Thursday, December 25, 2008

Cats and Art

First, some cat-shaped jewelry that I saw at a local mall:

Cat earrings

Next, a picture I took this past week of my old friend Pinocchio, who lives at a shopping center on the other side of town and is cared for by a man who owns a frame shop there:

Pinocchio with pictures

She’s got a flair for a good pose, Pinocchio does. She’s also so popular that I’ve had to wait on line to pet her.

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.


It’s that time of year, so...

Lights. We got lights.

Just a few blocks away from where I live, at a local yeshiva, lots of them:


And my own lights for the holiday:

Hanukkah 2008, fourth night

Happy Hanukkah!

And to all my Christian readers, a very merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sub Feline

A few days ago, for the first time, Her Ladyship jumped into my lap for a cuddle.

Cuddling with Her Ladyship

An acquaintance of mine had a term for this: sub feline—Latin for "underneath a cat." If one was sub feline, one did not have to answer the phone or the door. Other members of the household would do that... until they found themselves beneath a cat as well.

A few minutes after this photograph was taken, Her Ladyship decided that cuddle time was over and went off to take care of various catly affairs. But oh, it was nice to be sub feline for a little while.

Caroling with a Twist

Courtesy of a co-worker, here’s a hilarious video of the male a-cappella group, Straight No Chaser of Indiana University, singing their version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

There’s a particular hoot at 1:22. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I’m Hiding!

Seen on my neighbor’s terrace the other day: a neighbor cat, hiding among the plants. I see you, little torbie kitty, I see you!

I'm hiding!

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

The Secret Key

Seen on a railing near the bus stop a few nights ago, I give you: the secret key.

The secret key

As a bonus, some passion fruit on the vine:

Passion fruit on the vine

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Two Friends

My friend’s cats, Her Ladyship and Missy, are dear friends of mine. I enjoy taking pictures of them, and they seem to like it, or at least to tolerate it.

Here is Her Ladyship as an apolitical kittycat. That’s outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaking on television several weeks ago as she dozes.

Apolitical cat

Next, here is Missy, wonderful kitty model that she is:

Missy the model

I may have missed the Friday Ark this week, but the Carnival of the Cats will be up at Mog’s.

Haveil Havalim

The current edition of Haveil Havalim is up at Shiloh Musings.

There are lots of gems, but this one stood out for me: The Jewish Writing Project.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Mumbai Chabad House: A Tribute Page

Israel National News has a tribute page to the memories of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rebbetzin Rivkah Holtzberg... who, we now know, was six months pregnant when she was tortured and murdered by Islamic terrorists in Mumbai.

Islamic terrorists who, together with all the other atrocities that they committed, deliberately and cold-bloodedly targeted the Chabad House and its occupants for slaughter for no other reason than that they were Jews.

Approximately twenty years ago, back in the US, I worked at a radio station. In a conversation, one of my fellow employees staunchly maintained that antisemitism was dead. I argued that it was very much alive.

I wonder what my former co-worker thinks about it now.

Twenty Years On

Although I wasn’t there when Women of the Wall started twenty years ago, on Rosh Hodesh Kislev in 1988, I was all for it.

Shortly after I made aliyah at the end of 1991, I joined.

A lot has changed since then. Women’s tefilla groups, which encountered a great deal of criticism and opposition when they first began (some still do), have moved into the mainstream. Orthodox congregations known as “partnership minyanim,” in which women lead certain sections of the prayer service, speak before the congregation and receive aliyot to the Torah, have become popular. So I suppose that the idea of a women’s tefilla group at the Western Wall doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore, which is fine with me. But twenty years ago, it was.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler, who wrote such groundbreaking works as Women and Madness and Letters to a Young Feminist—and who speaks out fearlessly against world jihad and antisemitism—recalls WOW’s beginnings twenty years ago and traces our history at Jewcy: The Women of the Wall, Twenty Years On.

