Posts Tagged With: cat toys

Day 3258: What’s a great gift for you?

Yesterday, when I was thinking of great gifts I’ve been given, I posted this on Twitter:

The answers I’m getting to that question are great gifts for me.

Do you see any great gifts in my other images for today?


The greatly gifted Stephen Sondheim left great gifts for me and so many others. Here are Broadway stars sharing their gifts this past Sunday to sing Sondheim’s “Sunday” in Times Square.

This “Remembering Stephen Sondheim” piece from the New York Times is a great gift for me.

What’s a great gift for you?

I hope you accept my gift of gratitude for all the gifts you bring, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2852: Eyes

Yesterday, in my Coping and Healing group, people told stories about eyes.

With my own eyes, I noticed people’s strong reactions to the stories about eyes, because eyes are

  • sensitive,
  • vulnerable, and
  • the windows to the soul.

At the end of the group, somebody made a commitment to turn their sensitive and vulnerable eyes away from the news for the rest of the day. The group members showed their approval and support with their eyes.

What do your eyes see in today’s photos?

Because my eyes have been hurting lately, I think I’ll watch this video over and over again instead of tonight’s U.S. President debate:

I’m so glad those people were using their eyes. Another good sight for my sore eyes would be comments from you.

I am thankful for my eyes and the observant eyes of kind people, like YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2475: What’s going down

What’s going down around you, my dear reader?

What’s going down around here includes

  • the temperature,
  • rain,
  • moods,
  • arrests,
  • polling numbers, and
  • progress on my latest original “country” song, “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down.”

Are you down with these lyrics?

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and helpless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

From the local to the global news

No quick fixes are around to choose.

No matter what your state or views,

There’s no relief, just a belief in booze.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and helpless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I turn to everyone I see

And ask if they relate to me.

They do not have a moment free

And they’re crippled with anxiety.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and helpless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I would like to end this song with hope

But hope seems to be beyond my scope.

When I’m hopeless I can’t help but mope.

If I had some I would smoke some dope.

Maybe I should text the Pope?

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and helpless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

©️ Ann Koplow, 2019

My photos from yesterday are going down here:

What’s going down with Harley and that squirrel?

Let’s get down with this tune from one of my favorite bands:

If you’re looking to express any reactions to this post, go down to the comments section, below.

Gratitude is always going down around here, so thanks to all who help this blog go down every day, including YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2211: Fun fun fun

Ready for some fun fun fun?

I’m having more fun fun fun than expected today because the strong winds and snow totals forecasted  for this weekend “drastically changed.” Instead of  my waking up to one fun foot of snow (as predicted), there are just a few fun inches:


I know some people have fun fun fun in the snow, but I’m not one one one of them.

Yesterday, I had fun fun fun taking these fun fotos for my fun readers.


















Here are some of my fun fun fun thoughts, now now now:

  • I recently wrote a fun fun fun post titled “Hello Beautiful,”  It was fun fun fun, yesterday, to see a different card with that beautiful greeting.
  • I wish the opposite-of-fun-fun-fun government shutdown would end end end, soon soon soon. It’s no fun when good governments go bad (like those pugs in that calendar).
  • My fun fun fun and funny funny funny boyfriend doesn’t like the word “fun.”  He prefers to use the word “engaged.”  That’s why I had so much fun taking this particular fun foto yesterday:


  • I love the word fun, use it all the time, and plan on having fun fun fun  as long as my heart heart heart  keeps beating beating beating.
  • Instead of just having fun fun fun on Groundhog Day in two weeks, this year for my birthday I’m doing a fun fun fund-raiser for Everytown for Gun Safety on fun  Facebook, because guns guns guns without safety are no fun fun fun.
  • I just read this fun article on how some Patriots fan fan fans don’t have so much fun fun fun on Game Day because their friends friends friends think they’re jinxed.
  • It’s fun fun fun for me to throw useless things away, especially when they ask me to keep them.


Are we having fun yet?

It’s fun for me to know how you have fun fun fun, so please please please  comment comment comment, below.

Thanks thanks thank to all who help me have fun fun fun, including you you you!




Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 440: Random Observations

Another day, another post, another title that I CANNOT BELIEVE I am using for the very first time, especially since “Random Observations” could easily be the name of this blog.

Shall we begin, observing randomly?

I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot about red squirrels lately, including this lovely blog post (with several wonderful red squirrel photos) by Nick’s Nature Pics. Also, I just stumbled across 20 fascinating facts about the red squirrel, thanks to

  1. The estimated population of Reds in the UK is thought to be 120,000 with 75% of these living in
  2. Red Squirrels have four fingers and two toes on each paw.
  3. Red Squirrels can locate their buried food supplies in over 1 foot of snow!
  4. It is thought that the Red Squirrel made their way to the British Isles from mainland Europe at
    the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 10,000 years ago!
  5. Red Squirrels shed their coats twice a year, switching between a thinner coat in summer and a
    darker, thicker winter coat.
  6. Males may live in an area of up to 17 hectares of woodland… that’s about the same size as 34
    football pitches!
  7. Squirrels do not hibernate, but bury plentiful supplies of seeds and nuts in the ground to eat in
    the winter.
  8. Red and Grey Squirrels cannot breed together.
  9. Grey Squirrels transmit the deadly squirrel pox virus to the Reds. Greys are immune and are
    only carriers.
  10. Young squirrels are called kittens. They are blind for the first 3 to 4 weeks of life and are born
    without hair and teeth!
  11. Females can have 2 litters of 3-4 kittens per year
  12. Only 1 in 6 Red Squirrels sees its first birthday due to premature death after birth, disease,
    starvation in winter or through being eaten by large carnivores or birds of prey.
  13. Adult Reds weigh 250-300gms. They put on about 12 per cent of their body weight in the
    autumn (in fat) in readiness for the cold winter ahead.
  14. The body length of a fully grown male is 20-22cm and its tail length is 17-18cm.
  15. The life span of a Red Squirrel is on average 3 years although in captivity they have been known
    to live for up to 10 years!
  16. Squirrels live in twiggy nests called dreys, situated mainly in the trees. This prevents attacks
    from ground predators like foxes.
  17. Red Squirrels are good swimmers!
  18. Red Squirrels often build more than one drey per year, they move out when fleas become
  19. The Latin name is Sciurus Vulgaris.
  20. Red Squirrels and their dreys are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

