Monday, July 30, 2012

Metro Monday and More!!

Big kitten news today.  Even if you normally skip Metro Monday, make sure you scroll down :-)

Summers of my childhood were spent at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull... the old Tiger Stadium.  I can still hear Ernie Harwell, George Kell, and Al Kaline's voices in my head as they called the baseball games for local radio and television.  

Built in 1912 and opening just days after the sinking of the Titanic, the stadium was already creaky, smelly, peeling, and just plain old by the time I started spending time there in the early 1980s... and yet I couldn't get enough.  I can still rattle off the lineup and pitching rotation for the 1984 World Series champions like it was yesterday.  Forget Kirk Gibson's epic home run that lifted the Dodgers to the title in 1988.  It was just a replay.  He did it first in 1984.

My father, a retired Detroit Police lieutenant, took me there as often as possible.  The stadium offered two free seats to city police and firefighters.  With a flash of a badge, we got street parking right next to the stadium and seats in the lower level in right field.

The approximate view from our seats in right field (except our section had chain link fencing in the way... at least it was free)

Tiger Stadium creaked to a close after the 1999 season, but the empty building stood for another ten years before they brought it down.  Dubbed "Ernie Harwell Park", the diamond remains behind.  I hear that if you show up on a Saturday afternoon at 3:30, you might find a pick-up baseball game to join.

Sad, but at least it's still being used.

My husband dragged the kids downtown Sunday evening to check out Ernie Harwell Park.
The gate was open and he ran the bases.  He is a happy man.

In the 1990s, ownership of the team transferred from one pizza baron (Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza) to another (Mike Ilitch, founder and owner of Little Caesar's and also the hometown Detroit Red Wings).   At the end of the decade, a new stadium was built.  Set into a revitalized area of downtown, the Lions play at Ford Field next door and the historic Fox Theater stands across the street.  It's taken a dozen years for my allegiance to transfer to the new building, but it truly is magnificent. 

My view from the very cheap seats for the 2011 playoffs.

The Renaissance Center as seen from the ballpark.

My hair's not quite so short anymore, thank goodness.  For some reason I thought a pixie was a good way to go during the stress of moving last summer.  

And they set off a darn good fireworks show after every Friday night home game (although this particular shot was taken on the 4th of July instead).  Between the fireworks and Pepsi logo?  A neon "Pure Michigan" advertisement.  Tim Allen's voice in those commercials can stop me dead in my tracks.

Passing on the allegiance to the next generation (who spent their formative years out of state) has been a bit difficult.  But this was the cake my son requested for his 13th birthday.  He also got to spend the day at the ballpark for a double header.


The New Guy

I never suspected when I went to Petco during the Saturday adoption hours to get supplies for my foster kittens that I would be coming home with another kitten for the front room.  Meet Ben...

Ben came out of the same foster hoarding situation as my trio.  Like Porter, he was a singleton that got matched to a pair of litter mates.  Much bigger and healthier than the other two, he was becoming a bit of a holy terror... bullying, pouncing on, and scaring the dickens out of the pair with whom he shared a foster space.  

Since he too is at the tail end of a ringworm infestation (just one spot left on the back of an ear), he had to be matched into one of the other foster homes with ringworm kittens.  Slightly older and bigger than Porter, we decided to try him out here.  He's easily two or three times the size of an Eloise.  Good thing my spunky spitfire doesn't know how tiny she actually is.

Henry (left) and Ben (right, the dilute tabby)... Henry is just a hair smaller than Porter, the biggest of our original trio.

A look at all four of them at dinner time.  Teeny-tiny Eloise at the top of the orange plate, with Henry and Ben at the bottom.  Smartypants Porter has the red plate all to himself. ;-)

Ben is a brute who doesn't know his own strength.  He's hard-charging, very playful, and interested in everything.  I think Henry has lost the title of wild child of the foster room.  Not that he seems to mind.  Henry has become Ben's constant shadow.

We've had a couple moments of floofing and hissing, but otherwise the transition seems to be going well.  Eloise and Porter, the more reserved of the original trio, were a bit wary of Ben on Saturday.  By Sunday morning, they were chasing each other up and down the cat tree as if he had always been there.

GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!  With healing coming along at a good pace, I've been given the OK to pause the bathing for a week and see what happens.  Think good thoughts for us please!


