Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Cats

birds flutter

birds flutter swoop dive
cat’s jaw quivers, tail twitches—
agony of spring

* * * * *

To Prince Oliver Smudge the Second, aka Smudge:

I hereby dedicate this haiku to Your Royal Catness
with the clear expectation that you will
immediately cease and desist
from all yowls of neglect and outrage.

You say it deeply pains you to watch me day after day
writing only about Me, Myself and I.

To be brutally frank,
I know much more about Me, Myself and I
than I do about the mystery of
Your Inner Being/Inner Cat/Inner Stalker.


If you read Your Very Own Haiku with an open mind
you will discern therein
just how much I DO appreciate your agony day after day
as all those Nasty Spring Birdies flaunt their freedom in the Great Outdoors.

No.  You may NOT go outside to play today!
I’m No Dummy.

Her Royal Highness,
Queen Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 3 April 2014, reposted 8 June 2022
Photo taken by ERFraser, 2 March 2022

There’s a chill in the air

There’s a chill in the air
Along the road that leads me
home to the river

Raucous jays and crows
Scream at each other
Without a message that matters

Noisy cars take the quickest
Route to the freeway
Fuming their way through lazy detours

Happiness isn’t on the rise
Neither is patience or understanding
Or ears willing to stop and listen

Still, my heart is at peace
Knowing my end is sooner
Rather than later

Body and heart melt with relief
Releasing things I no longer need
To prove that I was here

I’m not there yet. I am, however, shifting gears yet again. Letting go of things that weigh me down. Things like more books, more unused kitchen utensils, more old clothes, and (especially) the amount I can do in any one day.

My health is (so I’m told) excellent “for my age.” A loaded message, indeed. My feet would not agree with this cheery news. Still, I don’t have any reason to complain—except when I’ve done myself in or feel particularly lonely. A strange experience for an introvert.

The photo at the top, taken this morning, has nothing to do with this post. Except for this.

Every day of his relatively short cat-life, Smudge just keeps going. Purring. Practicing his ‘race up the stairs and tear around the corner in hunt mode’ moves. Playing in a favorite cardboard box. Sitting on my lap asleep, or stretching out on our bed for a midday snooze.

I want to be so carefree and generally kindhearted, no matter how much I get done. How about you?

Thanks for stopping by!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 May 2021
Photo of Smudge taken by ERFraser, 12 May 2021


Happy Monday, everybody! Two months ago (minus 5-6 days) our faithful waterbed sprang a nasty leak. We’ve been camping out in the house ever since. On Saturday, the construction crews finished their work. Getting the waterbed functioning and warm enough to sleep in was Number One on our to-do list the last few days.

The top photo shows our lovely kitty, Smudge, sitting in the middle of the waterbed’s bare bones. Below you can see the skeleton laid out for reassembly. The metal rails (above) are for under-the-bed drawers, two on each side. As shown here:

The central area beneath the mattress is open–though D later attached a sturdy cardboard door to the back entrance to foil you-know-who. But before he did that, the Inspector General had to check everything out!

Most exciting of all was a strange ‘hole’ in the wall (above). He stalked it like a pro and then went for the jugular! (Note his straight-back all-business tail.) Sadly, the mouse hole was just an electrical outlet set back a bit into the baseboards.

This morning D, with a bit of help from me, got the bed all put back together. The logo on the white mattress proclaims loudly, STAY PURE! Still scratching my head…..  In case you’re wondering, the two water bladders are zipped into this cushy white mattress. The green eye on the wall is our resident creature from outer space.

Here’s the bed all made up, minus our pillows. Right now the water is warming, and we should be in our own bed tonight. I turned on the overhead light for this one.

When we moved from Tennessee into this house in the early 1980s, we had no bed for several weeks. Instead, we camped out on the living room floor on the mattress we’d slept on for years (yes, on the floor) in South Carolina, California, and Tennessee. Our current house was built by a local carpenter for his family of 10 children. The huge attic (transformed a year ago) was for his boys. I think there were 5. And yes, there were several sisters, too.

At any rate, our first major furniture purchase when we moved to Pennsylvania was this waterbed. We’ve never regretted it.

Happy Monday, again, and peace, especially for everyone going through tough, sad, disorienting or lonely times.


