Feline Noir: Losing & finding Minino

Crunching in the darkness through leaf-cluttered backyards, quietly opening and closing gates, we tip-toed through the neighborhood, supercharged with adrenaline.

“Minino!” We called and called and called. Our flashlights violated the private corridors of our neighborhood: dense town-homes or apartment buildings (obsessed with security) crowding in on older Craftsman homes with sizable yards and flimsy screen doors.

I’ve never been so determined to find anything or anyone. The hours disappeared like the flicker of his florescent eyes — bright, visible, certain and then suddenly nowhere to be found. He seemed to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time, taunting us with his ability to transcend property lines by jumping from the top of one fence to another.

Certain we’d find him, we returned home in morning light defeated and exhausted.

The following day we oscillated between hopelessness and determination. Dutifully (and tearfully), we duct-taped bright flyers to heavily-stapled telephone poles — this gesture a brutal reminder of our desperation.

So when a (cat) lady named Patti responded to one of our LOST CAT Craigslist posts with a laundry list of cat-finding methods, we took her very seriously. “Some people have had success creating a scent trail back to their home by spraying their own urine around the neighborhood,” she wrote. Bingo.

Instead of spending the next night searching, we laid the groundwork for OPERATION MININO FIND YOUR OWN WAY BACK! We mixed one-part Brenton’s pee with one-part fresh spring water in a large spray bottle and went to TOWN. We also strategically placed Brenton’s dirty socks by our home. Finally, we left our backyard open with a bowl of canned food and water for his return.

To our delight (and initial disbelief), he was found sleeping peacefully in our backyard when I tip-toed downstairs to check outside at 4am. There in all his physical preciousness, contained and domestic, looking once again like OUR cat instead of a the wild beast we pursued the night before. ❤



The hallucinator sees
the contents of their mind

spread out before them,
like dusty old knickknacks

brought up from the basement
and strewn out in the front yard.

Their minds become a

They look at their life
and see themselves
as a miracle.

An accidental poem by this article in The Atlantic.


Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle 


Certain days, it
feels more real
than others.

Sudden understanding,
moments like a
wallet filled with
a finite number
of bills.

Curiosity asking:
“Just what will
I miss most?”

Young adults
everywhere wondering
what it takes: to
enjoy a job or to do
a job to enjoy life?

Intense but brief
relationships offer a
certain pattern–
patterns become the only
long-term investment.

Curiosity asking:
“Is there a moment
when you finally
feel adult?”

Turned off by the
idea of ‘waiting’
for damn near

Minds plugged into
computers, envious
of the coffeeshoppers
tapping feet to music,

Possibly reading,
researching, reflecting–
something personal
to gain.

Stretching ‘breaktime’
like a theraband.
Who’s watching?

Kiwi awnings at, I
admit, my favorite

Certain fondness,
a certain unknowing–
“What will I miss most?”

Never underestimate
the gravitational pull
of the place where
you gained financial

Also: where you
curated a fine group
of ‘adult’ friends.

Even when it feels
real, this hawk-shadow
of swooping change,
I can’t deny my
giddy disposition:

Us, hand in hand,
walking confidently
into the sunlit unknown.


Written on February 11, 2014…shortly after Brenton & I decided we would quit our jobs and relocate from Philadelphia to Seattle. We made the move on June 23, 2014.




It is a wonder that my eyes
may see the city from such
varied perches, day to day:

By bus–elevated so that
I may gaze indulgently
into wet, dirt-caked
cavities of construction sites
hidden when I am

By bike, so that the flawed
contours of road, frenzied
traffic patterns spill soft
city breath on my cheeks,
so stilled when I am

By foot, so that I may watch,
observe, stop at the apex of the
Walnut Street Bridge and see
(for the first time) clumps of
bright clothing, remnants
of bicycles, water bottles
sticking to the concrete
embankment below.

This poem was written on January 25, 2012, before I could even conceive of moving out west.