And the photo accompanying the article? That’s me facing the camera when we read Torah in the women’s section of the Kotel several years ago—on my birthday, as it turned out. Yes, we read Torah legally at the Western Wall, not once but several times, and nothing happened. Not a peep, not a squeak—or, as I said in Yael Katzir’s documentary about our group, Praying in Her Own Voice, we read Torah at the Kotel and the stones didn’t come crashing down. The only negative consequences, if one can call them so, were that two women approached us afterwards, peacefully, in order to express their disagreement. That was all.

Unfortunately, though, the peace and quiet didn’t last, thanks to an opponent of ours who, several months later, came from her home in a coastal city specifically in order to make trouble. What a pity. We’d had something beautiful there, and she—or whoever sent her—had evidently felt so threatened by it that she, or they, had to destroy it. My account of what happened that day is here.

Well, while I’m on the topic... many times, when people ask me about our monthly prayer services, one of their questions is: “But don’t you get chairs thrown at you?”

The answer is no. Although it happened at first, it doesn’t anymore—and in any case, the old metal chairs were replaced with much lighter and cheaper plastic ones long ago. Our prayer services are just the way I like them: quiet, uneventful and even a little dull (I’m allowed to say that, since I lead most of them!). The only times when there has ever been any “action” at our services have occurred when people came deliberately in order to make trouble. Incidentally, we could always spot the troublemakers in advance, even before we began our services—but that hasn’t happened in a very long time.

The vast majority of the time, WOW’s prayer services garner about as much attention any other women’s tefilla group or, for that matter, as much as the local minyan down the street... which is as it should be.

(Oh, and Phyllis Chesler’s anti-jihadi work? She knows exactly what she’s talking about—she's been there. Go here and read her riveting account about how she escaped from Afghanistan in the 1960s.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Since I am sick and home from work today, I could hear the car that goes around periodically in my neighborhood, announcing various events through loudspeakers. Usually these events are of Haredi interest, but today the announcement was for everyone:

“Funeral services for the holy martyrs, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivkah, will take place on the Mount of Olives at three o’clock this afternoon. Let the whole House of Israel mourn the conflagration that God has kindled” [Leviticus 10:6].

My throat hurts terribly and I can barely speak. I don’t think it’s just because I have a cold, or whatever bug happens to be going around.


Seraphic Secret.

They say it much better than I can.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Slivers of Light, Washes of Clouds

Diagonal slivers of light above the windows, beneath a Jerusalem sky:

Slivers of light

The following pictures were taken at a single location.

Psalm 121 (JPS translation):

I turn my eyes to the mountains;
from where will my help come?

Clouds 3

My help comes from the Lord,
maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot give way;
your guardian will not slumber;
See, the guardian of Israel
neither slumbers nor sleeps!

Clouds 2

The Lord is your protection
at your right hand.
The sun will not strike you by day
nor the moon by night.

Clouds 1

The Lord will guard you from all harm;
He will guard your life.

Clouds 4

The Lord will guard your going and coming
now and forever.

* * *

I add my prayers for the victims of the terror attacks in Mumbai. May the wounded have a complete recovery, and may all those whom the terrorists are still holding hostage soon be released unharmed.

And may any surviving terrorists meet with swift justice.

Rabbis are asking that we recite Psalm 20 for the rabbi of Mumbai’s Chabad House—known locally as Nariman House—and his wife: Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma and Rivka bas Yehudis, together with all those still being held captive.

Friday Cats: Praying for Mumbai Edition

Three cats hang out on Agrippas Street in downtown Jerusalem.

Cats on Agrippas Street 2

I add my prayers for the victims of the terror attacks in Mumbai. May the wounded have a complete recovery, and may all those whom the terrorists are still holding hostage soon be released unharmed.

And may any surviving terrorists meet with swift justice.

Rabbis are asking that we recite Psalm 20 for the rabbi of Mumbai’s Chabad House—known locally as Nariman House—and his wife: Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma and Rivka bas Yehudis, together with all those still being held captive.

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday Cats

Here’s an assortment of kittypics from this past week.

