Haphazard Observations of the Everyday

And a little fiction by Miguela Holt y Roybal

Miguela Holt y Roybal

Miguela Holt y Roybal
New Mexico, USA
March 10
Monarch of All She Surveys
Miguela Holt y Roybal is my maiden name en Espanol. I am a retired schoolteacher and aspiring author looking for crumbs of beauty among the ruins. My novel has been a work in progress for longer than I care to admit. It is a postmodern pastiche of magical realism and about a young woman from New Mexico who goes to work in Washington, DC during the 1980s. She has been a longtime witness to the secret rituals of the Penitente culture in her home state and learns about herself and redemption as she sallies forth on her quest for novelty and adventure. I claim fair useage of images found on the internet that illustrate some of my posts. All contents copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.


Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 3, 2011 11:00AM

Black Cat on a Leash in the Snow: Photo Essay

Rate: 34 Flag

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The Shot I Didn't Get

I know that I am not the only shutterbug who laments the shots that got away.  My children have been trained to stop for mom to take her picture when I am around with the camera at various functions and at home; my pets not so much.

One image that I particularly wish I would have captured concerns my black cat Puddy Tatt who is strictly an indoor pet unless he can manage to sneak out.  It was on a snowy and serene morning like this a couple of years ago.  Puddy was sitting pretty on a table looking out of the window upon the yard covered in a blanket of snow.  There was a set of cat tracks that led from beaneath the window and away into the yard and looked like they might have been the imaginary paw prints of my cat's wishful thinking.  Of course, by the time I got my camera, Puddy left the scene.

Cold Cat on a Leash

We haven't had much precipitation in our region of late but snow is always exciting around our household.  This morning we didn't even get a full inch, but we were very pleased to see it.  My daughter wondered what the cat would think of the snow and I described the photo I had missed.  She said that if we found the cat's leash, she would take him outside.  No sooner said than done.  He was a little annoyed as she plucked him from the picture window to put on the harness and leash. 

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Pierre the poodle was looking on.  He knows what the leash is all about and was no doubt a little envious.

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Puddy was compliant for the most part but that looks like the stink eye to me.

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He made one last attempt at an escape.  But no .  .  .  Poor kitty was gathered up and taken outside.  This could be interesting, I am sure his little cat-mind thought.

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He was wondering if he could jump out of this girl's arm, but she put him down.

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Puddy took a few tentative steps and started shivering mightily and so he was brought back inside where he was warm and happy again.

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Usually Pierre has no trouble in the snow but he was shaved almost bare this week and needs to have his sweater on if he is to stay out.  The pooch prefers to be with the people so he came in when we did.

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Puddy Tatt found his place under the little Christmas tree where he would much prefer to play with a candy cane and dream about the out-of-doors where it is always June and sunny and he can gambol in the grass.

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How did you get that cat to eat a candy cane?
Try it again. I bet he likes it.
Puddy is a good sport.
Puddy is a beauty, Miguela.

Great story…great pix.

You might be interested in a thread of mine titled, “Leashes for Cats.” It is on page 7 of my blog. (Can’t put the link here, because for some reason they do not print out in full in the comments section.)
Tinkerbelle--He was just playing with the wrapper not eating the cane. lol

James--The snow has already melted!

Linnnn--Yes, he is a good sport and a very good cat. Normally, cats are not my favorite pet, but Puddy is a manx and comes when I whistle. He is like a strange little cat dog. Thanks for reading and for your comment!
Frank--Puddy is more beautiful in person than he appears in the pictures. He is a shelter cat and I tried to give him a fancier name but he would only come when we used his shelter name, so "Puddy" he is.

I definitely will be looking at your blog for helpful hints using the leash on him. Maybe Puddy will be more successful at it than his dog bro Pierre who takes ME for knee-skinning walks. Thanks!

Toritt0--Cats are that way, aren't they?. Get unconditional love from the dog. Thank you for stopping by.
This is an adorable post and pictures. Pierre looks exactly like a poodle I had. -R-
i am utterly amazed that the tree is still standing,
is my first reaction.
having had a black cat, i know their penchant
for household mayhem.

ha!wonder how pierre feels all shaved like that...
we used to get our poodle mix
shaved, and i was amazed
at the decrease in dog-
Are you kidding? That is a great photo--the first one of the cat, the snow and the cat-ctus!
James--Puddy can delicately remove the ornaments he likes from the tree. I have twice found a handmade felt clown in another room! Dog volume. That's a cute observation. Pierre gets taken to the groomer as a huge fluffy puppy and comes home looking like a skinny weirdo. This time the groomer messed up his head poof and he has a flat top. I swear he looks like a Dr. Seuss animal. Puddy rared up rampant, claws out, at him this last time. Didn't recognize the big white one.
mhold--I like your clever description of the first photo. It would really be cool to have the cat walking la-di-da on a leash since I can't get the dog to cooperate. Thanks!
Come on this is delightful ~R~
M. C. Sears--Your comment has me smiling from ear to ear. Thanks!
Stink eye? Ohhhh yes! He was not thrilled. But it looks like all is forgiven now that he's under the tree licking his candy cane. That, BTW, is the cutest cat photo I've seen in ages.
Chicken Maaan--You are only saying those things because you have excellent taste and it's true. Thanks ;D.
love these contrasts :) r.
I loved this photo essay - especially the last picture! And your pets' names! And this: "There was a set of cat tracks that led from beaneath the window and away into the yard and looked like they might have been the imaginary paw prints of my cat's wishful thinking."

