I’m currently without pets – except for those I ‘adopt’ on my travels (the pets of friends and family).



Zora on the beach in France.

Fred the cat and Ishmael the dog. My new pet friends are bosom buddies!

My Past Pets

Ms Bella Muse

Bella belonged to our neighbors Joe & Jackie for twelve years. Bella was a great snow lover and lived out-of-doors, where in winter she could sometimes only be seen by the one grey circle on her back, grey earmarks, and her grey-and-white striped tail. She frequented the plump porch chairs of a variety of historic homes, and only took up residence as an indoor cat when the family moved away, and Bella discovered the benefits of radiant-heated floors and down-filled comforters (in Katherine’s studio at the Japanese house, see photo).

One of Bella’s favorite pastimes was seeking out dark-colored velvet chairs, dark Persian rugs and cashmere sweaters to leave white fur on. Her veterinarian observed that white cats always seek out owners who prefer to wear black. Bella agreed to stay indoors and be a Muse to Katherine’s forthcoming book.

Bella passed away in June of 2015 and is buried in the Japanese garden.

Tyger and Alfredo 

Tyger was abandoned in our woods and five years later Alfredo was abandoned in our ivy bushes. Both boys were adopted by Karl and Katherine at their residence in Virginia. Both agreed to become indoor cats.

Tyger was named for a William Blake poem and Alfredo was named for a bowl of fettuccine, which he resembled as a kitten.

Tyger & Alfredo loved fresh corn greens. They would wait until we returned from farmers’ market with fresh corn and then sit in the door of the refrigerator to have their snack.

Tyger went to Cat Heaven several years ago and is buried near the fish pond, one of his favorite places to watch our one fish (Goldie) and our one frog, (Calaveras). Alfredo Fettuccine preferred to leave the pet-empty house and live with our housekeeper and her brood of cats; he visits back home from time to time.

Below are photos of Tyger reclining his orange and black camouflaged body upon boldly-patterned backgrounds. Tyger’s two favorite pastimes were unpacking books (shown) and rearranging tax documents (no visuals available). Final photo: Tyger contemplating outdoor camouflage in autumn leaves.

Rosie the Rat

Rosie was the 13th rat in her litter. Mother rats have only 12 teats. Rosie was accidentally kicked in the eye and blinded. She lost her way in the maze. Then she became an addition to Karl and Katherine’s household.

Rosie’s breakfast preference while sitting on Karl’s shoulder each morning was banana nut bread. She could always detect if it was not fresh.

Rosie went to Rat Heaven in the year 2000, becoming a “Rangel” (Rat Angel) and she has been receiving gifts and good wishes as tributes, from rodent-devotées, ever since. Two of our favorite gifts:

Tootie (2D) the Cockatiel

Tootie was a gift to Karl from an admirer. Karl dubbed him “2D” because he resembled R2-D2 (the little grey robot in Star Wars) — and because Così fan tutte was Karl’s favorite Mozart opera. We called him “Tootie” for short.

Tootie would sit at the top of the drapery and sing along with any music that was playing. Two of his favorite sing-alongs were Totentanz by Franz Liszt and The Fire Down Below by Bob Seeger. When moving to Virginia, Tootie sang along with opera on the radio for 3,000 miles.