West Tisbury


Writing my column has become decidedly more difficult with the addition of a kitten to our household. I’m trying to type with one hand and amuse Porter with his toys in my other hand, all while keeping him from landing on the computer keyboard and deleting everything I have ever written. Meanwhile, I am besotted with my kitten.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve brought home a new kitten so soon after Grace died. I had stopped at the Animal Shelter to let Lisa Hayes know I was going to be looking soon. She pointed to the glassed-in area between the lobby and the cat room and there, like the song “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific, was MY kitten, a black and white tuxedo cat, my favorite. We looked across the crowded room. I took him out to play on the floor. He was so engaged with me. Playful, cuddly, heart breakingly cute. He talked to me. He reached for my hand when he wanted my attention. I named him for my favorite artist; he is Fairfield Porter Hull.

In the old days, you just brought a kitten home and everyone adjusted. No more, at least in theory. My most knowledgeable cat-loving friends, Leslie Baker and Sue Hruby, gave me lectures and links to websites detailing the proper way to introduce a new animal into the household. Mike and I dutifully prepared, barricading our sunroom and dining room as the official cat domain, with cat box, cat toys, cat dishes, and a climbing scratching post/condo where Porter could watch from a safe distance while he and our dogs smelled each other’s scents. After a few days of smelling and rubbing one another with towels of each other’s fur, they were supposed to be allowed to see one another through a baby gate. After that would come several weeks of desensitizing.

We ended up skipping all that. Actually, Porter wanted to get right into the action. I had brought Talley with me when I picked up Porter on Friday. When we got to the car, I let them see each other through the screen of the cat carrier. They both put their noses to the carrier door and settled down for the drive home. By the time Mike and Nan came home that night, Talley and Porter were snuggled up on the sofa together.

Did I say he was cute? Did I mention that I am totally besotted?

Kudos to the Animal Shelter for having the best kitten, especially after they had found Talley for me all those years ago, my perfect puppy, and Nanuk for Mike. Thanks, too, to Lee Dubin and Cattrap for giving me other possibilities. And thanks to everyone for condolences after Gracie died. She has not been forgotten or replaced, but there’s nothing more mesmerizing than a playful kitten.

I talked to Joanne Scott and got a detailed description of the crocuses she reported seeing last week. Turns out they were colchicums, or fall crocuses, in a clump against the stone wall between Littlefields’ and Polly Hill. Right on the State Road. Take a look.

Happy Birthday wishes to Millie Gault on October 27. Hope you have a great day.

Halloween is coming and West Tisbury is decorating. I saw the first Charter School kids’ sculpture, a creepy peg-legged, green-skinned pirate at Cronig’s. Pumpkins are everywhere, along with corn stalks and Indian corn. The ground is rapidly being carpeted with leaves to crunch underfoot and kick in puffs into the air. It’s hard not to feel six years old at Halloween.

Liz Villard of Vineyard History Tours will lead a graveyard tour in West Tisbury this Saturday, October 27, at 5 pm. She offers “an opportunity to learn the Island’s history through the gravestones of those who lived it.” In response to the many folks who say they have always wanted to attend but are too busy in the summer, she is discounting her standard $15 ticket to $10 for Islanders who bring an ID with a local address. Call 508-627-8619 to pre-register or for more information.

The library’s Halloween party will be held at the Grange this year. Still the same hayrides and costumes, crafts and refreshments, and all are welcome. The party is on Wednesday, October 31, from 3:30 to 5 pm.

Norman and Kathy Lobb have been up north visiting their girls, Dee and Amanda. With Dee and Doug Quesnel of Huntington, Vermont, they toured the Shelburne Museum and Fiddlehead Brewery. Then to Rouse’s Point, New York, where they stayed with Amanda Lobb and Roger Clary. A hard-cider tasting and a trip to Ausable Chasm were the entertainments there.

When I went to the shelter, I ran into Cynthia Walsh with her sister, Diana Cotter, visiting from Pacific Palisades, California. Diana had come for their sister Jaime Hamlin’s wedding to Paul Lazes last weekend. It was a three-day event, with rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself, and a Sunday brunch, all overlooking James Pond. By Cynthia’s description, “The weather was glorious, the sunsets in technicolor, the table settings and flowers colorful and decadent in their profusion. Her four sons escorted their mother across the lawn while Paul’s son, Avery, stood smiling next to his father. Avery’s status went from an “only” to the youngest of five boys. All in all, it was a spectacular ‘wedding by Jaime.'” Then there was Cynthia’s birthday to celebrate. Cynthia already misses Diana, who returned home on Friday.

Enjoy these golden days.

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