But I have to say, I'm a little disappointed that our cat Ali isn't the only black cat who ventures outside now and then (for Ali, it's when he's at his "grandparents' " house in the countryside) with a leash! :-)

This was great fun. I'm glad Puddy Cat got to discover snow - and very glad for him that he could quickly come back inside where it's warm.
JonW--Thanks, for noticing the contrasts. I like contrast in art, literature, and friends! :D.
What lovely pets! Makes me miss ours who've gone on to the big cat and dog houses in the sky. Yes, definitely the stink eye in that one photo. I love your tree also.
That's a great shot of Puddy Tat in the window surrounded by plants...he does look content under the tree : )
Leashes for cats. Tried that once while driving across country, our cat let us know how much she hated that idea.
I love black cats -- they're different, I shall say.
Miguela, thanks for this wonderful photo essay! Black cats and white snow make for some great shots! The photo of Pierre reminds me of a litter of white kittens at my house in the '80s. Their white fur always looked slightly tan and not as white when compared with snow, but at other times of the year their white fur contrasted so brightly against other colors of nature.
ccdarling--Thanks for stopping by to admire my pets and Christmas tree. I am sorry that you are missing yours. They really are like little family members, aren't they? :D

Just Thinking--When you are a black cat's mistress, everyday is Halloween; that's how special they are. Puddy likes to find the prettiest and most special places to be so I just knew he would wind up under this tree. Thanks for reading and for your comments.
Designanator--A compliment from an artist like you means a lot. The animals never cooperate and so I didn't really get what I wanted. It would have been mean to keep the cat outside suffering while I was having fun taking pictures!

Pierre is not quite white. He is what they call champagne colored. He was groomed this week so he looks like a white beauty. At other times, he looks like a dingy dust mop. Thanks for stopping by. :D
That's some pretty strong stink-eye, and I'd hate to come between him and his candy cane. I wish I could master that look!
Bell--As a common recipient of "the look," I can attest that it is most effective. Thanks for reading and for your comment.
Kate--Tee hee. Ha Ha is just like "the cat in the adage" that Lady Macbeth taunted her husband with in that Scottish play.
I loved this story. But I am for letting cats out free. I know it is a brutal world. I know....
Zanelle-I know what you mean about the cat's lack of freedom, and I had the poor critter on a leash. The problem is that I am not really a cat person (although I have learned to adore Puddy) and I worry about germs excessively. Cats seem dirty to me because they get into things. I have to maintain a sick bed for Bob whose pet he really is and the cat in bed is kind of an area of contention. Pudster is allowed on the bedspread but not undercovers and not to sleep. Is that mean?
Aw. This made me miss my cats. Puddy looks like my Six, the Six-Toed Monster, who died in '09. Except for the number of toes. I hope he enjoys the snow--from the window.
LOL so cute.. The dog looks cold..:)
Sirenita--Guess where Puddy is? On the back of the chair looking out the window just as you suggested he might prefer to be. It is sad to lose a furry loved one. Was Six a manx? I have never counted Puddy's toes. I think I will.

Linda--Poor Pierre. He WAS cold but that didn't stop him from going in and out all day and demanding a piece of pepperoni everytime he came in. Such a spoiled boy! Thanks :D.
He's lovely. But I agree, he's got a wicked stink eye.=o)

"Oh, what I must put up with. And that dog willingly follows these humans outside into the cold. Do not bother me. I'll shall be with my candy cane."
Puddy looks just like my son's kitty, Isis. But I don't think Isis eats candy canes. That's adorable.

This is so sweet. I have one that adorns any place high up - the fridge, window sills etc so big brother does not get her. Cats really do amaze me at times - sometimes more then humans. Rated with a Jali Smile of course. :-)
No one can give you the stink eye like a black cat. ("If I just weighed another 40# you'd regret this moment.") Great shots AND you know Junior Brown.
Alysa--I hereby pledge to write down the names of commenters so I do not miss any like your great one from another black cat aficionado. Sorry, dear!

The phrase that you highlighted inspired the post and I really do feel bad about not letting him out. He longs for it and cries sometimes. That is why I bought him a leash.

When I let Pierre out this morning, Puddy tried to slink out but when he saw the snow, he did a cute little aboutface. Does Ali like the leash? This is a new experience for Puddy. Thanks as ever for your comment. I look for yours because your "friendship" means a lot to me. Again apologies.
Shiral--He's got "the look," but for the most part he is a sweet boy. Thanks for reading and commenting :D.

Stim--You must be the cat whisperer because I know that is what he thought!

Lezlie--I LOVE the name Isis and wish that Puddy's name was more, I don't know, more. When we got him from the shelter, we tried to rename him Faustus, Sherlock, Inky, Carlos. No way. He knew who he was--Puddy Tatt! No, I do not have a canary. Thanks, dear.
JALI17--Puddy has not figured out how to lord over us on high because I have too many knick-knacks around. He is very ginger and will figure it out like your pet did. Smiling back at you as I thank you for reading and for your comment.

Rodney--I agree. Puddy, if he weighed another forty pounds would be a black panther. He's a sweetie, though, if only we leave him alone. My daughter in the picture loves to hold him like a baby-- a posture he will allow no other family member but she gets the look when she finally puts him down. Junior Rocks! Thanks for all, Rodney
So sweet, great photos and lovely words
rated with love
Cats are so cool. I don't get why so many people don't like them. Guess they don't "know" them. He's a beauty and Pierre is cute, too (love the French name).
Puddy Tatt is gorgeous, reminds me of my cat Panther who I had to put to sleep in September. Tears. thanks for the photos.
Too cute! Congrats on the EP!
Oh my another cat person with the nicest things to say too. Cheers to you and your lovely pets.