Wednesday, April 18, 2012

a new cat in the house

Yes, this happened sooner than expected, but I'd been visiting the Petsmart and other adoption centers over the past couple of weeks -- "It's OK to do this for practice," I said to myself. This little 2-year-old female had been at the Arundel Mills Petsmart, where I adopted Ollie in the fall of 2002, and I had a few opportunities to interact with her. Today, I took the plunge and brought her home.

She seems dazed by her new castle, but she's not skittish and has been staying close to me most of the time. She came with the name, Grace. I could change that, but calling her Gracey also appeals to me.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Planet Ollie: Getting into the Picture

September 2007. I was trying to get a snapshot of some promotional cards for a local production (it was AOT's "Ground") to use on a previous blog. Ollie was off to the side watching and apparently feeling left out. Suddenly a big grey blob filled the camera's frame. A real paws-on kind of a cat: Tool boxes and kits of visiting repairmen and company salespeople were too tempting for him, and I had to make sure he didn't get too involved, although he delighted most of the visitors.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Planet Ollie: July 2007 (and status 2; a cat's playlist)

(I didn't notice the vine growing through the old patio slider and threatening to creep up on Ollie until I saw it in this picture.)

Let me continue to post photos of him for a while, and maybe the frequency will drop off later. He'll always be our host here, and some of his friends are enjoying these photos. (The blog also is turning out to be a good place to save extra copies of the better pictures.) For some reason, Ollie's absence really hit me hard this past weekend -- maybe I'm recalling how things were this time last year before the illness struck. Anyway, as I started cleaning up the house for traces of the illness, I knew it was still too early to adopt another cat (as mentioned in my previous post). The house can scream a little longer for a cat, and perhaps a friendly little grey ghost will calm it until another cat moves in.

~~ Some time early last month, while I still thought Ollie would be here for a while, he enjoyed the bird song that breaks out in part of Respighi's "The Pines of Rome" (broadcast over the radio on WBJC). A similar effect during Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" has entranced him in the past.

~~ Not so with Maria Callas, however! I put on a collection of arias sung by Callas while Ollie was snoozing last month, and -- I don't know what Callas did, but around track 4 of the disc, Ollie suddenly looked up with a most annoyed look on his face in the direction of the stereo. It was the same look he made while watching me stir-burn something in the kitchen a few years ago. I immediately turned the stereo off. I'd never seen him react to the singing voice like that before. Usually he seemed to ignore everything but certain sound effects in opera recordings. Well, maybe Callas isn't for everyone.

~~ Malcolm Arnold's "A Grand, Grand Festival Overture". Ollie always was fascinated by the sound of the vacuum cleaner section, otherwise not interested in the rest of Arnold's orchestra. And his head would jerk in time with the gunshots at the ending as he looked towards the stereo. (Arnold was parodying modern music in this work.)

~~ The drawn-out shout that begins "Rhumba De Burros" in the "Strictly Ballroom" soundtrack used to bring Ollie running to find out who else was in the house. He knew that I never let loose like that!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

~ status ~

Ollie basks in sunlight and attention in September 2007.

I'm still reeling from my almost ten-year journey with Ollie. What a trip it was! Some how I'm getting over or might just have to live with some depressing impressions from his last day with me when I took him to the vet for the last visit. I had spent the previous week giving him a great ending to our Big Party, and I hope it wasn't all erased for him by the final act. I carried a bag of those hypoallergenic treats he was loving so much into the euthanasia room with us, and he enjoyed more of them before the vet began the procedure -- a procedure which I believe now was probably less traumatic for him than the procedures which were saving him back in the fall. (Last month, the tumor reached a stage that would not be remedied by those procedures.)

We're reaching back now and remembering that Ollie and I had a life before the cancer struck. I am sharing some of that here with recent photo posts, and I'm considering a separate blog where I can keep more photos to share with family and friends and any interested blog visitors. (I'll post a notice on this blog if that happens.)

I thought it would be months before I would be emotionally capable of adopting another cat, but this might happen sooner than expected. I'm missing Ollie terribly, and there have been a few dreams since I let him go, but the house screams for a cat. I made one visit to the adoption center at the Arundel Mills Petsmart where he practically adopted me in the fall of 2002. That was mainly for a trip down memory lane. This week, I've been stopping at the center in the Columbia Petsmart to play and chat with the cats currently in the cages there, and I might bring one of them home with me soon.

///Thanks very much for comments on recent posts and some related e-mail.///

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I made it to the Jakuchu and Hokusai exhibits at the National Gallery of Art and the Sackler in DC last Sunday -- hope to see Jakuchu's stunning bird and flower (and aquatic creatures) scenes again before they leave at the end of this month. I also have my eyes on dates for concerts in Baltimore and here in Columbia coming up soon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Current Display in the Rotunda at the NGA

National Gallery of Art's West Building, the display around the rotunda fountain as I found it today.