystal Symphony cruise ship in 2018.  So you can say that Hawaii is Growing more landmass.



Ten Years of Kikyo

We brought home our new black cat, Kikyo, in July of 2010.  It didn’t take her very long to settle in, with her new Staff to cater to her every whim.  We bought her a tall cat tree, so she could climb up and watch out the clerestory window in the family room.  We bought her a “toy box” to hold all her many cat toys.  It’s basically a square wooden box about a foot square and two inches deep, with round holes in the top and sides.  If she wants to play with a toy, she has to fish it out of the box first.  We also sometimes put treats in the box, so she has to fish those out too.  She does have fun with it.  Often when I get home from work, her toys are strewn across the family room floor where she left them.

We installed a window perch in our second-floor bedroom, so she can watch out the window into the back yard.  She spends hours there, sleeping or watching out the window.  Here, then, are ten years of pictures of our Owner, The Lady Kikyo (named after a priestess in Medieval Japan, a character in the anime series InuYasha).

This is the first picture I took of her when we brought her home.  Notice the collar and tag.  Being an indoor cat, we removed the collar after about a week.

Here she is in what I like to call her “legless position”.  Some people call it the “meatloaf” position.

We discovered that she could be quite the little acrobat. How about this balancing act?

Here she is on that tall cat-tree.  She can scamper up there in a split-second when there’s a bird in the maple tree outside the window.

How could you resist this face?

Kikyo discovered fairly early on that she could jump up on the banister of our stairs to the second floor, and jump across to the top of the front closet.  From there she saunters over to the plant shelf.  One day, I caught her sitting on the shelf, snuggled up to a vase in the shape of a cat.  Of course, she had no idea that she was next to another cat!

My favorite place to be is on my bed, with a good book or the Wall Street Journal to read.  Kikyo’s favorite place to be is on me.  When we brought her home from the shelter, she wasn’t much for sitting on people.  But I taught her well.

Kikyo, keeping me warm while I read

Now, is that relaxed, or what?!

Anyone who is owned by a cat has seen their owner in this particularly hilarious pose.  I can’t believe she can actually do this-it’s embarrassing to me! Most undignified!

I brought home a little free bag from my oral surgeon, and for some reason Kikyo likes to sit on it.  If I leave it on the bed, she prefers to be on top of it.

She also has a low cat tree, that sits in the kitchen next to the table.  This particular pose made a great Christmas card in 2015, with the addition of a Santa hat.  This is also the picture on the lock screen of my phone.


Then, there’s her Aristo-Cat pose.  This picture is priceless.  She sat in this position for a good ten minutes, watching a bird out the window.

When she’s on her window perch, she just looks so relaxed and lazy.  Mistress of all she surveys.

Our cat, Kikyo, on her window perch

This one is more recent.  The look says: “You rang, underling?”.

There is Nothing like being owned by a cat.  We got an especially lovely one, with a coat like mink.





Photo Challenge……Beloved

I was reminded again this afternoon of how beloved our little cat is in our household.  She needed to have some teeth removed, so I took her to the vet yesterday afternoon (and she meowed plaintively all the way), and picked her back up this afternoon.  The vet said she was a “model patient” and didn’t give any trouble.  I knew she wasn’t herself on the trip home, when she was mostly silent.  I sure missed her at home last night.  Herewith, some of my favorite photos of the owner of our household, The Lady Kikyo.

Warm Cat
Kikyo, keeping me warm while I read


I don’t think she knows that the vase is supposed to be a cat.  This is a high plant shelf in our living room.

Kikyo, on her window perch
Our cat, Kikyo, on her window perch

Kikyo, our aristo-cat





Friend..ly Photo Challenge

My friend likes to sit on my lap, whenever I’m sitting down.  She leaps very quietly onto the chair or bed I happen to be using, and purrs loudly to get my attention.  My lap is always warm when Kikyo the Aristo-Cat is on my lap.

Warm Cat
Kikyo, keeping me warm while I read

She also likes to snuggle up to her glass “friend”, which is on our high plant shelf.  It takes a long leap across the gap from the banister on the stairs, to the top of the coat closet, for her to get there in the first place, which is quite remarkable.  I’ll bet she doesn’t even know that the glass vase is supposed to be a cat!


