THE RETURN OF SHOULDER CAT...Eh, I never got around to auditioning on Canadian Idol. My mother didn't want me to embarrass myself. I can't say that I have an aversion to that, but I do have an on-again, off-again aversion to being in huge shoulder-to-shoulder crowds AND even though they said that they were guaranteeing that everyone who would show up would have a chance, I didn't want to wait in line for hours upon hours as though it was May 1999 again and I wanted to get to the (now-closed) Faubourg Sainte-Catherine Cineplex-Odeon cinema in downtown Montreal for 6 a.m. in order to wait 10 hours just to get tickets for one of the early Wednesday afternoon showings of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (which I did, though that was actually an exercise in redundancy as I managed to get midnight screening tickets to see the movie, in English, at the Cineplex-Odeon Carrefour-Dorion cinema without waiting in any kind of line) AND I managed to find other things I wanted to do this weekend, most importantly sleeping well into the afternoon.
I'm sure they'd have considered my performance bad, but not in the intentionally bad way I would have intended, just "boring bad" without any "train wreck" value that would make it worth putting it on the "Worst of" specials. The kind of bad when they'd just videotape over your performance after you're done rather than preserve it as the pinnacle of wretchedness.
Anyway, last week, my brother used Spring Break to visit his girlfriend in Toronto, but it would have cost too much to rent a car in which he could have brought along his kitten, Reginald (Reggie), so he just went by Via Rail and got me to make near daily trips to his apartment in eastern Ottawa just to "catsit", meaning I fed him and fussed him, and Reggie used me as a scratching and a biting post (just a little, not that much). But at least I got to play Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf on the Gamecube.
I swear, that cat can't seem to get enough out of climbing on my shoulders. And I mean, he jumps straight up from the ground. I don't put him up there. Our own cat, Ember, only did that once, the day we got her in 1996, and that was to gain my confidence, and I seem to remember that I was sitting on the carpet playing the Sega Genesis (presumably Dune). She never did the shoulder thing again and I can count the number of times that she voluntarily jumped on my lap with one hand (mostly for warmth during the week-long power outage after the 1998 ice storm).
Here Reggie is hiding behind my brother's TV unit, between a pile of VHS videotapes and the Nintendo Gamecube.
I like this shot, I caught him mid-meow.
Here he is climbing my leg. You can see that he's a long-haired cat, though I couldn't figure out the exact breed even using Wikipedia (probably a mixture).
And he's "shoulder cat" again, this time getting me just as I was about to leave.
He's like a furry black-and-white parrot.
His favourite perch, other than on my shoulders, seems to be on the radiator, especially on unseasonably cold days like we've been having in Ottawa this past week.
I think the shutter just snapped at an unfortunate moment, but Reggie looks really pissed in this photo. It looks almost like someone flattened his nose. (I don't know who that is on television in the background, I think it was a commercial.)
Reggie has a new favourite toy, the strap on my Kodak C643 EasyShare Digital Zoom camera.
And, finally, here I am fussing him. All-in-all, I had a cuteness-saturated week (topped off by my purchase of volume 3 of the Strawberry Marshmallow (Ichigo Mashimaro) manga, which I'm actually writing a review of since this volume really "pushes the envelope" in some respects).
In absolutely unrelated news, my Vancouver brother, John, was in a minor car accident the other day, when his Ford Mustang got slammed into by a minivan running a red light. He's okay, but the car, while still drivable, has significant damage to the passenger side door, which the minivan driver will have to pay for. I'd almost be willing to wager that the minivan driver a) was talking on a cell phone, and b) had a "Baby on Board" sign in the back.
I've taken quite a few pictures of Via Trains over the past week, which can be seen in Flickr in my Via Rail Trains set, but, since train photos always get me a couple of dozen views an entry, here are a few.
A Via Rail train with a General Motors F40PH-2 diesel locomotive in an unusual green livery, advertising the cellular telephone and communications company, Telus.
Another Via Rail General Motors F40PH-2 locomotive, this time in the usual yellow, silver, and blue livery, just pulling out of Ottawa Train Station on the way to Toronto.
Okay, not exactly a Via Rail train, but the Canadian National Railways #6200 steam engine on permanent display in front of the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
A Via Rail train with a General Electric P42 Genesis locomotive just out of Ottawa Train Station, passing by the OC Transpo St. Laurent bus yards on its way to Montreal. Taken from the St. Laurent Boulevard overpass (the Ottawa St. Laurent, not the Montreal one, duh).
And, last but not least, a very fine shot of another GE P42 Genesis locomotive cutting through the freshly-fallen March snow as it approaches Fallowfield station on the way to Toronto.