cat

Kicking Back at the Local Liquor Shop, Feline Style

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Kicking Back at the Sake Shop, Feline Style

 

It is time to say goodbye to Ichikawa till September.  I will miss the relaxing walks back to the station, but I know it is only for a short time, and I will be challenged by what has changed over the summer heat.

I pass this liquor shop on my way to the station.  I have seen this kitty waiting outside in the cooler months, but I think this one knows how to keep cool.  This one has kicked back on top of some boxes of wine.  He’s got a first rate view of all the action on the street outside.  I’m sure it is much cooler on the inside than the plus 30 degrees temperature outside.

I think that all this one is missing is the feline Mojito.  What is a feline Mojito, it is pretty much the same as what I like to partake in except instead of spearmint, I crush up a bit of catnip.

Now that would be chilling feline style.

 

Giza Feline Chillin in the Afternoon Sun

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Stylish Ginza Cat with a Two VInyl Umbrella Home

This kitty is feline Ginza royalty.  His domain included two see-through vinyl umbrellas that keep the rainy season downpours off his black and white fur.  There he sat on top of a simple box covered with some comfy material.  He was comfortably situated between an urban relic of a wall and a vinyl covered chain link fence.

This one rules the backstreets of Ginza.  Never bothered by the meandering tipsy businessmen or the fashion conscience women.  None of it matters to him.

“Just give me a cool place to have an audience with my subject.” he replied slickly to my question.  The royal one wasn’t phased by my questioning.  I might have been speaking in an alternatively laced universe, but somehow we understood each other.

I knew my audience was quickly coming to an end, and I asked politely if I may have the honor of the royal one sitting for a portrait.  With a resounding “Nyao,” he granted permission.  I framed the feline, pressed the shutter and thanked him deeply for his time.  I bowed and exited from his domain.

 

The Nekozane Kitty and Other Tails

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Furukawa Nekozane Kitty in the Window

 

This week has been a real different kind of week for me.  I met three people for the first time.  Ok, not really for the first time, but it was the first time that we meet in a physical space.  It was the first time I could put a voice to all the texted discourse.  For me, that is a big step in a positive direction.

I got to meet up with a photographer mate and munch on a Junior’s pastrami sandwich in the Imperial Palace Gardens and exchange our views on photography.  It really was a healing experience.  I don’t get the opportunity to chat much about topics that are close to my soul, other than pouring out typed discourse on the Lucid Communication website.

The next I met up with a singer and dancer who is here with the first time in Japan tour of the musical Hair.  We got to do some speed sightseeing and caught dinner where we compared NYC and Tokyo.  It is always refreshing to see my city, Tokyo, though the eyes of the first time experience.  It gave me more reasons to love this strange dwelling place.

Lastly, I met up with a fellow artist today to show her the basics of photography technique.  She arrived on island time but that didn’t really matter.  We went over the basics of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and how these basic numbers really determine how the image is created.

We then proceeded to walk around the old part of Urayasu.  I was shocked.  I wish she had captured what must have been a look of horror on my face to see my beloved Flower Street had undergone intensive rebuilding since the last time I strolled around more than six months ago.  More of the old buildings had been torn down and replaced with new ones.  The old bridges had been replaced.  Even some of the streets had been widened.  There are still a few pockets of old homes.  One home we passed my guest had pointed out to me that there was a kitty staring at us from a window sill.

We were invited into to see a collection of photographs that had been taken in the 1950s and 50s around Urayasu.  The humble black and white photographs captured a time when the canals and rivers were swarmed with wooden fishing boats.  The streets were lined with filleted fish and seaweed were drying in the sunshine.  These images captured a time that has slipped though the nets of Urayasu in favor of giant condominiums and the business brought about by Tokyo Disney Land.

The rate at which the old part of Urayasu has been swallowed up by the redevelopment is alarming.  There will be a time when there is no longer an old part of town, and Urayasu will only be separated from the rest of sprawling Tokyo by the Kyo Edogawa River.

Nekozane Hydrangea Home and Window

Nekozane 3 3 3 with Yellow Flowers and Rail

Feline Protecting the Gates

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Japanese Bobtail Feline Protecting the Gates in Kasai, Tokyo

 

It was another of those days when world’s weather doesn’t know if it is spring or summer.  In the sun the weather was warm, bordering of perfection.  In the shade there was a bit of a dry chill.  The breeze was starting to stiffen up as it rolled in from the bay.

All in all a good day to be out in the streets and enjoying the simple beauty of my Kasai neighborhood.  Compacted suburban gardens, a father and a son tossing a baseball back and forth, and then their was this soldier.

