Monday, October 17, 2005

Demolition and Stray Cats

I finally got a couple of shots of The Ambassador Hotel from my 12th floor office Suite's window today, in between downpours. The demolition is well under way and I'm already lamenting its loss.

As recently as last week there were still two chimneys standing where the bungalows used to be in the lower left corner of the shot.
http://www.wilshirecenter.com/ambassador103.htm
I just hate it when historical buildings can't be saved. I've noticed that they are disassembling the building with great care though. Neat piles of roof tiles and brick and lumber.

I used to look down on the property and watch the feral cats, who at some point decided to make the Embassador thier home, wander around the grounds. There were always several paper plates with dry cat food just inside the chain link fence that borderes the sidewalk on Wilshire Boulevard. Some locals slipping them inside on a regular basis. I remember hearing something about the cats being rounded up before the demolition began and put up for adoption. I'm not sure what kind of pets they would become, being wild and all. I hope they found loving homes. I hope that they were adopted by those who recognized the patience and effort it would require to take them in.

Two of our own cats, Pumpkin and Jiggy were strays. Pumpkin started wandering into my yard about a little over two years ago. He was all big scraggly head on a scrawney body and a limp. At first I tried to discourage him from hanging around. Then I started feeding him. Pretty soon he was waiting for me in the back yard when I got home. He still wouldn't let me near him but he would follow me around in the garden on the weekends and eventually he came closer and closer while I fed him until he let me pet him.

He would finish everything in the bowl of food I'd give him. Like it was his last meal. Then I named him, Pumpkin, because he's orange. Then I'd leave the back door open and try to coax him inside. He didn't even know how to purr, or play. Now he purrs like mad and Jiggy taught him how to play. The first time he played with one of the cat toys on his own was a huge achievement. I watched him and marvelled and told him what a sweety pie he was.

Now he's a part of our family. And I tend to favor him when it comes to dolling out thier breakfast and dinner portions.

Well, we have a new cat that's been coming into the yard. I first saw him just a few weeks ago. He's a cutie. A black cat with white feet and white bands across his legs, a white patch on his chest that runs up his chin to just under his nose. It gives him a kind of crooked, scrunched up look like a Picaso painting. we first refered to him as LBWC (Little Black and White Cat) but have lately been calling him Picasso or Pico or Pica (if he's a she) or Peekaboo. He's missing the tip of his right ear but seems pretty well fed, especially now that he found our yard.

When I first saw him I thought he was just a new cat in the neighborhood and asked, as I always do, be it coyote or dog or cat, "Can we keep 'im?" the usual response from my husband is a subtle rolling of the eyes and a gentle "No, baby, we can't keep him". But I'm thinking that Pico will soon be as snug as a bug in a rug, like Pumpkin here, if I can help it.

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