Is a Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?

Fireworks are awesome… in theory…

Dan and I are homebodies by nature and I can’t remember the last time I got in a car to drive and see a professional display for the 4th of July. Sure, when the kids were living with me, we made the trek to wherever the nearest event was, but that was a long time ago.

So, embarking on a new theme for us in what we call “getting out of the house more,” Dan and I decided it would be fun to drive to the beach to see the display at the Pompano Pier (Fort Lauderdale area) and take some pictures.  We knew we would have to leave around 6:00pm to get some dinner and find parking, but due to an ironic joke on me, we were running late because of one of the cats…

Like many of us, I had done a blog post about the 4th, telling everyone to keep their pets safe inside, as the holiday can easily spook them with all the loud noises and strong smells from the fireworks. I was doing my part – shutting the doors to any room other than the ones with litter boxes, removing any breakables that might get knocked down from a shelf, turning the television  on to drown out noises and so on. This, of course, was probably spooking the cats out more than the impending fireworks. I’m sure they were wondering what the heck I was doing and they were following me around like I was from Mars and I could tell I was making them nervous!

Finally feeling confident that we could leave safely, I quickly proceeded to do a “kitty head count” so that I could make sure I did not accidentally lock a cat into a room with a shut door. One, two, three, four, five, six…. Six… Six… Okay, one of them is missing and it appears to be Rolz, which is no surprise. Despite his deceiving powerful body and hunting skills, this is one scaredy cat who takes after his Papa Zee in that regard. Trying to pretend all is well, Dan and I turn a casual look into a frantic search as we try to find this elusive cat who has suddenly forgot his name when called.

We did what any rationale couple would do, we looked in places he could not possibly be in, such as the refrigerator and caused so much emotional concern with the tone in our voices, that the cats probably got even more agitated. Now, of course, it was getting late and we were jeopardizing any possibility whatsoever of finding a parking spot. Rolz is prone to this type of behavior and common sense would tell anyone that he was hiding, quite safely, and just did not want to be found.

Realizing that we had to go, I left with my feet feeling like bowling balls and could barely eat my salad I ordered at Wendy’s. Dan looked at me and said, “You’re not going to be able to enjoy the fireworks, are you”? To which I replied in perfect dishonesty, “I’ll be fine…”

So, naturally, after dinner, Dan began to drive… back home… to check on the cat that deep down we knew was okay, but we still had to check to find out. We open the door and there he is, lounging atop his favorite shelf on his kitty condo, washing his paws without a care in the world. Yawn…. Would you mind keeping it down, his bored look implied, I’m trying to groom myself in peace…

As you can see, I took no writer’s liberty whatsoever describing Rolz and his completely uncaring demeanor… Sigh, score another victory for the cat…

Feeling a combination of relief and foolishness, we head to the beach with as much dignity as possible to find a parking spot before the mass chaos ensues. Wow… right off the bat, we see a parking area and quickly decide we are willing to pay for parking rather than driving around endlessly looking for a spot that already does not exist. Naturally, the parking attendant could care less about etiquette and fails to put up a sign that the lot is full. We drive around in circles for a really long time and don’t say out loud what we are thinking… damn cat… if we had left earlier, we would have a spot already.

After some bizarre miracle where God does not want cats to be the scapegoat for parking evils, we find a spot quite close to the beach and cheer our good fate! We get to the beach and also immediately find an amazing spot to sit were Dan can set up his camera tripod and we have an excellent view of the fireworks! Whoo Hoo!! As we fast forward in time, the fireworks begin and they are spectacular!! All half hour of them!!!

The fireworks begin!

The display really starts to pick up!

The Grand Finale!!

We quickly pack up to leave and I think to myself,  this isn’t so bad. We’ll be home soon enough and I can get a decent amount of sleep before I have to get up for work in the morning.  Fast-forward again, this is the part where I decide I really don’t care that much about fireworks at all and that memories from years gone by are good enough for me.  Beach cities that are used to a steady flow of traffic that centers around bridge causeways and two lanes of traffic, are NOT equipped for masses of people to exit at one time. I will spare you the gory details, but let’s just say that under normal circumstances, we probably would have gotten home sometime around 10:00 pm. We got home a little before MIDNIGHT. Almost a 6 hour ordeal to see a half hour display!!

I am still proud that Dan and  I ventured out of the house, but next time, dinner and a local movie will suit me just fine. Dan did get some incredible shots – they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, in the case of this picture, it is worth 1003 words… I know… I just counted them for this post.

Please take a moment to vote for Zee & Zoey in the DogTime Pettie Awards – we are nominated for “Best Designed Blog” and “Best Blog Post” for our interview with Steve Dale on pedigree cat breeding. You can vote once a day up to July 31st, and winning blogs will get $1000 donated to the rescue or shelter of their choice! We have picked a local organization called Abandoned Pet Rescue where we got several of our dogs throughout the years. Click here to vote.

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  1. RumpyDog! says:

    I can so relate to the head count terrors… June Buggie thinks he should be able to go outdoors with the dogs, but around here that’s just not wise. So frequent head counts are in order to make sure he’s not snuck out on me. When I can’t find one… well, you know that feeling.

    • Deb says:

      Oh yes, RumpyDog! I do know the feeling and it is wise than your human keeps such a good eye on June Buggie! My cats think they should be allowed outside as well, but we beg to differ and control the door knob!

  2. Ingrid King says:

    I can totally relate to the headcount – even though I only have two, I won’t leave my house until I know exactly where each of them is.

    Stunning fireworks photos! Your story reminded me of the one time when I saw them on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale.