Perched on a lookout post in fron of it’s owner’s gates.  There he sat in the warm sunlight. His eyes followed me as I stood in front of the gates. He never took his eyes off me.  There was no malice.  It was quite simple, he was letting me know that this was his space, and I had entered into it.

Just another soldier in the neighborhood.  The feline variety with a bobtail.

 

Asakusa, The Backstreets is Where It Happens

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Single Palm and Door, Asakusa

 

When I first arrived in Tokyo one the first places I visited was the Sensoji Temple and Asakusa shopping district.  I really wasn’t that impressed with the place.  The shops on the main shopping drag were all filled with such kitsch I couldn’t believe that this was the best of what the area had to offer.

Now, so many years later I have some what reconciled my dislike of the neighborhood and have turned it into a love.  The way to really enjoy this neighborhood is to stay away from Nakamise (Shopping Street) and hit the backstreets.  Let yourself get lost among some of the tightest alleys I have seen in Japan.  Also once you get aways from the bustling tour groups and the rickshaw hustlers the streets are rather quiet.  The shops also sell such quality handmade items.

I discovered a traditional Japanese silversmith shop today.  They had amazing silver hammered sake cups and the accoutrements for the tea ceremony.  It was one of the few times I wish I had a greater cash flow to be able to afford such skillful work.  Another shop I found today was a traditional brush maker.  They did sell a few hairbrushes, but most of what they sold was for cleaning.  All made by the shop and most made of renewable materials.  I was thrilled to look at bath scrub brushes, calligraphy pens, and body scrubbers.

I never know quite the path I will walk when I step off from the station.  I let my inner self guide me.  The more wrapped around lost I get the more treasures I will unearth.

 

Asakusa Feline ( 猫) Sunning and Grooming

 

 

Single Palm and Door, Asakusa

Rinkai, Stray to Domesticated Kitty

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Rinkai, Stray Kitty in Process of Domestication

My wife found this little one while we were cycling through Kasai Rinkai Park near our home.   He was so tiny, and sick.  He had a nasty cold and was sneezing all the time.  We took him in and nursed him back to health.

He has about doubled in size since we first took him in.  We haven’t found a home for him yet, or officially given him a name.  Although, I am leaning towards calling him Rinkai.

 

I am a Cat, Let me Sleep

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Higashi Kasai Feline

It Sunday afternoon and I am napping on the side of my building.  It is pretty cool here in the shade.   I can catch up on all my missed sleep from my running around the neighborhood the night before.

Wait a minute some has stopped his bicycle in front of my mansion.   I lift my ears and then my eyes to figure out what is going on.  Could they be here to give me some tasty tuna bits?  Are they here to try to nab me and bring me off somewhere?  I could hardly be bothered.  I just wanna be here by myself.

I don’t really know.  All I know is it is a bit hot outside and I have the whole afternoon to do nothing but just sit in the shade.  I hear the world go by around me but I barely raise and ear as long as they just leave me alone and let me nap.

Perhaps in a little bit I might stretch my legs and take a stroll around my territory to make sure no one has tried to set up shop in my part of town.  I just couldn’t stand that.

That is a thought for another day.  I am content to just lie on my stomach and dream of tuna, catnip and little furry creatures to chase.

I am a cat, so let me sleep, and dream.

 

Sayonara Kitty!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Barbershop Soloist, Feline 猫 Cat, Nishifunabashi Chiba, Japan

I met a friend for lunch on Monday in Nishifunabashi in Chiba.  I got there a bit early so I had some time to wander around and just see what was to be seen.

It was a brilliantly clear day with the skies blue and cloudless.  A great day to be out and about even if it was only in Chiba.

This kitty caught my ear first.  He was meowing away.  Saying “look at me!, Look at ME!!”  It took me a few moments before I could find where the meowing was coming from, and here the kitty was up on the second story looking down at me.

I thought to myself as my time in Japan, at least for a few weeks, winds to a close, that this kitty was saying Sayonara to me. I will miss you Japan.  I will miss my own kitties too.

Many Hugs, and I will catch up once I arrive in the 305, Miami, Florida, that is.

 

The Kitty and I

Monday, February 6th, 2012

The Kitty and I

The kitty and I.  For real.  I almost missed this one on my pedal and meditative journey on Sunday.  I had taken a picture just to the right of this window that was full of a huge blooming aloe plant.  I had jumped back on my bicycle when I noticed this little one keeping a watchful eye on me.

I got off and moved in to get a closer look.  Kitty let out a huge hiss as i got close, but then relaxed, and just struck a pose.  Sweet, and brought a smile to my face.

A dutiful feline keeping its home safe from the wandering photographers like myself.