And then, she sprawls out in the most undignified posture I’ve ever seen!



Quote of the Day

This was the “Opening Shot” in today’s Daily Shot newsletter from Ricochet.

“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” ― Mark Twain

Witness, our Owner, Her Highness the Lady Kikyo.

Warm Cat
Kikyo, keeping me warm while I read
Kikyo, on her window perch
Our cat, Kikyo, on her window perch

Taking Kikyo, the Black Cat, to the Vet

Kikyo, the Aristo-Cat
Kikyo, the Aristo-Cat


It had been over two years since our sleek, black kitty had been to the vet for a well-pet exam.  I wanted her to meet Doctor Lora, the vet who just happens to be the daughter of my best friend.  And miraculously, she was scheduled to be working on Saturday!  So I washed the towel for the pet-carrier; threw in Kikyo’s favorite catnip toy, and managed to stuff her into her carrier for the drive to Cats Exclusive.

Needless to say, she was not exactly thrilled to be shut into a plastic carrier with a mesh door, and carried out to the car.  In fact, she protested vocally, all the way to the vet’s office.  I talked to her and tried to reassure her that nothing bad would happen, but it’s really hard to reason with a cat.  We arrived in time, checked in with the front desk, and sat down in the comfortable lobby to wait to be called.  On the floor across from us was another similar-sized pet carrier, with a very calm big gray cat inside, who didn’t utter a peep.

After a few minutes, the technician called her name, and we followed into a neat exam room.  I opened the door of the carrier, but Kikyo did not want to come out.  It took the tech’s holding the carrier upside-down to make her come out.  Once out, Kikyo wandered around the room, meowing and sniffing out the unfamiliar space, while the tech asked me all the usual questions about how she was doing, whether she had any health issues (nope), and what she ate.  The tech managed to pick her up to put her on the nice digital scale to get her weight, but kitty did not want to sit still!  The tech was very gentle, and managed to get Kikyo to sit still long enough to get her weight, which was pretty close to what it had been the last time.  Our kitty gets lots of exercise, and we don’t over-feed her, so she’s pretty svelte.

The tech finished the preliminaries, so she left to go get the doctor.  While we waited, kitty wandered around the exam room, exploring every nook and cranny, and getting dust on her nose.  I picked her up, and placed her on the bench beside me, where she sat up and walked on the narrow ledge-she is really fearless!.  Dr. Lora finally arrived, and she conducted a very thorough exam, checking her eyes, ears, and teeth, and holding her tightly to feel her internal organs.  The verdict: One young, healthy, pretty cat.  Lora was glad to finally meet her, and she complimented Kikyo on her beautiful soft black coat.  She told me that my cat was in great health, and that I was feeding her the right food in the correct amounts.  She said that our cat looked and acted young, even though she’s about five years old now.  And the doctor said that Kikyo was a pleasant interlude in a day that had been filled with very sick kitties.  Dr. Lora is a great vet, and it’s worth it for me to take Kikyo a few miles out of our way to see her at her clinic that treats only cats.  And they have something for people too, their “Store for Cats” where you can buy all kinds of toys, food, leashes, and cat furniture.  They even have a good selection of cat greeting cards!

All that was left was to give her a vaccination against feline distemper, which now comes in an “intra-nasal” form; and to clip her claws.  Kikyo really doesn’t like to have her feet touched, so when I take her to the vet, I have them do it.  The tech came back and gave her the vaccination, and I held her while the tech clipped her “points”.  And it was time to go home.  Funny, after her exam, it was no trouble at all to get her back into the carrier for the trip home.  We stopped by the front desk to pay, and we were off again.  She still wasn’t too happy to be in the car, but she didn’t protest too much.  And once we got home, she came right out of the carrier and demanded dinner.  Cats have NO short-term memory!  And I was glad to get a clean bill of health for our beautiful cat, who more than pays for her upkeep with soft fur, and loud purrs.  Everyone should be owned by a cat.

If you visit my YouTube site, you can watch a video I took with my old Flip Video camera, just after we brought her home in July of 2010.