Leaves, My Breath and MuMu

Just Jump Up Here

I saw my breath yesterday morning. I got to wear my Steeler hoodie for the first time this season. When I took Maddie on our walk, we saw leaves on the ground. It’s coming. Autumn is coming. Given the hot dry summer that we’ve had, I think it’s going to come quickly. It might be a tough year for the leaf-peepers and the people whose livelihoods depend on fall-color-seeking tourists. This is New England, fall colors are an industry.

Stepping outside and instantly realizing that I needed to go back in for the hoodie was a pleasant surprise. It’s been so hot, for so long. It was 88 Thursday afternoon!

Maddie didn’t have to go out. I did. At least that’s the way it seems. By the time I roll out of bed around 6:15 am, Maddie has already taken care of business. These days, that requires a flashlight. But, we have a routine. Maddie is all about her routines. She coaxes me from the bedroom to the family room. I try to explain that I need to, um… get ready. Frustrated, she leaves the bedroom and returns with a toy, as if that will entice me to follow.

Here, I have a toy. Sit with me.

Once in the family room, we sit. OK, I kinda slouch. The couch is comfortable and slouch worthy. Maddie rests her head over one of my legs and life is good. Seriously, I could stay in that position as long as the coffee supply and my bladder hold out.

But not Maddie.

After about one or two minutes, she goes to the door. I have to go out. We often take Maddie out on a leash. The yard is fenced, but she has issues. She seems to like the leash. It’s part of the routine. She drags me around the perimeter of the yard, and back to the porch steps. That’s it. We’re done. I wipe her feets and we go inside and back to the couch. This time, we will stay on the couch until something startles her, you know, the paper guy, the wind, a neighbor’s car door, all the rage-worthy sounds that suburbia has to offer. I read a lot of your blogs at this point. Likes and typo-laden-comments are the hallmark of a weekend morning with me.

Yesterday, we had a visitor. MuMu.

MuMu is the shy-kitty half of MiMi and MuMu. MiMi is the nut-job-adventurous half. MiMi is boisterous but quiet. She barely has any voice. It was years before we heard more than a tiny squeak from her. MuMu is loud. If we had named them the other way, we could have had a screaming-MiMi cat, but no such luck. MuMu screams to be brushed. She’s been brushed. She was brushed before Maddie went out the first time. Still, she screams. I scratch her. The brush requires getting up, and neither I nor Maddie want me to do that. MuMu moves. She stands just a few millimeters out of reach and meeeeeerrrroowwwws to be scratched. Unable to reach the cat, I reach for my camera. MuMu runs.

This scene plays out over and over.

Yesterday, MuMu stayed within reach. Maybe it was the weather. She let me scratch her for a long time and she kept hinting that she wanted to get on the couch with me and Maddie. I encouraged that. The photo barrage at the top is about half the pictures I snapped while trying to sweet-talk MuMu into joining us. Maddie is getting jealous of my scratching. If I stretch both arms in opposite directions, I can barely get three fingers on MuMu’s head and three from the other hand on Maddie’s butt.

Come on up MuMu” softly. Say it loud and she bolts. When she runs, Maddie chases and all hell breaks loose. “Come on, you can make it, come on…” First the front paws, then the cat. MuMu is heavy isn’t light as light as MiMi. She only stays a moment. Maddie moves and MuMu flees.

Yeah, that's what I meant
Yeah, that’s what I meant

As your posts are read, your pictures reviewed, my comments made with ‘do’ vs. ‘so’ and ‘thd’ instead of ‘the’ and ‘Besutigul’ and other words my phone thinks make sense, Maddie gets up and cries at the chair that holds her harness. We walk her in a harness. Irish Setters have a shape that lets them back out of leashes easily. Maddie can actually back out of her harness. I double-up, leash and harness. Belts and suspenders as a friend of mine used to say. Off we go to explore the park.

Lots of pictures today. Some from my perimeter check with Maddie, some from our walks, and finally, in response to great customer demand, some of MuMu. I included one of MiMi, but she really didn’t care.


  1. Great pictures. I loved the cloud reflection image. On this side of the planet in Mumbai the rain has finally given up and the sun has come out today. We had 4 months of rainfall this year and the last week was getting on my nerves. Now Autumn is here, maybe few minor spells of rain may occur, but it’s gonna be hot again before the winter sets in. I will miss the green grass and lush mountains and hills, but I have no issues. Every season has a different experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sharukh, Most of the people who live in New England will tell you that they enjoy the four seasons, even the ones who winter in Florida. I like Autumn the best.

