Rambow & Zelda’s First Excursion

The kittens my wife and I adopted back in May have been settling in nicely. Zelda has adopted me and Rambow has become very attached to Holly, and they even both get on with Cookie, our older cat we’ve had for several years who doesn’t really get on with anyone, especially other cats. Or other people.

Things all started easily. They were too small to jump up to the most of the surfaces in our flat, like my desk or the kitchen counter, and it was this little fact we used for kitten control in the early weeks. Anything we didn’t want them messing with was put on the desk or a windowsill, and thus it was safe. We also used this to allow Cookie out and to open windows without fear of them escaping.

At some point, however, they got big enough to reach most of the relevant surfaces, as kittens are wont to do. Which means that around the same time that a mini heatwave hit the UK, we were left unable to open any of the windows in our flat for fear of a kitten escaping. It wasn’t an unfounded fear either; Zelda managed to get out on one occasion, and both she and Rambow are definitely aware of the outside world.

So yesterday, with them fully vaccinated, we decided to let them out – under a close guard, naturally – to give them a bit of a runout, and to get some fresh air in our flat (something much needed due to the explodey nature of our washing machine).

1/250sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, 21mm
1/250sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, 21mm

I think I forgot to mention that I had my camera with me. Do I still need to mention that these days? Anyway, I made sure I was outside ready with my camera before Holly opened the windows.

After a bit of a timid start, they were soon outside exploring, Zelda more so than Rambow as she is a lot more confident (some would say foolhardy) than her brother.

1/800sec, f/4.5, ISO 100, 36mm
1/800sec, f/4.5, ISO 100, 36mm

I kept the camera low to the ground as for the most part I really wanted to capture things at their level.

It wasn’t long before Zelda was in the bushes chasing bees.

1/640sec, f/5, ISO 320, 42mm
1/640sec, f/5, ISO 320, 42mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 320, 30mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 320, 30mm

Zelda was quick to run off into the bits of the grounds we didn’t want her in, like the car parks. She never looked very pleased to be stopped from exploring where she wanted to and shepherded back to our designated play area.

1/5000sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 39mm
1/5000sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 39mm
1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 39mm
1/500sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 39mm

Rambow, meanwhile, was pretty context with exploring the big open green bit.

1/1250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 62mm
1/1250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 62mm

And inevitably, Zelda ended up where she shouldn’t have. But at least she did come back.

1/400sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 75mm
1/400sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 75mm

By this point Cookie had come along to see what was occurring. Which made it very difficult for the kittens to make it back in through the window (the step ladder is there both for the kittens’ benefit and Holly’s).

1/800sec, f/3.5, ISO 320, 18mm
1/800sec, f/3.5, ISO 320, 18mm

So, back to the bushes they went.

1/250sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 33mm
1/250sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 33mm

This next image didn’t quite come out as intended – I was hoping for Zelda, hiding in the bushes, to be a bit more visible.

1/400sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 32mm
1/400sec, f/4.5, ISO 320, 32mm

Photographing black and white animals, especially in direct sunlight, is a bit tricky, because the camera tends to overexpose if you point the camera at a black bit and underexpose if you point it at a white bit (this could probably be fixed by adjusting the metering mode on my camera; I’m using evaluative metering which clearly doesn’t fix the problem). The big bits of light and shade where I was shooting made things a bit difficult too, which is why I got big overexposed foregrounds like in the image below.

1/1000sec, f/3.5, ISO 320, 18mm
1/1000sec, f/3.5, ISO 320, 18mm

At some point whilst chasing a bee, Zelda got stung on the paw. She’s fine, although her paw is a little bit swollen, and she spent a lot of the rest of her time outside licking her paw.

1/320sec, f/5, ISO 320, 48mm
1/320sec, f/5, ISO 320, 48mm

Still, it doesn’t stop her fun.

1/400sec, f/5, ISO 250, 47mm
1/400sec, f/5, ISO 250, 47mm

The best part of my day was having Zelda do what Cookie rarely seems to do when outside, which is play ball for a decent photograph.

1/2000sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 100mm
1/2000sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 100mm

She seems to have forgotten about her hurt paw in that one.

She also sat down in the leaves in a more photogenic way than Cookie usually does. Cookie will probably be all too keen to impress next time.

1/640sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 106mm
1/640sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 106mm

This is not to badmouth Cookie. She is plenty photogenic inside. But outside she’s all business and doesn’t have time for my photographic shenanigans.

I’m sure when Zelda and Rambow get used to Outside they’ll also not have time for me. But for now, I can use their exploration time as opportunity to get decent photos.

1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 135mm
1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 135mm

We had some balls we attempted to get them to play with, but it was a bit much for them in the strange new world they found themselves in.

1/1000sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 79mm
1/1000sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, 79mm
1/1250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 135mm
1/1250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 135mm

Also, Zelda’s paw still hurt. When she remembered.

1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 135mm
1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 135mm

After forty-five minutes of running around in the hot sun, it was time to come in. Which meant Holly was on kitten-wrangling duties. Rambow first…

1/4000sec, f/3.5, ISO 320, 18mm
1/4000sec, f/3.5, ISO 320, 18mm

… and then Zelda who came in as part of a reenactment of a part of The Lion King.

1/3200sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 79mm
1/3200sec, f/5.6, ISO 320, 79mm

They’re all in and the windows shut again, which means we’re back to using fans to try to keep us cool. When will this cursed summer ever end?

Wait, I don’t mean that. It’s taken long enough to turn up.

—————————————————————————————————————

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Related Posts:

New Kittens
Quick Sunset
Squirrel in the Garden

3 Comments

Add yours →

  1. The first shot of Zelda and her hurt paw is really good! Great story made it even better! Very good post! Enjoyed it very much. And actually, the over-exposed foreground being the grass in that one pic is very good as it gives one the idea of the sun in the grass and how it is for the kittens. Great work!

    Like

  2. oh yeah, running Zelda is a great one too!

    Like

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