A black cat on a cool wooden roof:

Sky high

A black cat on the ground. I’m not sure it’s the same one as in the previous photo:

Black kitty poses

Blue eyes, blue sky:

Blue on blue

The same cat, on the ground this time:

Pretty girl poses

(I’m not sure what breed she is. Her fur looks too long for a Siamese, but too short for a Himalayan. Anybody got any ideas?)

A torbie on a wall:

Torbie on a fence

I think that if I need to rent a car, I’ll go with this company. I really like their hood ornaments!

Hood ornament 1

(Seriously, the pic above was taken just a short distance away from the torbie on the stone fence. Maybe they’re related.)

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats. And the Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos will be up at Mog’s this week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I took this photo about two and a half years ago, but I’m running it again, just because.


(Larger version available here.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Further Adventures in Citizen Activism

Some time ago, I posted about one of the buildings where I work, and how I finally managed to get them to remove their big, ugly, illegal ashtrays by submitting a complaint to the municipality.

The smoking problem there had also improved, but after the holidays it was worse. Much worse.

So I got out my film camera again—I still have to post the story of how I got it—and started taking pictures of the cigarette butts on the floor and in the planters. I downloaded the complaint form from the Hebrew-language website for anti-tobacco action, Avir Naki (Clean Air), filled it out, had the photos developed and headed back to the municipality.

Several days later, I got a call from the police. “We would like to set a date with you to tour the building,” they told me. “We’re about to fine the management.”

I told them, “I’m not willing to do that. Can you imagine what the people over there will think, to see me touring the building with two police officers in uniform? If you really want to know what’s going on over there, I’d suggest that you send over some plainclothes officers to hang out there for a while. They’ll see everything they need to see. You don’t need me to show you.” They agreed, saying that they’d get back to me later.

While I was at work later that same day, I felt hungry and decided to go to the cafeteria to buy a plate of vegetables. (I go to the building cafeteria, on average, once every several months.) When I approached the woman at the cash register to pay for my food, she looked at me with loathing and said, “We were fined five thousand shekels because of you.”

I was taken aback. So quickly? I thought. Aloud I asked her, a bit pointedly, “Because of me?”

“Yes,” she said, “because of you.” I kept looking her straight in the eye, and she amended, “Because you told on us and took pictures here.”

“It wasn’t because of me, but because of your own behavior,” I said. “I had spoken to you about it for more than a year, and you wouldn’t listen. What was I supposed to do?”

She didn’t answer that, choosing to say, instead, “You told on us, and you come here to buy food?”

“As I have every right to do,” I said.

“You’re an evil woman,” she said. “But you can be happy now, because we’ve been fined.”

“I don’t think I’m evil,” I said, “and I’m not rejoicing over your being fined. But you knew the law and you chose to break it. That’s your responsibility, not mine.”

At the Train Station

Here are some pictures from the Tel Aviv University railway station, taken when I was there late last week.

Cell phone battery almost gone? Recharge here, for a fee:

Coin-operated charging unit for cellular telephones

A close-up of the machine and the various plugs for the various kinds of cellular phones:

Coin-operated charging unit for cellular telephones

An ad for the Israel Merchant Marine. Join and see the world!

Ad for the Israel Merchant Marine

The train station itself, looking toward the Tel Aviv skyline:

Tel Aviv University train station

This photo has a story to go with it. As I was busy snapping pictures of the Tel Aviv skyline through the arch, I saw a young man walking toward me. I put down the camera for a few seconds, waiting for him to pass by. Instead, he got right in my face and starting shouting at me in bad, heavily-accented English: “Don’t you dare picture me! I’m a famous actor! Don’t you dare picture me!”

I thought to myself, If you’re so famous, what are you doing taking the train instead of traveling by limo? Aloud, I said, “I was taking pictures of the skyline through the arch. See?” As I showed him the view, I added, “I wasn’t trying to take any pictures of you. I don’t even know who you are.”