      How cold does it get during winter there?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In Mumbai, honestly there’s just one season – Summer. However, it rains from mid-June to September/October. The winter crawls in mid-December and since we are near the equator, there’s hardly any cold. For us winter is like 14 degrees Celsius (somewhere between 50F and 60F). As per your standards this is not even close to winter, I believe. New Delhi, the capital city experiences harsh winter of sub zero temperatures and people die of cold there. I stay just outside Mumbai perimeter, so Vasai provides great winter experience. There are no tall buildings here, it has vast open spaces, mountains so the climate here can be chilly, but a light sweatshirt is good enough to keep you comfy.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely, not so say besutigul. My favourites are the puddle and the close-up of Maddie’s head. Bestia is also built so as to easily back up from the leash if he wants to, so we have to be careful to have him in front of us at all times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. We try to keep Maddie ahead of us. However, she has a habit of spinning around when she’s startled, and suddenly you’re looking straight at her. That’s how she got out of the harness. She spun around and then got down with her front paws stretched out and the harness slipped right off.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It really has been a long, hot, humid summer here too. Autumn and spring are always fleeting, but I’m afraid that this time, I’ll miss it if I blink. Hope I’m wrong.
    Sweet MuMu… Crystal is a loud mouth too. Similar about standing just an inch out of reach.
    Have a marvelous Monday. =^-^=

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. I hope we get to experience a real Autumn, it’s my favorite season. The standing just out of reach is so annoying, but I’m sure Crystal is a cutie, too. The things we put up with. Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Finally a picture collage of kitty faces :) They’re so tiny compared to my beast affectionately known as Theo.

    I liked the sound of your weekend morning – a slow easy start with fur faces :)
    Winter is coming, so I’m trying to enjoy every minute of this weather while it lasts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne. Normally, I have pictures of MiMi and Maddie. This was a rare treat from MuMu, so I just kept snapping away. She is a sweetheart, but she’s such a fraidy-cat that I rarely get her picture. I do enjoy the slow start to the day, after Maddie takes me outside, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mumu has such a sweet face! How can you resist that face, especially when she’s screaming for attention? Gibbs has taken the other route…he cries pathetic little “poor me” meows. Whatever way we can get attention, they think…

    Thanks for sharing your weekend morning routine, Dan. It sounds pretty relaxing – laying on the couch, petting the critters, going for a walk and coffee. Good stuff! It’s a very cool day here, high only about 60. The same for tomorrow, then it slowly warms up. My friend and I were commenting Saturday, as we went for a walk, that we love the smells of autumn, of the leaves and crisp, cool air. If this were “winter,” I could most definitely handle it for six months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary – MuMu is a sweetheart. She gets brushed, first thing by the Mrs, each and every day, but she cries like “it’s been months since I’ve been brushed!” Then I brush her and no hair ends up in the brush. But, she loves it, so, what else can we do?

      The weekend routine is pretty easy. I could sleep in for another hour or two, but then I’d miss the quality time with the girls.

      If you can arrange for fall to take over from winter, I’d be willing to give it a try. I do like to see some snow, but I love autumn.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. the two girls are sisters, but they act like total opposites. MiMi is such a nut job. Sometimes, MuMu watches her and you can see her thinking “what’s wrong with that girl?” They both wish Maddie was nicer to them. Maddie is getting better, but she’s a hunter at heart, and she can’t seem to resist chasing the cats if they move too fast.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the puddle picture, and the fast forward shot :)
    Animals and their morning and night pettings, they must surely be more alike than different, because we have similar situations and jealousy here.
    I hate being up early on a Monday morning, but today it’s raining and it’s cool and I’d hate to miss it. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked those two photos. I like them, but I’m never sure if they just appeal to me. From what I read in comments and other blogs, our pets must have read the same book on the care and feeding of humans. Still, I wouldn’t give them up for nothin. I prefer being up early, but it’s easier when it’s cool. This summer, we had a few mornings when the first trip out with the pup took us into hot and yucky air.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That headline had me worried for a second, Dan. Thought it was a post about halitosis. O_o

    Anyway, great pics, as usual. I sometimes think the main benefit of pets is that they get people outside to look at nature once in a while. Not saying that YOU need the excuse, but many people do.

    Maddie and MuMu are one cute pair, no question. One wants you to go out, the other wants you to stay put — and who can say no?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul. I have a ton of pictures of early morning flowers, clouds and sunrises and sunsets that I’d never have if it wasn’t for Maddie. Their demands are minor by comparison to most others I interact with, and they give back unconditional love.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Maddie helps me to see many beautiful sunrises. My employer helps me to see the rest of them, but they don’t seem as peaceful. We’ve had tuxedo cats for over 25 years now. I’m guessing we won’t ever be without them.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great pics today, Dan! It sounds like despite the nearly 1000 miles between us, our weather is somewhat in sync at the moment. The morning you saw your breath, I got up to frosty roof tops… then promptly went back to bed because of them. Hey, there has to be SOME perks to cold weather, right?

    And speaking of lousy autocorrect, apparently “r-o-o-v-e-s” is not an acceptable word. Incensed, I had to look this up and must admit to being somewhat angered that some numbskull has decided that “r-o-o-v-e-s” (it just WON’T let me type it here!) is now considered an “outdated spelling”. *snorts* No thank you, Internet. I’ll stick with the Queen’s English and leave the ghetto-speak to those who reside there. “Roofs” indeed! xP

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wendy. I will draw an even thicker equal sign between you and my wife. She’s not a fan of the “accommodation of stupidity” that modern language allows :) I’m not sure if those are her exact words, but…

      I’m not sure I’ll mention “outdated” to her. There might be a “shoot the messenger” dynamic going on ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. One dog and two cats – you are a brave man. :-) I heard today a friend from Arizona is coming to see the leaves over Columbus weekend. I tried to explain the number of leaf peepers New England gets that weekend and how the roads are on Friday and Monday. And, it sure is going to be an interesting color season this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you look carefully, MiMi (in the cradle) has one long white sock. MuMu has two short socks. There’s a weight difference too. MiMi is about 6lb, MuMu is 10, but she’s sweet.


