At the bottom on the left is an alphabetical list of the pages in this web site, to help you navigate if you feel so inclined.
A guide to our family photo album covering 1994-2010, showing the principal themes, is here.
A year by year guide to our family time-line from 1994 through 2007 is here.
A photo journal beginning in 2008 is here.
The most recent pages of the album, copies of posts from my WordPress family blog, http://ianstock.wordpress.com/, are linked here:
This is one of our sadder pages. Living in a redwood forest has its attractions, but also a drawback that we did not envisage when we moved here: predators. We've seen coyotes regularly, a fox or two and, increasingly, bobcats. The bobcats that we saw lounged across our garden with the look of kings, clearly conscious of being at the top of the food chain and not the least concerned about the people staring at them wide-eyed. Mountain lions have even been sighted in the area recently.
Needless to say, such concerns had no impact on Alban, a teenager, who did what he'd wanted to do and brought her home, so that Snip would no longer be lonely.
Pucci was one wild and crazy kitten. She played with everything and everyone, even Snip. The latter began by growling every time the kitten approached, but grew more playful herself as she accustomed herself to her new little pest.
Then, one day before she was a year old, she disappeared, as Mittens had before her. Alban won't be bringing another kitten to our home in the woods. There are predators here.
Snip (& Mittens)
This is Snip (we don't know the mouse), doing what cats are supposed to do. At least, it appears that she is doing what cats are supposed to do.
Unfortunately, although she is a fearless hunter, her principal prey consists of gloves, socks and shin guards. She knows where the gloves are kept, and will pull them out just to bring them to us. We are, of course, very appreciative. Although we have been obliged to acquire plastic boxes which close and lock the soccer and gardening gloves inside so that she cannot constantly find the easiest prey and bring it to us!
Mittens was our hunter. She brought in the mouse, not Snip. And here lies a problem with our cats. Cats are supposed to dispose of vermine in the house. Mittens brought the vermine in!
Mice, rats and moles inhabit the forest we live in (see our home). Until Mittens stumbled across them. She then felt compelled to bring them in to show us, although not as proudly as Snip still shows us her gloves!
Sadly, Mittens did not come back one morning in late 2006 from her nightly wanderings. Like Pucci, we don't know where she went . . . Like Pucci, we miss her.
We miss her little presents. Mitty was a loner, hunted effortlessly, and avoided looking us in the eye. We have very few pictures of Mitty looking at us. Below right is one, on the deck. Her eyes were almost never opened so wide.
Snip and Mitty came to us from Project Purr, a local SPCA-type organization, shortly after Banane, our first cat (see below), died. Sisters, they had been abandoned very young and then looked after briefly by human "foster parents affiliated with the organization until we came along.
Above, here they are in 2004 on the roof of the studio (or in-law cottage) that was Nick's room before he moved out and then Daphné's from the summer of 2006 on. They were not easy to distinguish physically, with Snip having a white spot on her nose and the end of her tail, and Mitty having white mittens on her paws. It was Charlie who christened her because of those mittens. Mitty is rolling over in the photo, and Snip behind her.
Personality-wise, Snip is social, hangs around us a lot, tended to bully her smaller sister and lacks some of the key feline skills. We have quite a few photos of Snip. Here and here are two photos of her doing what she does best, joining in.
On the left, another typical example of Snip doing her thing, in this case taking a drink of water. For some reason that we have not been able to fathom, they do not care to drink water from the bowl that we put out next to their food. Rather, they drink from vases, as Snip is doing in the photo on the left, or from other places where water can be found lying around in a house. Gross!
Charles and Alex appreciate having her around, in fact even our teenagers let their guard down for the cats. They all play with them and give them plenty of affection. On the left, Snip joins Charlie for an early morning lie in in 2005. Below, Alex scratches her chin in the sun on the dining room floor the same year.
Before Snip and Mittens came Banane, our little globetrotter, who moved from France to join us in Santa Cruz to in August 1999, when Nick and Tom returned to live with us again. She spent a good three years here, and loved the forest in which she is now buried. She died of old age, and came home to Alban's room to see us when she knew that she was on her way.
Banane, notre premier chaton . . .
D'origine de Malakoff, en banlieue parisienne, Banane nous a suivi dans la forêt de Rambouillet, et ensuite en Californie. Elle nous a quitté brusquement au printemps 2002.
Marie-Hélène a pris cette petite série superbe.
A droite, elle s'approche de sa proie . . . .
A gauche, la victoire arrive à celle qui la mérite !!
Fourteen years together, and we have shared four cats, but only one is still with us.
Listing of Pages in the Site
. . . with Alban