Monday, November 26, 2007

There's One in Every Neighborhood

A few days ago, I was sitting on my couch with my back to the window, when I suddenly felt like someone was staring at me. I turned around and saw a brown tabby cat peeping through the window. As soon as she saw me looking at her, she started meowing loudly and insistently at me.

I've seen her around, wandering through my yard, sleeping on the soft top of my car, but this was the first time she had shown any interest in me. Not knowing whether or not she's a stray, and knowing that extremely cold weather had started, I decided I might as well offer her some food. She devoured the handful of dry food I gave her, then returned to the window and started yelling for more. Since I am very much a sucker, I gave her some more. She ate most of that food, then returned to the window to yell again. This time I decided to let her come inside, and I checked her over to see what kind of condition she was in. No sign of fleas, wounds, or starvation. Considering how at ease she was with me, I think it's safe to assume she's not a stray.

She wanted back outside very quickly (I guess she didn't like my living room... or maybe she didn't like the way my cat followed her around), and returned to sitting in the window like she owned it. After a while, she started yelling at me again. This time she was satisfied with a quick scratch on the head. I decided to call her Vivian.

Vivian was back in the window yelling at me the next day. This time I did not feed her. I don't think she needs me to feed her. I used to have a big gray cat named Gus who spent his days looking for suckers. One of my neighbors told me that there was a big gray cat she was feeding. She said he showed up at her door one day, meowing sociably at her, so she let him inside. It didn't take long to verify that this was my cat, who was very well fed by me, chatting her up for food.

Vivian returned the third morning, although I slept late and left the curtains drawn. When I pulled open the curtains, I was relieved to see that she wasn't in the window. Then I saw her, bathing herself in the sun at the top of my porch steps, looking for all the world as if she owned the place.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Popsicle Politician

Congressman Chris Murphy was camped out at Stop & Shop (near Wal-Mart) today, one of the coldest days we've had this season. I felt frozen just walking from my car to the store; I can't imagine how bad it must be standing around all afternoon.

He had a steady stream of elderly men talking to him. When I was at the Customer Service counter inside, one of the women working there started describing the frustrating phone call she'd just taken. She spent five minutes trying to give directions to someone coming from Wolcott to meet Murphy. The woman working at the store said she had never even heard of Chris Murphy before today, and still wasn't sure who he is.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Holiday Windows

Last year I took photos of some of the downtown store windows decorated for the holidays, but, for whatever reason, I never posted them to my blog. Over the next couple of weeks, window decorations will be going up. Here are some of the highlights from last year:

Friday, November 09, 2007

Art Thefts

One of the big news items for Waterbury this week was the arrest of Waterbury resident Diane Catalani, who, as it turns out, suffers from a mental illness which led her to steal art and artifacts from museums and other organizations. I was relieved to learn that she had the Goodyear bible that had been stolen from the Naugatuck Historical Society--when that theft occurred, I had assumed it would never be seen again.

Returning all the stolen items could get a little tricky. Museums routinely mark collection items with at least an identifying number, but if all you have is the number, the police will have no way of knowing which institution it came from. Some of the items may have been stolen from schools or churches which don't place identification marks on their collections, which will make things complicated.

The photo which ran in the newspaper, showing the artworks in police custody, made me cringe. The paintings were safer in Catalani's house. While I'm sure the police are treating the art as well as they know how, the photo showed the paintings leaning up against one another on the floor, without anything cushioning them from each other. I have years of training in how to properly handle artworks, which makes it painful to think of art being mishandled.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Voting Day

I cast my vote earlier this afternoon, although "casting" doesn't really describe the experience very well, thanks to the new system. I suppose I could say I filled in my vote. I've never really liked bubble sheets, but this wasn't too bad. Using the black felt pen was a little daunting--if I somehow made a mistake, I'd have to start all over with a new sheet. Maybe I should have tried that, to see what happens with the "bad" sheet.

The most memorable part was feeding the sheet to the machine, which sucks it in with a fair amount of power. I think I might have jumped back a little in surprise. Since this is the final act of voting, maybe the phrase should be that I fed my vote to the machine.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Willow Street Improvements

I've always liked the apartment building on the corner of Willow and Ridgewood Streets, but for the past however many years it's been boarded up and falling apart. I thought for sure it would get torn down, since it seemed to be in such bad shape. When I drove by it a couple weeks ago, I was delighted to see that it's being fixed up.