Wednesday, February 20, 2019

and so it continues

I'll say this much for February: the forecasts have been accurate. When they say "snow on Wednesday," I listen, because sure enough, it's Wednesday and there is snow.

The farmette animals, on the other hand? Everyday there is a new surprise and not one I would have guessed. I thought we were in a holding pattern. I step outside to clear the walkway (from the snow, because you remember -- it's Wednesday), glance over at the garage and there he is, right by the garage door, the visiting Maine Coon, aka Long Whiskers, or Whiskers because we're mixing up the adjectives too much to keep them going.

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So we know now for sure it's not a raccoon, just a Coon. He flies off pretty quickly once he sees me, which affirms a need to always dangle a camera around your neck because otherwise you'll miss stuff. Not that I could get much of a shot of a flying Coon, but still, I love the sense of motion here:

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So, how do Stop Sign and her Dance feel about this visitor? I look around the garage. Nothing. Silence. Well, at least there is no new blood! I'll roll with these animal permutations and surprises, so long as they don't result in death or dismemberment. We had enough of those. And yes, I am relieved that Whiskers is definitely not a raccoon.

I put a little cat food in the step-and-dine (only Stop Sign knows how to work it) and move on to the barn to feed the cheepers. All quiet in that great big structure, except for the impatient clucking of the girls.

I walk back, calling out to Stop Sign, but everything is very quiet, in the way it gets when we have a snowfall.

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As I pass the garage, I see movement. Oh, there you are, Dance! Where is your mommy? 

She does not answer. I give her some food in the regular old dish and retreat. She's very hesitant when Stop Sign isn't around. Best to leave her alone.

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You can imagine any number of explanations for the current status quo: Stop Sign is hunting, for food or for a mate. Or, she just needs to move, explore, mark. Or she's looking for Whiskers and they passed each other by. I'm a little disappointed to learn that cats don't bond with their mates at all. Mom and her kittens? Siblings? Very much so. Too, a cat may enjoy a playful camaraderie with another pal cat. But tom cats are a fleeting presence in a female's life -- she doesn't swoon for him and he doesn't care about her nor their kittens. And so imagining that Whiskers would stick around as a companion to Stop Sign is unrealistic. (Though I must admit that I'm only sure about the gender of one cat -- Stop Sign. Every other cat here is a guess.

The farmhouse is warm and quiet. February is zipping along. Breakfast is lovely.

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And honestly, I do not spend an excessive amount of time worrying about the unknown. I see our hawk fly just over the courtyard. I don't flinch. For now, we're all okay. We lower the garage door, consider adding some visual distractions, keep an eye on who comes, who leaves. That is our job.

Snowdrop is with me this afternoon...

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And you might remember that Wednesday is her Storybook Dance day, so I take her to that class toward the end of our time together. And for once we are on time! She joins the line of little dancers.

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... and eventually reenacts some fragment of the Pinocchio story.

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And then I return home, check the garage (Dance -- yes, there, Stop Sign -- nope), shrug my shoulders and reheat bowls of home made chili. It's such a good dish to eat on a snowy February 20th!