Monday, October 30, 2006

The Snowbirds Have Arrived - Day 4

'The Kids' had taken 2 days off work to spend time with us and we went across to their house shortly after noon. It was my first visit and as I'm a cat person, I loved that they had 2 of the little critters.

This is Delilah and she was quite friendly - after the usual period of waryness that comes with most cats when they meet someone new.

I go down on the floor when meeting cats as it's less intimidating to them. I also never make sudden movements towards them and slowly put out one hand so they can sniff it. Even then I let them move away and invariably they'll turn around and, with the inquisitiveness that cats have, they'll want to come back to you and allow you to pet them.

I'm no animal behaviourist but I did have my own cat for 17 years. This technique works for me and in no time, Delilah was purring gently and enjoying being stroked. Sadly it doesn't work for ALL females !!

Their other cat, Chester, was one of those timid felines that needs a LOT more persuasion to come and be friendly with strangers. He started off hiding in a bedroom closet and wouldn't come out for anything. I kept going in and talking to him and after a while he'd come to the closet door and peek out - but any noise or movement would have him scuttling back inside.

By the time we left, he was as you see him in this photo - out on the living room floor and totally happy with being approached and petted.

There is a good reason why the photo of Delilah looks natural (colour I mean) and the photo of Chester looks like a sepia print.

I quickly realised that I couldn't use the on board flash when trying to get up close shots of the cats. Their eyes are just too big and reflective. Someone should make use of this feature and design something clever like, oh I donno.........cats eyes !!!

Anyway, I had to turn off the flash to get decent photos and with Delilah being by far the more friendly cat, I got her photos taken early in the afternoon with plenty of natural light coming in to the room. By the time Chester came out of the closet, so to speak, it was 7pm and the living room lights were on and so they affected the shots. I should have used the white balance settings to compensate but hey, I was, and am, still learning.

We had a lovely time and I even tried a new meal for me - gumbo. It wouldn't be on my Top 10 fav foods list but then I am kinda picky.

After supper we headed back to our campsite and we arranged to meet with the kids the next day for some shopping and a couple of meals. The location for the first of those meals was 'interesting' to say the least and another first for me................................

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