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 September 2019
Photos taken by me, with my iPad,
22 and 23 September 2019

Attic Update with Photos

Whew! I can hardly believe we’re getting there. Our daughter and her husband arrive Saturday night, and will be our first guests in the new attic bedroom/sitting area! Except for Smudge and I. We’ve already stolen a little snooze or two on the new mattress.

The photo at the top and the following photo are painful reminders of What It Was Back When….after more than 30 years of living in this old house. The top photo looks Northeast, the one below Southwest. D took the top photo before we began clearing stuff out; below we’re well over halfway there, believe it or not.

And here’s what the contractors had to work with–almost ready for them to begin.

Below you’ll see the Northeast look, with everything but the floor finished. I loved the old checkerboard linoleum, though it was well past its prime. In these photos we still have carpet to go, plus furniture. The trim is white; the ceiling and walls are very light green with blue tint that complements the view from the attic windows–tree tops and blue sky. The third photo looks toward our back yard–Southwest. You can see the handrail we had added to the attic stairway. There were already skylights over the stairs and on the East side of the attic roof.

So here’s where we are today–still getting things put together and in place. Carpet all laid, with the painter due to return and put one more coat on the attic stairwell. The carpet is gray–a short, tight plush weave that’s supposed to resist cat claws.

Last but not least, I took some photos with my IPad to document the contributions of the two males most present in my life these days.

I’m surprised at how wonderful it feels to have this task well along the way to completion. I’ve dreaded the day when we would either die and leave the mess to our family members to clean up, or when we would finally grab the bull by the horns and wrestle it to the ground. Actually, I have D to thank for wrestling it to the ground–though I’ll take my share of the bows, as well.

The rest of this week we’ll be getting things back to a bit of sanity downstairs and upstairs. I’ll post as I’m able, and take attic snoozes with Smudge whenever the urge hits me.

Thanks for stopping by today!

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 25 April 2018
Photos taken by DAFraser and ERFraser

Not Smoke and Mirrors


9:05am, Monday. I wrote this immediately following breakfast today. Trying to capture how I felt and then let my mind and heart go wherever I needed to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Going to Seminary | Photos

1974 Feb Den chaos Scott and Sherry

Time for a bit of end-of-the-week fun! Our son and daughter are in the den of our Altadena home. Don’t miss the double door knobs. One worked and one didn’t; it was that way when we moved in.

It looks like Son is deep in thought. I don’t know what that red thing is in front of his mouth. I think he has Read the rest of this entry »

lazy autumn day

Longwood Gardens Outdoor Cafe Guest - November 2014

lazy autumn day

black cat rests on fallen leaves–

copper eye stalks prey

* * *

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 9 February 2015
Photo credit:  DAFraser, September 2014
Outdoor Café at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

I love a circus! | Dear Diane

Is there anything ‘normal’ about ALS?  If so, I haven’t yet discovered it.  That’s ironic, since life itself is fraught with unexpected events, twists and turns.  Yet we call it ‘normal.’  Why not ALS, too?

I learned early how to answer the inevitable question of my heart:  Why me?  Why my family? Read the rest of this entry »

noisy commotion

noisy commotion

young coopers hawk loses prey

aggressive squirrels score

* * *

Mid-fall games are on

Outside my kitchen window

Hunger games

Power games

Survival games

Fourteen Hungry Turkey Vultures, All in a Row!

(Not my backyard, not my vultures, not a fall scene–but it will do in a pinch!)

Outdoor tomcat–also not mine–takes victory strut around back yard

Proudly displays doomed sparrow clutched in mighty jaws

Knock knock


Enforcer squirrels rush into the fray,

Intimidate giant predators with much ado about everything–

Unexpected heroes in a bloodless war to the death

Seasoned hawk swoops to snatch juicy rodent

Young coopers hawk goes hungry for now

Are we having fun?

Not really

Too many victims

Too few heroes

* * *

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 10 November 2014
Photos from open stock on internet

triumphs and trophies

Smudge Bowl

triumphs and trophies

artfully spaced on his plate–

Smudge the Conqueror!

* * *

poetry in motion

he positions each precious treasure Read the rest of this entry »

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