Monday, August 25, 2014

Vive Les Girls

Sabina ("Sabine") at 3+ months

As reported in a previous post, we recently acquired two new Siamese kittens, sisters born of a litter of  a breeder in Hayward, California. Sabina and Capuccine. As readers of this blog know, we name all our cats after coffees or coffee concoctions. But Sabine (above) is a departure from this tradition. 

It isn't easy to tell how small these kittens are from the pictures. Sabine and Capuccine are about 11 inches long--but have probably grown at least two inches apiece since we got them just about a month ago. They aren't twins, but are very close in physical build; Sabine resembles a lilac point Siamese at this point, while Capuccine looks like a chocolate point. 

Sabine is very much the little lady, careful and pliable, while Capuccine is more rambunctious and adventurous. They both eat with enthusiasm, and will soon grow into young adults. Being sisters, they tend to play together, sleep together, and eat together. 

Our resident male, Su-Mee (seen here below with the two newcomers) is suspicious, but tolerant. They run rings around him, but he's so much bigger then they are now, that it's really no contest when the wrestling begins.     

Su-Mee with the two girls at mealtime

I've "adopted" Sabine, while Merry claims Capuccine. This is the first time we've ever gotten two cats at the same time, and from the same litter. Su-Mee and I are now outnumbered in the household by three ladies. 

Sabine comes to me in the wee hours of the morning, in the dark, and cuddles up next to my shoulder in bed, purring up a storm. She's making Su-Mee a little jealous, so I have to keep reassuring him that he's still number one in the house. 

All things considered, they're getting along quite well. 



Conrad DiDiodato said...

Your cats round the dish pic brings to mind something from T.S. Eliot's Old Possum:

"Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream"

I hope, Curtis, you and family have not been affected by the earthquake in Napa.

Curtis Faville said...

T.S. Eliot was definitely onto cat culture.

I enjoyed his Practical Book of cats.

For my take on geologic events (and the mitigations we're always nagged about), read my blog of December 22, 2011, here--

--in which I go about debunking the mirage of "preparedness."

We were woken up by the quake in the early morning hours, but it wasn't severe here.

People tend to exaggerate the effect that relatively mild earthquakes cause. A few trailer houses burned, because their gas hook-ups broke, starting a fire. A few old masonry facades crumbled a bit. But for the most part, the damage was more picturesque than catastrophic. More curiosity than destruction.

I was in Peter Howard's Serendipity Bookstore when the Loma Prieta Quake happened, and that really scared me. I was about 60 miles from the epicenter, and I had the distinct intuition at that moment that we were all on the verge of terrific damage and danger, but it stopped just short of that. Things fell down, but didn't break apart. Of course, some buildings slid off their foundations, which had been built over sand mounds on the San Francisco waterfront. Unreinforced concrete overpasses collapsed. All this was very predictable., but nothing like what happens in a severe tornado, or a hurricane, or a man-made event like 9/11.

Earthquakes make great conversation, but the majority of them aren't serious events. Vast tracts of underground matter moving minutely cause shivers at the surface. The very worst of them can cause damage, usually to structures that are expressions of human vanity about gravity, or permanence.

We know that building on unstable ground is wrong. We know that building perimeter wall foundations in earthquake country is stupid. We know that unreinforced masonry is unstable in earthquakes or mudslide areas. We know these things, but often pretend we can ignore them. More's the pity.

I don't worry about these things. We built our house in a slide zone on a hill. We built it well enough to withstand a 9.5 earthquake. 3 1/2 foot slab foundation with four ranks of criss-crossed steel rod courses. 29 holddowns. 2x6 exterior framing, plywood facing on all interior walls. Steel bracing at all key joints. If the ground moves, we'll move with it. The water, sewer, electric and gas lines will all sever, but nothing can be done to prevent them from doing so. I planned ahead, my neighbors didn't. When and if the big one ever comes, I'll be way ahead of them.

But on the other hand, I'm not a believer in over-engineering against distant eventualities. Earthquakes are just nature's way of reminding us of the impermanence of our dreams. Nothing is forever.