Photos of readers

July 20, 2020 • 2:30 pm

We’re down to three entries again (two after this post), so by all means favor us with your visage.  Today’s reader is David Frayer, complete with mushroom largesse. His words are indented.

After retiring from the University of Kansas five years ago, I spend most of my days at home on my urban farm, but at times I miss my time in the classroom and advising students. In the winter I always go for a month or more to Italy and Croatia, but who knows about the future of that? During the lockdown, I do a lot of gardening, and then, when it gets too hot, try to read and do research, writing on Neandertals. As you see, chanterelle collecting is also a hobby, and they are extra plentiful this year.

Below are our two cats, Bob, the tuxedo cat, and J.C.—not Jerry Coyne but Jesus Christ because he is identical to our previous Russian Blue. I do not believe in resurrection, except for cats. He goes only by “J.C.”. They are good companions, day and night. 

19 thoughts on “Photos of readers

  1. Nice looking shrooms. I have a friend who picks chanterelles here in Washington. Delicious. Nice looking cats too.

  2. Fun, and fine mushrooms! I hope your travels resume soon.

    What languages do you use (or find most useful) in Croatia?

    I plan a trip thus: Fly (from USA) to Venice. Get car, drive through Slovenia and Croatia, cross into Hungary, follow the Danube up through Hungary and Austria, drive through Switzerland and Liechtenstein, then over the Alps and down Lake Como to the Po Valley and back to Venice for the flight home. Some day …

  3. Our cat Marcus Clawrelius (pretentious, moi?) was briefly called Jesus by the children when he made a miraculous return from the (almost) dead at Easter a couple of years ago. He had had a seizure (the second in a couple of months) and as a consequence seemed to completely forget about eating or drinking. He went a whole week, losing a lot of weight but showing no interest in food or water. (He spent an expensive night at the vet’s on an intravenous drip partway through and was given an appetite stimulant on discharge, but to no avail.) Every morning, we woke up fearing the worst – especially when he chose to spend the night in the cupboard under the stairs for the first time ever. Early on Easter Sunday, I had a brainwave and it occurred to me to buy cat milk, something Marcus had never had before but which seemed to be worth a try. I went to the supermarket before opening time, only to discover it was closed for the day. My wife tried local garden centres with pet shop sections but they were shut too, and I cursed myself for not having had the idea sooner. Luckily, Marcus made it through the night, and we were able to finally try out the cat milk theory albeit knowing that success was unlikely. He drank it. We tried not to be too hopeful, but slowly he recovered his appetite. So, a day late, he rose again – and is still with us. He has had a couple of less dramatic seizures since, but hasn’t lost his appetite again although he seems to have (mostly) lost his hearing. However, he has started to be much more vocal – in the past, he rarely miaowed at all; then he miaowed whenever he came indoors; and now he is conversational very often, especially when my wife is in an online meeting and he has been shut out of the study!

      1. It’s called KMR (kitten milk replacer).

        I have never used it because I have goat milk, which works just as well.


      2. Yes, weirdly it exists as an alternative to cow’s milk but is adapted for cats – less fat and added taurine if I recall correctly. Not something I had ever bought before, but just as well some awareness of it was buried in my subconscious even if it did take a week to come to the surface! Marcus is a very stoical cat, hence Marcus Clawrelius, although he was just plain “Mark” after his carer in the rescue centre when we got him. (When rescued, his teeth were in a terrible state and had to be removed. The vet wrote in the medical notes: “friendly cat, despite obvious pain”. Despite being totally toothless, he can hold his ground against other cats – apparently it’s all about body language and they don’t get close enough to discover his vulnerability.) Marcus was affectionate throughout his ordeal, which only made things worse when we were failing to get him to eat and thought he wasn’t going to pull through.

        1. Interesting. Had never heard of cat milk (though did assume it was not pumped from kitties’ titties)🙀

      3. There are two types of cat milk that I know of. One is the KMR for kittens. But there is another type, brand name Cat Milk, produced by Whiskas, for adult cats. It’s gotten some of mine through very tricky health situations. It used to be available in some grocery stores, but more recently only in pet stores.

  4. Hot in Kansas Dave, you must be kidding. I live a bit further south, in Wichita but there are a few Jayhawkers down here but lots of Shockers mostly. We have two cats also, but they sure do not get along as your’s do.

  5. Sorry, David – I forgot to say in my screed above that the photo of Bob and J.C. is lovely. The urban farm looks great, too!

  6. You have a lovely homestead, David. Wish I knew how to select mushrooms. My own backyard garden keeps me too busy to go a-hunting, so I just get ’em from the grocery store. Pity. We’ve ignored even big ‘shrooms growing in our various yards over the years.

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