“Show me,” he said in a challenging tone. I was only too glad to do so, thinking—and perhaps hoping—that it would annoy this self-centered jerk even more to see that I was telling the truth, and that my photos weren’t about him at all.

I showed him the photos I had taken so far. He pointed to one and said, “I see myself here. Don’t you dare picture me! Give me the camera! Give it to me, or I will call the police!”

I thought for a moment of telling him that he was welcome to do so, or of calling security and telling them that this weirdo was trying to steal my camera. But since he hadn’t made any physical move toward me, I decided that he really was distressed, for whatever reason, about having his face in one of my photographs. So I said, “Look, I’ll delete it right here, while you watch.” I did so as he looked on. “See? It’s gone.” He walked away.

After taking a few deep breaths, I followed him to where he was standing among a small knot of people. Looking him straight in the eye, I told him calmly: “I perform professionally too, and there was no reason for you to behave the way you did. If you wanted me to delete the picture, all you had to do was ask. I was polite to you; you were rude to me.”

And I walked away. Behind me, I could hear his response, formed of supreme intelligence:

Wot-evair. Wot-evair.

Soon after that, a train arrived. I snapped this picture quickly, then got on.

Clock and train

After an uneventful ride, I arrived in Jerusalem in mid-morning. Here is the end of the Jerusalem railway line, with the hills and and sky in the distance:

End of the Jerusalem railway line

Friday Felines

Here are a bunch:

First of all, Her Ladyship’s baby blues—healed.

Beautiful baby blues

Next, some members of the cat colony at work. (More feline symmetry! How on earth do they do it?)

Monochrome cat colony

A treat in orange and green. (I didn’t go closer to the fence for fear that this orange-and-white beauty would run away.)

Orange, white and green

Finally, some graffiti from downtown:

Graffiti in downtown Jerusalem

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Miriam Makeba, RIP

Miriam Makeba, the well-known South African singer, died last Sunday, November 9, 2008, aged 76. She collapsed while giving a concert, which turned out to be her last.

The only song of Makeba’s that I knew, “Pata Pata,” was a part of my childhood. At both Jewish summer camps that I attended, it was a staple in the folk-dance repertoire, and even the efforts of our head counselor to remove it from our customary Friday night Israeli dancing eventually failed. We just liked it too much.

I still remember that 45-RPM recording with its strong opening notes. (Heck, I still remember the dance!)

As fate would have it, “Pata Pata” was the last song that Makeba ever sang.

You can listen to the original 1967 recording here.

I never knew Miriam Makeba, but she gave joy to my childhood. May she rest in peace.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Warning: Rant Ahead

A little while ago, I got an email that read, in part:

I’ve had your link posted for some time in the [company name withheld] directory on this page: [link provided] but so far you haven’t returned the favor.
I know that [company name withheld] will send your site a lot of visitors in the years to come if you will just take a few minutes and place a link to us on the link page of your site. After [deadline provided], we’ll be removing all sites that haven’t returned our link so please respond to me as soon as possible. [...]
Let me know when my link is posted and I'll upgrade your link to Premium status and get it to the top of your category!

This is the second message that I have received from this company. The first one was a cheery email notifying me that they had placed a link to my blog on their website and asking me to link to their site in exchange.

When I clicked over to the site, I saw right away that it is not a blog. It is the website of a business that, understandably, would like to increase its customer base. Out of curiosity I checked some of the other local blogs to which it had linked and saw that none of them had added a link to its website.

As my half-dozen readers know, I sell my CD over the Internet, and when I’ve advertised it on other blogs, I’ve either paid for the ads or received them in some other legitimate, above-board way. So I felt a bit annoyed. Businesses have every right to advertise. But a business asking for free advertising via an exchange of links? Nope, sorry, don’t think so. That would be as though I were endorsing their services, and since I’ve never used them, I can’t do that legitimately.

So I deleted the email without replying, figuring that the one who had written it would take my silence as I intended it: a polite but firm No.

