Mr. Darcy, I presume?

This week I met with my dear friend Ann and her mother at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. This was only my second trip to the Festival, which is truly appalling. I stayed at the Ashland Hostel, a delightful spot, if a little close to the main road, and we managed two plays and one lecture in under 48 hours. The first night we saw a stage version of Pride and Prejudice. And loved it. The entire dialogue seemed to be straight from the book. Settings were simple, with cast members, mostly servants and soldiers, bringing in a few pieces of furniture to change a scene, and one lovely costume for each character, with traveling cloaks, gloves, bonnets to change with the scene. This minimum of visual distraction meant the focus was on the words and the characters, just as it should be. All the characters looked and played the part. For once, Charles Bingley looked and acted exactly right. I loved the Gardiners, as I always do. The Gardiners and Lizzie, moving in unison to mimic the motion in a carriage, was a wonderful bit of theater.

And Darcy. Gorgeous. Fuming. Restless. Sexy. Swarthy skin, dark flashing eyes, lots of dark curls, impressive sideburns, Ann and I were swooning in our seats. He added a swirling traveling coat for one scene, and we were riveted. Instead of simply handing Eliza the famous letter, he recited it to her as she read along, and we listened as if we didn’t know it almost as well as he did.

 

Fast forward to the next day. We had emerged from our lecture, and were debating the plan of action: first lunch, then the gift shop, or reverse the order. While we dithered, I noticed a most attractive man sitting on a low wall a dozen feet from us talking to another man. hmmm. I noticed the bulky shoulders in a worn T-shirt, long legs emerging from shorts. more hmmm. Then I frantically started clutching Ann’s sleeve–“Look! It’s him! It’s the actor who plays Mr. Darcy!!” Ann stared at the dark curls, the sideburns, and agreed. I didn’t have my camera, and she grabbed for her cell phone, and decided, “Let’s just look. And remember. We don’t need a photo.” The actor, Elijah Alexander, in the meantime, gathered up his papers, finished his conversation, and scampered away, across the street and through a doorway. But we knew. We were that close to him. OMG, indeed. Maybe we should have curtseyed. OMG.

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Kittens!

We have two new residents at our house. I’m not sure “resident” is the best word; surely, the term used should indicate the master/servant relationship that we have entered into.

In March, we had to have our elderly tortie kitty put down. After a long and very happy life, sweet Tesorita developed a couple of very problematic conditions, and we had to cope with dealing with her long-distance. Our house sitter was extraordinarily supportive and patient, but we finally had to make the call that This Was It. And we mourned, deeply. But on the day we picked up her corpse at the vet’s, we learned that a former playmate of my son’s had died of a heroin overdose at age twenty-one. An event like that puts the death of an elderly, ailing much-loved kitty in perspective. The latter is sad; the former is truly tragic.

Soon, I was thinking of a new feline in the house. I thought about getting a young adult, a year or so, as there seem to be plenty of those who need homes. But my husband was adamant: he wanted kittens, so he could raise them properly, and he wanted two. I thought it was an utterly fabulous idea, and set out on my search.

The kittens were born in Fall Creek, Oregon, to a young cat that had been abandoned in the country, and found shelter living under a cabin. A young woman, the daughter of a friend’s co-worker, adopted that cat and another also living under the house. The kittens, four girls, were born April 11. I put in a request for twins, and received photos of two adorable tabbies.

Photobucket

The kittens came to live with us in mid-June, and we were instantly and totally smitten. My son was tasked with naming them, and, showing his lack of religious training, chose two devilish names, and they received the nicknames Lucy and Belle. During the first trip to the vet’s, we found out that Belle needed a new name, and he became Bubba. They are now almost 4 1/2 months old, very active, very affectionate, very, very adorable. Last night Bubba was visiting my husband in bed, and climbed under the covers and attacked certain body parts. Bubba was banished back to the laundry room.

exhausted

Bubba is bigger than Lucy, chunky and good-natured, with a wonderful tennis-ball sized tummy. Lucy is long and very thin, with a triangular, bony, face. She has a big appetite and lots of energy, but remains skinny. She is extremely affectionate, and loves to sleep on a pillow next to my laptop. I think she likes to listen to Il Divo, too.

Lucy in the wild

On the second trip to the vet’s, the technician announced that they were part Norwegian Forest Cat, pointing out the fans of fur covering their ears and their big feet. We found that enchanting, too, and point out any obvious trait to support the theory of the exotic parentage–Bubba likes heights, his tail is getting long and elegant; Lucy has a lovely long coat of outer hairs.

Bubba's stuck!

So look at the photos here, and some more linked to my photobucket site from here. Don’t you agree? Aren’t they utterly enchanting? Friends often stop by to hold and cuddle them. They agree: just perfect.