Cat in the Window

Photographs from Mountain View
Apartment (July 2 & 10, 2011)

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: There is a giant eucalyptus tree opposite my apartment in Mountain View. In March 2010, an image of "Cat in the Tree" appeared when I opened my Venetian blinds each morning. It reminded me of the Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (1866) and inspired a poem completed 16 months later (July 4, 2011). There are no pets allowed in my apartment complex in Mountain View. On July 2, 2011, I noticed a white cat leaping on the neighbor's backyard fence. He didn't make it to the top but had his claws into the wood. On his next leap, he made it to the top and glanced at me. I told him to wait and rushed back to my apartment for my camera. When I returned, the cat was sitting majestically and I got a good photo of him. Later I realized that above this fence is the eucalyptus tree with the Cat Eyes image that inspired my poem. On July 10, while having breakfast, I noticed a dark shadow resembling a cat's head on the wall behind the fence. Then a cat appeared sitting in the window. It was not the white cat photographed on July 2 as there are dark gray areas on its head. By the time I got my camera, it had left the window. Nevertheless I took a photo of this scene with the missing cat. On July 13, I searched Google Images for "sitting cat" (56,900 results) and found a suitable image. Using Adobe Photoshop this cat was extracted using Magic Wand, Lasso, Clone, and Paint Brush Tools. Using "Free Transform" in the Edit Menu, the cat was resized, rotated, and placed in the window where it sat. The process took an hour and twenty minutes, and two more hours to compose this web page.

Cat Eyes in Eucalyptus Tree
photo from my apartment window

John Tenniel's Cheshire Cat in
Alice in Wonderland (1866)

"Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought
Alice: "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious..."

White Cat on Backyard Fence
photographed on July 2, 2011

Cat disappeared in neighbor's window
(photographed on July 10, 2011)

Enlarged photo of window
where the cat disappeared

Sitting Cat (
found from Google Images

Sitting Cat Extracted
from Google Images Photo

Reconstructed in Adobe Photoshop
"Cat in the Window under Eucalyptus"

— Peter Y. Chou, July 13, 2011
In honor of the 213th anniversary
of William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" (July 13, 1798)

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© Peter Y. Chou, Wisdom Portal
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (7-13-2011)