  10. I liked many of your Maddie photographs and the story about her needing walked on a leash in a fenced in yard.
    The photo of flower with the bumblebee is really pretty.
    I like the way you distinguished the two cats differences in purring, Dan. Your sleeping Mimi photo is adorable! So sweet seeing you encourage Mumu to get up by Maddie. :)
    I make a lot of typos on my phone also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robin. I know it’s just a bunch of cat photos, but it’s a rare event for MuMu to stay close enough when I’m taking pictures. The phone works better that my camera. The infrared focusing light scares her. I’m glad you enjoyed these.


  11. The reflection in the puddle image is awesome! The images of you and Maddie in your spot on the sofa, and Mumu…priceless!

    Oh I hope you get Fall colors! It’s already starting here. I need to get out on a walk around the “hood” and make some pictures and collect leaves for painting soon! Even my Ginko tree is turning! It’s usually the last on the street to change and drop leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. I was worried that the neighbors were wondering what I was doing at that puddle. It was early in our walk and Maddie was like a bored toddler.

      I hope I’m in the office for the color change there. They planted trees that drop their leaves very fast. Some years, fall only lasts about a week.

      I hope to see some of your photos of west coast color.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is the best cat post ever. (Sorry Maddie, I know you were in it but MuMu stole it.) It is icing on the cake that you, Dan, are an animal lover.

    I have a love/hate relationship with our Tuxedo, Kamala. She exhibits many of the same traits of both cats, but she is, SERIOUSLY, out to get me. Thankfully Mitchell knows I would never hurt an animal so when I threaten her after one of her attacks he agrees we should do whatever-I-suggested. I am an insomniac. She knows this about me. She is the smartest damn cat ever. And I’ve been so beat lately — not sleeping — that I’ve been falling asleep at 8pm. Mitchell gets up to listen to a course on architecture he is taking — or history — and she waits until I am completely in dream land then comes up close to my ear and screams as only a Siamese or tuxedo can. *explitives* So today, my threat is that I am taking her to the studio and every time she falls asleep I am hollering next to her. HMPF!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MuMu likes to visit us at about 3:00 am. She purrs (heavy motoring) and she meows and she stands just out of reach until you wake up and move to scratch her. Then, when you stop, she comes up on the pillow where she bumps and drips, and pats me with her paw if I ignore her.

      I wouldn’t hurt her, but sometimes….


  13. it seems that both of us had to wear jackets when walking the dogs… Fall is finally arriving here too, and I am slowly getting a routine set up with the puppy so I can get some of my life back!
    sorry to have missed the last few blogs I will have time this month to catch up… Jo

    Liked by 1 person

  14. OMG I howled had to wipe my eyes and laughed until my bladder spoke. Dan, your sense of humor and what I KNOW animals will do had me in stitches. Can you imagine my excitement when I actually get a good pic of one of my cats? And while we are on the subject can you imagine what happens when I bend down to pet one cat? I am instantly surrounded on all sides with cats vying for that ONE hand so then I get two hands in the game and still that is not enough while the back now starts talking and complaining. Then one of my feet get involved and of course I can only use one for I need the other to stand. I don’t think 6 hands would do it some days. And to command a cat? Are you nuts? Don’t you know cats do not take commands and in fact will do just the opposite of what you want? Hysterical post!! And another pee bladder breaking point came when I laughed at the long shadows picture. Poor Maddie. And you of course. Neither one of you have a chance with cats around. And that spell check, I KNOW that one! What happened to the days I could spell what I wanted without the stupid spell checker correcting me and still getting it wrong? LOVED this post!! Bless you for the laughs. Now I have to use the lady’s room. Thank you! <3

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks Amy. That’s all high praise coming from such a cat lover. I know you’ve been through all these things and more. They are crazy, but they wiggle their way into our hearts and we’re hooked for life. Maddie and I are 2nd tier, but, being the only male in the house, I think I might be a bit lower in social status.


  16. Love the puddle shot but the “Well?” photo of MuMu made me laugh out loud. I wonder if you will slip back into summer weather or if this is the permanent transition? We’ve had weird transitions this year with 40 degrees one day and 13 the next last Autumn. (That’s Celsius, btw.) We’re now in Spring and it still can’t decide if it wants to be warm and pleasant or freezing and hailing.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. For the life of me , I couldn’t figure out what : ” I saw my breath today ” meant , until I read on a bit and it all came clear . [ Having , perhaps, smelled , but never seen my breath here in southern Cal ]. I guess I forget that there are colder regions .

    Liked by 1 person

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