So why am I starting out, in such great detail, with red squirrels, today?

  1. For some reason, Michael has been giving me updates about red squirrels lately.
  2. I’ve never seen a red squirrel, in person (or “in squirrel”), so they are inherently more fascinating to me than grey squirrels, which I see all the time.
  3. I have readers in the UK, so I am shamelessly pandering to them, this morning.
  4. Look at the title of the post, people!
  5. I spotted a white squirrel, yesterday.


That’s not a great photo of the rare white squirrel, so you might not be able to observe its habits, including food choices. This is what I noticed yesterday:  The white squirrel likes cupcakes, especially with green trimmings.

Here’s the next thing I randomly observed:


Bunnies are starting to pop up, which is a sure sign of spring.

I am now going to show you photos I took yesterday in a pet supply store, which Michael and I stumbled upon in our Saturday ramblings. But here’s a warning: Beware the ideas of Ann, which can take flight AND get stuck on very odd things, including …

Cat Toys.

Yesterday, I was wondering: What ARE the manufacturers of cat toys thinking, when they choose the items they assume cats are going to want to play with? (Notice how convoluted and confusing that last sentence is, probably due to the cognitive distortion of mind reading, involving both human AND feline brains.)

Let me explain, with photos:


This makes some sense, because it’s a mouse. But is a cat likely to play with a blue mouse, which does not occur in nature?  Again, it’s difficult to know what a cat is thinking, but if I were a feline, I would avoid a mouse that (1) has turned blue and (2) has cheerleading pompoms instead of paws. Who knows? Maybe cats would love to chase that. Perhaps I’m projecting, because of some unresolved feelings about (1) death and (2) high school.

Nevertheless, I still suggest you beware the ideas of cat toy manufacturers, because — compared to other cat toys I saw yesterday — that pom-pom-yielding blue mouse was particularly non-random:


A pig?  Do cats ever chase pigs?  And is “glittering” a market advantage, for this cat toy?


Okay. I know that cats chase other cats. I observe that myself, almost every day.  But is a cat likely to chase this toy, especially when it looks so …. sad? And look at this offering from the same cat toy company:


Dogs?  Do cats chase dogs? Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?  Although, I’ve never owned a dog, so maybe this occurs more often than I’ve observed.

I don’t think anybody is going to argue with me, though, about these dubious subjects for the following cat toys. That is, I’m pretty sure that domestic cats NEVER chase these animals:





I don’t even know what that last creature is, but I think cats might resist that toy, too. Somehow, I think cats aren’t interested in anything trying so hard, to play with them.

It was around this point in my cat-toy exploration, that Michael interrupted me, saying, “Did you see that enormous bird, in the back?” Again, this was a pet supply store, so — not expecting  real animals — I immediately envisioned another cat toy, but of unusual size.

But, no.


And there was Baby, in person (or “in macaw”):





As I did with the parrots I met in Panama (see here and here), I had some complicated reactions to seeing Baby encaged. And, by the way, Baby was definitely larger than those Panamanian Parrots; like Michael said, this bird was enormous.  But, we spoke with the woman who was working at the pet supply shop, that day, who told us reassuring things about Baby’s birth, history, and freedom to roam around the store on many days.

It’s still tough, for me, to see a magnificent creature encaged. And for Michael, too.

Maybe that’s why we turned, later, to the topic of red squirrels.

I see that this post has come full circle. And I’ve run out of photos from yesterday, too.

So what feels left unsaid for me, now?

Yesterday was the Ides of March.  And I am happy to report a Personal Record.  That is, on 3/15 of this year of 2014, ANN KOPLOW FINISHED HER INCOME TAXES, a full month ahead of the deadline!



Is it appropriate for me to be celebrating this, right now, when:

  1. Many other people complete their taxes way ahead of time, every year?
  2. Yesterday, I failed, again, in finding a cat toy my cats might be interested in pursuing?
  3. I don’t know if Baby — or the red squirrels, for that matter — are really doing okay, out there?

Should I be joyful?

Well, considering:

  1. That my questions included cognitive distortions (including comparisons to others),
  2. I used the very unhelpful word “failed,”
  3. There are no “shoulds” regarding feelings and emotions, and
  4. The very helpful Serenity Prayer


(image found here)

… I choose to be joyful, today.

Thanks to Nick Hunter, Robin Hill,  creatures of all colors and sizes, manufacturers of cat toys, people who get things done in March (and any other month of the year), and to you — of course! — for observing today.

Regular readers may notice the lack of footnotes in this blog, lately. For anybody who misses those, here’s a different kind of footnote:

photo (85)

As you can see, one sock keeps coming off at night (as I’ve written about before: here AND here, believe it or not). Maybe, in two weeks, I’ll ask professional observers about that, during my sleep study at the hospital.

Is that too random?

Categories: humor, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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