Farewell, Lucy

Jungle Spirit Lucy Touchnose, 23 March 2007 – 7 January 2020.

Loyal and faithful companion, watcher of birds, master of yowls, sniffer of cobwebs, chaser of ping-pong balls, supervisor of gardening, chief supermarket bag inspector, destroyer of catnip, much beloved. Lucy gave us her last high five this week after she was diagnosed with an aggressive tumor. She will be very much missed by all who were lucky enough to fill her bowl and scratch her ears. Sleep well.

Wide Aperture Photography

I’ve been trying out taking photos with the aperture set very wide. In full sun the shutter speed ends up at something like 1/2000th and I had to bump the ISO to 1600. Still, even with an unwilling subject I got some nice results.

Lucy Portrait 1

Lucy Portrait 1

Plum Trees

I’ve been making plum jam from the plum tree in the garden, and strawberry jam from cheap punnets at work. Plum trees, or perhaps their feathered inhabitants, are also of interest to certain spotty individuals.

Help, I appear to be up a plum tree

Feline Wisdom

There is nothing else like it in the world to prepare youself for being truly regarded by your kitten for the first time. Lucy looked me straight in the eye today and wouldn’t let go. For some reason, an exchange of an indescribable something took place, and I’m still not sure who came off best. There is still something wild, ancient and wise that hasn’t been completely bred out of cats, least of all Bengals.

I’ve been on migraine meds today, so maybe that’s all it was.

Clicker Training

After a a few weeks of settling in, I thought I’d give some clicker training a go with Lucy, Destroyer of (Laptop) Mice.

In a word, astounding.

I’m only peripherally familiar with operand conditioning, but I bought and am following Karen Pryor‘s Clicker Training for Cats book. I started on Sunday with loading the click with chicken liver treats. After 5 clicks she had cottoned on and 10 clicks later she was targetting a biro with her nose and I could lead her around the room with it. 5 more clicks and she was giving me high fives in the air with her paws. This all took less than five minutes!

Now it’s Wednesday and she’s quite reliably giving high fives, coming when called, sitting and staying on her spot and getting down from the table on command.

For some obscure reason teaching her to switch the light off on command and to play the piano are high on the list…