Your Olympic Moment

We celebrate the Summer Olympics by challenging the kitties to compete in various Olympic sports.  Today, the kittens show off their wrestling moves.

Eloise pins Henry to the mat.

Henry and Porter are pretty evenly matched, although Porter seems to be getting the better of Henry here.

Porter uses his patented vampire move on Eloise.


No Ben wrestling pictures?  Hmmm, he must have been the giant blur in the middle of the photo session.  As it was, I don't think Benny is too used to having competition close to his own size.  Boy, does he whine like a baby when someone is getting the better of him.  :-)

Final Results:

Gold: Porter
Silver: Henry
Bronze: Eloise

Medal Count:

Porter: 1
Henry: 1
Eloise: 1


  1. Love this metro Monday! I too was a huge fan of Tiger Stadium and it took me a while to warm up to Comerica Park. Even now, it is a great stadium but somehow it's just not quite the same. Have you ever been to Fenway? That's a terrific experience if you get the chance.

    I went to the Jimmy Buffet concert at Comerica on Saturday - fun! Even the tiger statue in front was wearing a Buffett Tshirt.

    1. Buffett - not Buffet... (need more diet Coke).

    2. Comerica Park just seemed too sanitary to me at first. It was a shock to my system after Tiger Stadium. Didn't help that they closed the old ball park while I was living out of the country. I didn't have time to adjust.

      I've never been to Fenway. With all of my travels, the whole of New England is completely foreign to me still. I shall have to remedy that. My dad and I used to take summer vacations following the Tigers on road trips around the midwest. We went to Chicago (Old Comiskey and Wrigley), Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. For some reason I'm blanking on whether or not we went to Kansas City, but it seems familiar.

      Seems like everyone I know went to Buffett last weekend. Boy do I feel like the oddball ;-)

  2. Kelly-you better watch out. You must remember you are not in competition with Robyn to foster the most cats. (Repeat the above as needed). But YAY! to Ben. He is very handsome.

    1. HA! After today's developments (ugh, read the new post), I can safely promise that the numbers are not increasing anytime soon. I swore to my husband (and it was the truth) that the only reason I agreed to take Ben was because he NEEDED to be in a ringworm positive foster room and that we had that room to shut him away from the entire house.

      My numbers will be falling in the next few weeks. Once Tommy goes home and Penny is adopted, I'll probably stick to whoever can live in the foster room and reduce the drama a bit. But you never know what will happen ;-)

  3. We got to go to a game in the old stadium...I have to admit that as a kid it was great fun. :)

    Love those big whiny kids. They can dish it out but can't take it. Will be interesting to see what happens when they get the all clear and he runs into an adult. :)

    1. Ben has made it very clear that he is ready to be with the big guys. He has escaped the confines of the foster room numerous times already. He's lightning fast, that one.

  4. I bet you are glad the kitten bathing is on hiatus. Hopefully their immune systems will take over from here and they clear right up!

    1. Me too... me too... especially now that it appears to have crept outside the foster room too.

      The kittens have clearly turned a corner. Each of the original trio has gained a new spot in the past week, but the bulk of it is clearly healing. Eloise and Henry heal quicker than Porter, but I can see Porter's face clearly and his legs aren't as bald. We're getting there (slowly, but we're getting there)

  5. Only time I ever skipped school was for opening day. Rain, Snow & occasionally sun. Girls only, we had a blast! Thanks for the Detroit fix.
    Hi Ben, nice to meet you, please don’t kill your new friends before you get to know ‘em.
    We have a adult feral who, after a year of living here, still thinks he won’t see another plate of wet food ever again. Neutering didn’t take the edge off his food aggression. At dinner time, I hang out on the porch to keep the peace. After bellies are full, everyone mellows out nicely.

    1. Ben was already neutered when the our rescue got him last month (poor baby was probably much too little to go through it too). But he's better about the food today. I think he realizes that he won't starve. He is a very sweet baby.

      And I think that I must have been the only kid in Detroit to never get to skip school on opening day. Oh well, I guess I wasn't too terribly deprived throughout my childhood... ;-)

  6. He's so pretty!

    (I happen to think that a litter of four is the perfect number. :)

    1. After the initial introduction drama, he really has fit in well. Now we just need to get him past the growling at the food dish and we're all set. Four is a nice number. There's always a playmate when you need one.