 

Stray Kitty in the Parking Lot’s Garden

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

This little kitty was out enjoying the clear winter sunlight the other day, just like me.  The kitten was peeking out at me through the parking lot’s garden.  His/her eyes met my lens, as I pressed the shutter button. I hope that one day he/she will find a home.  Someone out there will take care of this kitten.  However, for now he’ll just continue to take advantage of winter’s sunny skies.

Kitty in The Parking Lot Garden

The Stray Jungle Cat of Chiba

Monday, November 28th, 2011

He is out there in the wilds of Chiba prefecture.  Ok, so the wilds aren’t that wild, but he is there lurking in the shadows.  Darting under the bushes.  Trying his hardest to stay out of sight.  The Stray Jungle Cat of Chiba is there.  Somewhere among the long bladed grasses he stalks its prey.  The Stray Jungle Cat of Chiba is there.

If you are lucky you might be able to catch a glimpse of the cat as he slinks around through the countryside. Will it be able to catch the mouse that he has been stalking?  I am not sure.  But  I do know that the being a stray is a hard life.  They are the ultimate strugglers out there.  Scavenging for their next meal.  They are opportunist that need to make the best of a sometimes desperate situation.

Hopefully the Stray Jungle Cat of Chiba will survive another day among in the semi-wilds of Chiba prefecture.

Stray Jungle Cat of Mimomi, Chiba Japan

Rabi, My Tiger Stripped Kitty

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Been confined to my home for the last week or so fighting off a cold.  And now I have been told that I must continue to stay home for another week.  I wish to go out and explore, but there is no energy for that.  I have to be content being home and watching my kitties play, sleep, and eat.

This is Rabi (pronounced RAW BEE) he was adopted by my wife and I about 2 years ago.  He is male and is quite spritely.  Rabi loves to play catch. His favorite toy is a little piece of a Docomo mushroom character that fell off.  It is not much bigger than a lima bean.  He love when you throw it and he will go chase it down and then drop it in front of me.  For Rabi there is no end to this joy until he misplaces the little piece of mushroom.

I hope he makes you all smile too.

and here’s …… Rabi….

Rabi, My Tiger Striped Cat

Kitty Motherhood

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

I am going to diverge a bit with this topic.  I am going to talk a little about kitty motherhood.  How do felines raise their young?  I came across two kitties and their mom on a small backstreet across from the local Buddhist temple.  Temples are one of the places that stray kitties hang out in, because most temples have graveyards attached to them.  The strays can find some shelter, food, and water there.  I am not sure if these kitties had owners or they had just wandered over from the temple.

As soon as I squatted down to frame up my picture, one of the kitties came right up to my lens.  It came so close that the kitty came out slightly blurred in the image.  The momma cat, who was keeping a motherly eye on her young, let out a big meow.  Just to let the kitty know not to get to close, or to let the kitty know that big momma is watching.

Mother kitties relinquish their control over their little ones once the little ones are able to wander around and explore some.  The mother will continue to supplement their diet with breast milk for as long as she can, but the babies have to start finding food on their own.

This is so different that a human child.  A human child remains so helpless for the first couple years of their life.  And in many ways they are still rather helpless even when they grow up a bit.  The kitties just get thrown into the world.  For these little strays the survival instinct overrides and they will either grow strong and survive or they will perish.

I respect motherhood in all its shapes and forms.  I hope these little ones make it and can survive in the big bad world of Chiba.

Curious Japanese Kitty

We are Cats without Deadlines

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I spotted these two cats just chilling on a breezy and a bit cooler than usual July afternoon.  They were just there being in the moment.  That means they were just being themselves.  You know, just being cats.

It made me think back on Natsume Soseki’s novel “I am a cat.” Then there were these two cats who just said the same thing to me, but in plural. We are cats!  Yes, just cats.  They have no deadlines to meet.  Other than trying to get some food off some humans, but hey that can be done at any time.  They have no exact time to get up, or go to bed.  They just do either whenever they just feel like it.  They don’t have to take a vacation to relax, for as far as I can tell after spending time with my cats, cats are always on vacation.

As the pressure of living in this post earthquake comes and goes, much like the aftershocks, I look forward to leading a simple life.  I don’t want to make things complicated.  I just want to stay focused, indulge myself with art.  I want to spend time with my family and friends.  And if I can pull it off, just to lounge in the shade, under a gate, just like these to cats.

take care my feline friends.

We Are Cats, Chiba Japan

A Pre New Year’s Eve Slumber Party

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Oh Jay, Big Mama, and Loko all deceided to have a wee nap so that they could stay up all day and night on the 31st.  Lined up, thinking about the next meal.  They are thinking where is the warmest place that i can catch some z’s.  It can be quite complicated, but then again what do we really know we are just humans, and they are just cats.

Oh Jay, Big Mama and Loko Pre New Year's Eve Hug

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