Now I get the message that I quoted above... and let me tell you, it got my dander up. First, the writer gives it the following subject line: “Our Partnership.” Huh? What partnership? Is there something going on between us that I don’t know about? Did I sign the papers in my sleep? Then he tries to put a guilt trip on me, as if to say: See this nice thing I did for you, and here you’re not being nice to me back! Then he threatens, oh so gently, that if I don’t link back to him, he will remove the link to my blog that he put on his site, doubtless out of a pure, altruistic desire to bring more visitors to my tiny corner of the Internet.

Listen, Mr. Advertising Mogul: the reason I haven’t “returned the favor,” as you chose to put it, is because you did me none in the first place. You put up links to a number of local blogs, including mine, only as a ploy to squeeze free advertising out of their owners. Well, as you can see, I’m not falling for it, so if you want to remove your link to my blog, please go right ahead. In fact, I’d rather you did. I’m not sure that I want to be associated with a business that tries to skimp on its advertising budget. After all, advertising is a legitimate business expense. If you’re trying to avoid paying for it, then who knows where else you may be cutting corners?

Not only that. Let’s look at what you’re offering me in exchange if I should choose to link to your business: the possibility that over the next several years, people whom you don’t know at all may visit my site. This reminds me of how people sometimes ask my musician friends to play gigs for free, promising them “exposure” in exchange. It’s a fantastic deal for the one making the offer: they get excellent music for nothing, and in return the musician gets a promise that at some yet-to-be-determined point in the future, someone else—some nebulous entity whom the one making the offer has never met—may pay good money for his or her time, skill and expertise.

You know what my musician friends call an offer like this? “Dying of exposure.” And do you know they respond to it? You got it: No.

And not only that. I mean, come on, who are you fooling? If you have to turn to a tiny blog like mine for a customer base, how many visitors will you be able to bring me anyway?

So do me a favor. Stop with the guilt trip. It isn’t working, and in fact it’s doing the opposite. Stop trying to play on a relationship between us that doesn’t exist and never has, and go look for free advertising somewhere else. Or, better yet, find yourself an advertising firm and pay for their service, like a normal business. ’K?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Olive Oil

Last week as I was on my way to work, I saw a woman harvesting olives just outside the industrial zone, which borders an Arab village:

Woman harvesting olives

Since I’ve gotten more serious about soapmaking, it’s become important to me to find a source of good-quality olive oil at a decent price. My latest quest developed into quite a story.

It started last week in the local market. I saw olive oil for lighting purposes on display for what seemed like a reasonable price—neither too high nor too low for that type of oil—so I decided to buy some. (I’ve used it before with good results.) I took it home and made a soap batch out of it, and got a lesson in caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).

A little background about soapmaking is in order here. When one makes soap with oils that are hard at room temperature, such as palm oil or coconut oil (and, of course, cocoa butter, which is rock-hard at room temperature), the finished soap will harden fairly quickly. When one makes soap with oils that are liquid at room temperature, such as olive oil and castor oil, the soap will take a bit longer to harden, but eventually it will.

This stuff... fuggedaboutit. If it were one hundred percent olive oil, within several days it should be soft but solid. But after almost a week, it’s still an unusable rectangular mass of mush.

The olive oil was adulterated, of course. Unfortunately, that’s a common enough problem here.

So I brought back the bottles of oil that I hadn’t opened yet and was able to trade them, in a less-than-satisfactory transaction, for oil of better quality. (I had no real choice in the matter, since many store owners here refuse to give cash refunds. But rest assured that I will be contacting the consumer protection authority.)

Then, it just happened that yesterday morning I saw an ad on a local email list for fresh-pressed olive oil... eighteen liters at a reasonable price. Since I had been given a gift of this oil last year (and had made great soap out of it), I jumped at the chance to buy more.

On the bus ride back, I sat facing an older man who was wearing the most fascinating silver ring I have ever seen. The thick silver wires that held its large, oblong white stone in place made the piece look as though it were alive. It was clear to me that whoever had made the ring was a craftsman who loved his work, and despite my desire to behave with good manners, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Finally I asked the man whether he had made it himself.

