Monday, January 02, 2006

Jealousy: Not Just for Humans

I haven't seen "March of the Penguins" yet, but from what I've heard, the penguins act very much like humans and seem to have human emotional qualities. Do they ever get jealous? Does a boy penguin's feathers get ruffled when the girl penguin he has a crush on goes after another tuxedo-clad bird?

Pictured here is Buggy, a friend's kitty. I'm his Aunt Jenn who's cat-sat for him, fed him, taken him on walks and given him love until he purrs. Last night, he turned into Cujo Kitty within seconds.

Now, it's not his fault. I did do something to upset him and was forewarned. A little black kitty came meowing to my friend's window. We went to take a look at her and she kept crying and wanted some love. My friends suggested maybe it was a sign to take this little kitty home with me. On the patio, I sat with her a bit and was cautioned, "don't let Buggy see you." My friend fed the stray and he told me that Buggy had once attacked him for feeding another stray cat, so much so that he had to miss a day of work from his arm being so swollen.

I returned inside the house and Bug sniffed me over and accepted me back into his home. Things were quiet until the little black cat came back to the windows crying. This time, Buggy ran to the window screaming and attacked the screen. He was pulled away with claws extended and fur puffed out.

He then sat next to the sofa and as I walked past on my way to the bathroom, he howled and lunged at him, gripping his claws into my leg, biting and scratching! There was commotion - yelling, screaming (me and the cat) and I shook him off. I stood in the entryway of the bathroom to look back at him - he was a big puff ball getting ready to charge at me when my friend stepped in.

Laughing, I locked myself in the bathroom, changed cloths, washed away any scent of the nighttime visitor and tended to my wounds. We later made up and this morning, he curled up next time and purred his content.

The only explanation we came up with for Buggy's actions was that he was jealous of the other kitty. There's no rational for jealously, whether you're a penguin, cat or human...

New Year's 2006

2006! It's finally 2006! Like all the dates in the 2000's, when I was a girl, I never envisioned 2006. It seemed so far away. And with each year I get older, the years go back more quickly.

I spent the weekend with friends (and Grandma). Being around them reminded me what's important in life. It was terrific seeing everyone, especially Eiko (pictured second from the right), since she traveled from Japan for a long weekend! Kathy (second from the left) hosted Eiko during her very brief visit. Ms. Stephanie (first on the left - I'm the one with the big hair to the far right - humidity doesn't sit well with me!) played the "hostess with the mostess" ensuring that the first day of the new year was very proper.

It's a new year, time for new beginnings...

Culturally Sarasota, Fla.

I consider Sarasota, Fla. my second home (Buffalo, NY, my first). Only living there for about four years, I spent many spring breaks visiting my grandparents while growing up. This past weekend was spent celebrating the New Year with friends. As I said goodbye to Grandma this morning, she told me about the huge sculpture on display on Sarasota's waterfront, as part of the Sarasota Season of Sculpture. She said there has been "discussion" whether this sculpture, depicting that famous image which we now associate with the end of World War II, should be purchased by the City and remain in town.

I quickly grabbed her and we went down to the waterfront to see artist J. Seward Johnson's creation, titled, "Unconditional Surrender" (image on the left). The work is finely detailed, showing the seams in the nurse's stockings and wrinkles in the sailor's coat. Being of Grandma's era, she thought it was wonderful and told me how Grandpa's jacket looked like that, although he was in the Coast Guard and had a different emblem. I thought it was terrific for the playfulness and simple beauty.

We drove past the other sculptures, primarily all abstracts, and none evoked the emotion as this one. Visitors will be able to enjoy this and other sculptures through May 31, 2006.

The other image is from a fountain I finally had the chance to examine downtown. I had previously seen the fountain while driving Pineapple, or Lemon or Orange Avenues (one of those tropical fruits) but never got out to look at. I wandered down Lemon Ave. Monday during the Downtown Farmer's Market, which led to the fountain. Whimiscal fish, mermaids and other magical critters adorn the sidewalk surrounding the fountain and fountain itself.

Going home with eyes open I always see something new.