A flowering vine, & Ms Minnie Mouser

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This photo, which is one of the ones I used on the latest blog intro page and promised to talk about, is of the flowering vine outside the front door in Key West, where I’ll be for ten days from the end of this week. The flowers look as ravishingly beautiful in real life as they do in this photo; their only fault is that they don’t have a scent: none at all. And somehow I can never feel complete respect or affection for a flower – however beautiful it may be – if it doesn’t also have scent. (Well, maybe I can – anemones are the exception, now I think of it. But the only one.)

I haven’t been in Key West for about a year and I’m looking forward to this visit. I hope to do some writing, and catch up with friends, and bike over to the beach path in the very early morning to walk into the rising run, and eat lots of fresh local fish. And high on the list of anticipated pleasures is seeing Ms Minnie Mouser, the cat I share with a friend and neighbour. Minnie is actually and totally Doreen’s cat these days, but both Doreen and Minnie are gracious enough to go along with my continuing part-ownership fantasy. So when I’m in town Minnie visits me regularly during the day, lies in the shade on our front porch, and asks me to supply breakfast and supper. But as soon as I leave town again she stops looking for me or for my food offerings, and reverts to her usual duties.

I should explain that her name – the Mouser part – is an honorary title rather than a descriptive one. There are no mice on the property as far as I know: I’ve certainly never seen any and I don’t believe Minnie’s ever caught one. There are certainly cockroaches (known locally as palmetto bugs, as if a cute tropical name makes them any less disgusting), plus the occasional scorpion and probably worse things, too – but not mice. So Minnie’s no mouser. Her duties, as she sees them, are to patrol the territory’s perimeter against intruders, and to meet-‘n’-greet guests in the property’s rental units, and she does both in a notable fashion.

I’ve never managed to take a good photo of Minnie but I’ll try again this visit. She’s worth it.

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