He answered in Russian-accented Hebrew that he had, and added with a smile, “It’s nice that you notice these things.”

So we began a conversation, craftsperson to craftsperson. He asked me a little about soapmaking and explained a little about jewelry-making, mentioning that he gives lessons. (Oh, I would so love to learn. When I told him so, he said, “It’s never too late,” and added that the price of silver is currently low.) He mentioned that he also cooks and is looking for good-quality olive oil, so I gave him the number of the man who had just sold me the large container that was now on the floor between our feet.

Connections. I love connections.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Almost There

Her Ladyship accepts some chicken from her human companion. If you look closely (or click to see a larger version of the photo), you can see the edge of her tongue:

Her Ladyship's treat

Her baby blues are almost completely back to normal.

For a bonus, here’s Missy:

Kitty on a tray

Kitty-on-a-tray: the dish I love to skritch!

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the cats.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

All right, yes, I haven’t celebrated Halloween in years. Nevertheless...

What can a song that Tom Lehrer wrote for the children’s program The Electric Company possibly have to do with Halloween, you may ask?

Listen patient-ly to the end and you will know.


(It’s got a nice klezmer flavor, doesn’t it?)

Green Oranges in the Shuk

Sometimes an image just jumps up and grabs you. This one did: the interplay between green and orange. Plus, I am crazy about the Mahane Yehuda market in any case.

Fruit and color

Missy: Three Views

Taking a nibble:

Missy takes a nibble



Here I am!

Here I am

Her Ladyship is much improved. She will have to take medicine for only a few more days—for a total of two weeks since her eye injury was discovered—and the vet is pleased with her progress.

Wonder of wonders, Her Ladyship still likes me! (I haven’t succeeded in getting new pictures of her yet, but I will do it as soon as possible.)

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It’s Still Not Too Late

... to vote in the American Presidential elections.

Head on over to Vote from Israel.

Good News

Excellent news, actually.

My friend told me that when the vet examined Her Ladyship this morning, he said that we caught the problem at the right time and that she’s going to be fine. Just a few more days of medicine (which my friend will be giving her now that she’s back), and that’s it.

I’ll post new photos of Her Ladyship as soon as I can get some.

Thank goodness. What a relief.

(Catch the 214th edition of the Friday Ark at The Modulator.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Update on Her Ladyship: Improvement

Her Ladyship appears to be on the mend. She’s no longer keeping her eye closed, and though she’s unhappy about being kept indoors, she seems to be doing fine.

I have loved Her Ladyship since the first day I knew her, but over the past few days I’ve begun to discover how special she really is. When I administer her eye medications—eye drops followed by ointment ten to fifteen minutes later—she flinches and complains, but never once has she used claws or teeth. I believe that she wants to cooperate. I start out by petting and reassuring her, and then administer the medicine as quickly as possible. Then I follow up with more petting, tell her what a wonderful cat she is and how much I love her, and give her treats.

I’m going to call the vet early tomorrow morning and ask if I can take her in for a quick look, just to make sure that things are progressing the way they ought.

This is stressing me, I confess. I can’t wait till Her Ladyship is completely recovered and this is behind us. If all goes well, it should only be a few more days.

UPDATE: We have a follow-up appointment at the vet’s on Friday.

Further update, Wednesday, October 22nd: My friend is coming home a day earlier than she had originally planned, so at some point tomorrow my current cat-sitting duties will be over. From what I can tell, Her Ladyship’s eye is looking much better.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Expect the Unexpected

When my friend—the human companion of Her Ladyship and Missy—left yesterday for a business trip, she asked me to cat-sit. I agreed gladly. I’ve cat-sat for them many times before and see them frequently in any case. They trust me, and they know I love them.

When I headed over this morning to feed and check on them, I noticed that Her Ladyship seemed to be having trouble with one of her eyes. It looked like she had conjunctivitis, but I couldn’t be sure. I called my friend on her cellphone and left a message that Her Ladyship and I were headed to the vet.

