19th October 2022

Toby is my blogging assistant.

It isn’t really awfully convenient, but this is where he likes to sit for a good portion of the day.

This morning I even gave in and found a piece of blanket for him, abandoning the idea of ever using the desk for my keyboard.

Toby is so terribly frail and this past year he has become quite needy which is unusual in a cat.

He first came to live with me after I lost Panther, eight years ago. I welcomed him like all the others and he settled in comfortably with my motley gang that were quite used to seeing new faces arrive from time to time.

Toby’s was a fine face. He is very handsome and he was what I would call a confident cat. Not given to fleeing from strangers or noises.

He seemed happy to live with me, without needing to make me “his person” in the way Panther had.

You always know when a cat has bestowed this honour upon you.

Last year, Toby went off his food for a while and a visit to the vet was inconclusive. Expensive tests may have provided an answer but we would not subject an elderly cat to surgery, so it was pointless.

Toby got some IV fluid and anti-nausea medication and gradually, he came back from the brink.

After that episode, perhaps I deliberately lavished more attention on him, or maybe he felt the need for it.

He is always hungry and we feed him on demand, so maybe it was simply that.

Whatever the case, Toby spends quite a bit of time with me now, often bumping my hand with his head for me to pet him.

When I hold the keyboard in my lap, Toby often reaches down to touch my fingers as if encouraging me to fondle his ears.

It’s hard trying to see around and over a cat and attempting to type as he pokes me, but I simply cannot lift him off and place him elsewhere as all too soon I know he will no longer be here.

How often have I wished for one more moment with a pet I have lost? Sometimes pets die unexpectedly or leave long before their time.

So Toby gets whatever he needs and I cherish each moment when I put my forehead against his, tickling his ears..


September 2014. A much younger Toby.

Hopefully, my photographs have captured the progression of Fall.

A couple of days ago I suggested that there were five stages to this astonishing spectacle, but I’m beginning to think there are more.

Often a sudden storm will accelerate the latter stages, bringing most of the leaves down in a rush.

While I hear that snow has arrived significantly in the mid-west, so far we’ve had only a little rain and this Fall has had more stages than usual.

On Sunday we pointed the car in a different direction.

The road which takes us out to the state route runs up to stables. We think this may be where His Nibbs is from.

There is a coyote about, so I hope he watches his step.

Our excursions are never very long, but Sunday was particularly productive, starting with the tiny pond at the bottom of our road.

It was a good day for reflections.

White-barked trees look especially lovely high-lighted by the leaves behind. I think they are birch but aspen is very similar so I just call them ghost trees.

Today I discovered that one can be allergic to birch.

Maybe that’s why nose and eyes are itchy!

The canopy is thinning out.

As much as I love trees in leaf, I also love the delicate tracery of their nakedness .

Some trees enjoy the space to fully express themselves. This one was a stunner.

Sunday, but not a soul in sight.

Although, when we stopped briefly so I could get out, I waved at a FedEx delivery truck.

Accidentally, I turned this into black and white. Perhaps it emphasizes the beauty of the bare branches.

But I like the almost metallic shine of the leaves

The Moon likes to be included.

A lot of our trees are very tall.
How about a jigsaw puzzle of this?

Are you fed-up with this yet? Because there’s quite a lot more. I’m trying to post pictures that are not too much like those I put up previously, although I’ll confess I can’t exactly remember them all.

10 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. I never tire of them, Carolyn. Keep them coming as long as you can. As beautiful a state as Virginia is, I’m in awe of all the beauty in your upstate New York “neck of the woods”, as they say.

  2. Having a good and interesting blog assistant is always very handy to (help you) write a beautiful post.

  3. Now Ollie is old, and changing into a slow and needy dog, I feel the same way about him as you do about Toby. I can’t deny him anything, and he gets extra attention whenever possible. Sometimes, we speak about life without him when he is gone, but that is too upsetting to contemplate.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Yes. It’s very hard. I know from the way you write about Ollie how deeply you feel. Just remember that he has been blessed to have such a loving owner.

  4. I wouldn’t mind a blogging assistant like Toby. One can definitely see that the leaves are starting to get less … but it’s still a lovely sight! And I agree, I ❤️ your ‘stunner’ tree – wow, so beautiful! And thank you, but I think I’ll skip that jigsaw puzzle! No, not fed-up at all … you can always ask your assistant whether you have used similar photos before … but he looks quite tired towards the end of your post!

  5. I know you will take loving care of Toby as he nears the end of life. Years ago we had a 20+ year old cat who was approaching his end. The local vet and my husband and I were in tears as we said goodbye to our loving friend.

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