    • Deb says:

      Ingrid – the thing about leaving the house, is that I know Dan very well… I knew we would be back home after dinner and I knew Rolz would be doing exactly what he was doing… he just needed us to leave him alone for a few minutes so he could come out at his own pace! If I had been about to catch a flight, I would have canceled it until I found that damn cat!!

  3. Vicki Cook says:

    Like you, I haven’t been out to see the fireworks since my daughter was little. It was fun to take her downtown to watch the Symphony and the fireworks, but I’m just as happy now to stay at home with the kitties. I can watch them on TV if I really want to see them, and I don’t have to deal with the traffic. Glad you found Rolz – the little stinker!

  4. Brian says:

    Those are my kind of fireworks…no noise!!! Very pretty!

  5. Marg says:

    Those are terrific pictures. Well done. That silly kitty. He was just hiding cause he thought something was amiss. It is amazing how they know our body language. Have a great day.

  6. How many of us can relate to “as we try to find this elusive cat who has suddenly forgot his name when called.”….I only have one but it never ceases to amaze me how adept he is at “not being found” when he NEEDS to be found!

    I have run around crying, ripping furniture apart, sending Lenny outside to look (for my INDOOR cat who NEVER ventures outside and never shows a desire to BE outside!) and I refuse to leave until Cody finally saunters out from who-knows-where. It always amazes me that his usual haunts are NEVER where he has chosen to hide. Then he looks at me with that blase look of “what’s YOUR problem? I’ve been here all along!”

    Dan’s fireworks photos are spectacular, glad that you were able to have a good time after all!

    • Deb says:

      Oh, do I ever know this Caren. Rolz does this all the time and we look outside too, knowing fully well he did not get out, but never quite knowing for sure… it is so frustrating how good they are at hiding – they become as thin as an envelope and just vanish… then, out of nowhere, they reappear and look at you as if you’re the fool… UGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Great pictures! I was able to see some fireworks at a semi-pro baseball game last week and really enjoyed them. The child tends to come back out of us when seeing them, doesn’t it?

  8. Love these pics! And it’s always better safe than sorry!

  9. There’s always one elusive cat when you’re in a mad rush to get out the door.

    But in terms of fireworks, you’re welcome to celebrate here in downtown next time. Get here around 7pm to park at my building and then we walk to find a spot to park our picnic chairs. (Mom and I). It’s like a picnic. we bring wine, fruit, cookies, snacks, ….The fireworks go off at 9pm. Afterwards, I could see form my balcony I-95 was free and clear to head north. You would have spent less time in the car and driving here and back! Something to think about for next year.

    • Deb says:

      Christine… we might just take you up on that!! Dan loves the Miami city-scape and it would be wonderful spending time with you and your Mom (and Mon Cherie) xoxoxo

  10. Cheysuli says:

    The Woman frequently has to check two and three times before leaving on a long trip to make sure we are all there–even though she knows that we never go outside… Humans…

  11. Fantastic photos of Rolz and the fireworks! I think “cat people” tend to be more homebodies than most. I felt stuck in the mud this year debating if I wanted to go see fireworks solo but I decided not. It’s great that you and Dan got out despite the traffic.

  12. Awesome photos, Dan and I loved your 1003 words with the pictures, Deb!! I really believe cats know and try it on, just so’s you never forget who holds all the cards xox

    • Deb says:

      LOL Carolyn – so true! Cats never let you forget who holds the cards!! I guess it’s inflation that has driven up the price of words…

  13. Bernadette says:

    What fun–the photos are great! And I know all too well the story of a cat who conveniently disappears just before I am to leave the house. They know! And they either pop out of nowhere, or you find them quietly sleeping and looking confused, in a spot you would swear you searched several times…in return, I always blame them for being late. No one believes me.

  14. Jo Singer says:

    I so enjoyed this piece. I can totally relate to your angst concerning a missing kitty. After all our cats are family and how could we enjoy any event worrying if something disastrous had transpired.

    • Deb says:

      I don’t think there is a cat lover among us, Jo, that can’t relate to this piece!! Thanks for stopping by and so glad you enjoyed the story!

  15. Amazing photos…and yes, I too look in the refrigerator when I can’t find a cat—never have found one in there, but heck, who knows. Good for you for getting out and about…more than I did as the drive back makes me decide against it almost every year…

  16. Kjelle Bus a.k.a Charlie Rascal says:

    My mom too run around the house and look for me befor she and dad leave homa and of course I will not show when called for 🙂
    GREAT fireworks photos !!!

  17. I am so glad to meet you all! We live in Parkland, so we must not be too far apart. My Mommeh always does a head count for all 2 of us just to make sure we aren’t locked in a closet before she heads off to work.

    • Deb says:

      Oh my cat, Daisy!!!!!!!!! We live in Coral Springs, so we are totally neighbors! Our human loves Parkland, especially seeing all the pretty horses outside! Yup, it seems a kitty head count is a must in every household!

  18. meowmeowmans says:

    Hi Deb,

    Wow, what a great picture of Rolz! Oh, and the ones of the fireworks are okay, too. MOL! Just kidding … they are fantastic. Glad that all ended up well (except for that long, long drive home).

    We only have two kittehs at our house, but we’ve definitely done the “count and search (everywhere)” drill before…

    Have a great day!


  19. Sometimes I can’t even count ONE head! ha!

    Dan’s fireworks photos are absolutely spectacular. And believe me…I KNOW how difficult it is to get everything just right with them. Please tell him they are gorgeous…some of the best I’ve seen. (don’t tell Gloman!)
    xx, Glogirly

  20. My cat Hana hates loud noises. No surprise there. It is always a joy when she flings off me and digs in her claws after a mystery noise. Fireworks would be insanely comical.