Since I couldn’t find my friend’s cat carrier, I improvised with her market basket. Her Ladyship didn’t resist when I put her in, since this is the basket that she often jumps into for a ride home with her mom. (I’m sure that she was also feeling a bit sluggish because of her eye, poor thing.)

In the basket

We caught a cab for the short ride to the clinic, to save stress for both of us. Once we arrived, there were a few patients ahead of us, so we settled down to wait. It didn’t take long until Her Ladyship was in the vet’s capable, compassionate hands.

In the vet's good hands

She didn’t have conjunctivitis. She had a scratch on the cornea. Apparently, Her Ladyship, who is an indoor-outdoor cat, had gotten into a fight within the past day or so. “It’s a good thing you brought her in today,” the vet told me. “Without treatment, she could lose the eye.”

Though that made me shiver, Her Ladyship won’t be losing a thing. After bringing her back home, I headed straight to the pharmacy for the eye drops and ointment she needs. The vet showed me how to administer them.

He also said that Her Ladyship can’t go outside for a week, so she’s now an indoor cat. But not to worry: she has everything she needs indoors.

Here’s Her Ladyship being caressed by the vet after her exam. What a brave girl.

Good kitty

I’ll be checking on her frequently and giving her lots of love and attention, and of course her medication (and treats!). She’s going to be just fine.

UPDATE, October 24: Check out this later post. Her Ladyship is out of danger and is going to be fine.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It’s the Little Things that Get You

Yup. The very little things.

I got my absentee ballot a few days ago. Today I voted and got it ready to mail. As I was about to affix the stamp—all the while congratulating myself for having bought a few stamps in advance for letters to the US in order to save myself more trips to the post office—I suddenly got the feeling that I ought to look up the current rates on the Israel Postal Service website and make sure that I had the right amount.

And wouldn’t you know it... the price of sending a letter to the US has gone up by the grand, enormous sum of five agorot. (For my overseas readers, an agora is one one-hundredth of a shekel.)

Which means that after work tomorrow (yes, I do have work tomorrow even though it is hol ha-mo’ed), I get to stand on line at the post office in order to buy a five-agorot stamp.


Good thing I checked.

UPDATE: Turns out that the site was wrong, and the price went up by quite a bit more than five agorot. But no matter. I bought the additional postage and sent out my ballot (thanks to A. for signing as a witness that I mailed it today!), and that’s what counts.

Jerusalem Photos

Taken from a street in the Rehavia neighborhood. In the foreground, the Monastery of the Cross. In the background, the residential buildings constructed some years ago overlooking Patt Junction, where the Holyland Hotel used to be.

Old and new

Some more pictures from around town are below the jump.

An election poster for Meir Porush’s campaign. I find it odd that he is using what looks like a cartoon caricature of himself instead of a photograph. I heard that the idea is to make him look less threatening, to convey the message that he’s a friendly guy even if he is Haredi. To me, a cartoon image of a candidate, regardless of who he is or what he represents, only makes the campaign looks like it is not serious.

Election poster

A facsimile lock on the front of a building, near what used to be a locksmith’s shop. The shop is now gone, but the lock is still there.

Facsimile lock

Downtown Jerusalem at dawn. This reminds me of Wordsworth’s famous sonnet, except that Jerusalem doesn’t have a river, gliding at its own sweet will or otherwise.

Downtown Jerusalem in the dawn

Finally, the Central Bus Station as seen from Rehavia. (In the larger versions of this photo, the clock can be seen fairly clearly.)

Jerusalem's Central Bus Station

Be sure to catch the next JPix Carnival, up this week at Leora’s.

Two Grays, One Tabby

The gray cat and the tabby cat are friends, possibly even related. The other gray cat is definitely a close relative. These cats are part of the colony that lives near a restaurant downtown.

(Click on the image for a larger version.)

Gray and tabby 6

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Market Calico

This is the calico kitty who lives in the market. I’ve posted her picture here before. She’s spayed, appears cared for, is very friendly... but I would still love to take her away from all that.

The market calico

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.