My Cats Are Blurring In My Memory

Katerina – our cat in Seattle, she still roams our neighborhood in Ballard. Officially she lives one street over but we visit her in her new home and she visits us in her old home (we still own the house)

Quasimodo – who? when? a gift from Jan Bartlett, a friend in Dublin, named Quasimodo because as a kitten she had a cute sideways way which she used to hop about. as an adult she would meow outside my sons’ windows in the middle of the night – they would let her in and she would sleep on one of their beds

Slinki Malinki – yes a splendid cat I just liked the name. a black? cat

Thatcher – a white cat we had in Bhutan, given to us by a Danish couple, liked to bite us, I don’t remember this cat’s name but the next owner named it Thatcher because the cat continued its biting habit

Whiskers – a black and white cat we had in my youth. Can’t really remember any distinguishing characteristics. except she could look in the kitchen window when she wanted to come in

And I have a photo of her eating alongside our dog Duchess and watched by Brian, a little boy who lived across the street

Dogs are so much easier to remember than cats

Name? of the cat in Fiji – when it was cold at night this cat slept with the dog Grover

Caty 1 and Caty 2 – at rest in our back garden, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Suva, Fiji

Stripe?? – was this cat given to Joan Blackmore, the wife of the Head Master at Wesley, the boys boarding school. she ran away, the cat, not Joan

Our family dog Duchess 1950 Belmont Massachusetts

Cat in Bhutan – used to go for a walk with me on a trail high above our house – me, followed by the dog followed by the cat

Not my cats
I loved my dog Duchess, 1951?
Brian, Whiskers, and Duchess, early 1950’s

Destroying PFAS: Less Than Meets the Eye

Wickersham's Conscience

Model Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (C8HF15O2) molecule, one of several thousand PFAS substances

On the long list of things you need to worry about is the problem of PFAS. “PFAS” is an acronym for perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances. It’s a class of chemicals composed of long chains of carbon molecules very strongly bonded with fluorine atoms, and they are damned near indestructible. Other chemicals break down by bacterial action, weathering or naturally occurring chemicals. Not PFAS.

At the same time, the stuff is ubiquitous. It’s been detected in rainfall Tibet, snow in Antartica and pretty much everywhere in between. Industrial chemistry has developed hundreds of variations, with different properties of varying utility. It’s PFAS that make your non-stick frying pan non-stick. It’s PFAS that make your carpet stain resistant. It’s PFAS that makes fire-fighting foam more effective. It’s included in many forms of woman’s makeup…

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Something Over Tea

I have often noticed the tubular flowers of the Cape honeysuckle lying on the ground as if something had deliberately cut them off – well, that ‘something’ has generally proved to be one or other of the weavers that frequent our garden! Keen to get to the store of nectar at the base – and having beaks far too short to reach inside – the weavers simply nip off the base of the flowers for their prize snack.

During July and into early August, I have observed the stalks of the Aloe ferox growing outside our lounge have increasingly been stripped too. This time I caught a pair of Streakyheaded Seedeaters in the act. Apart from probing the base of the flowers to get to the nectar, they also eat the buds, anthers and stamens – this picture was taken through the window:

Other birds enjoying the rich source of…

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