Friday, February 22, 2019

sunshine and its impact on stuff

We knew we would have ourselves a gorgeous winter day and indeed, the weather gods delivered: plenty of sunshine and by afternoon, we'd crossed that magic divide, drom frozen to melting and on our way toward spring.

(Please do not remind m that tomorrow we're getting another ice storm. Perhaps the weather gods will be kind and will push the thermometer just one degree up. Rain would be preferable. Thank you.)

Pretty, pretty morning walk to the barn!

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It's on the early side: I have a full day before me and I know that feeding the animals takes time these days, what with the drama, the searches, the calling, the moping.

Also an early breakfast for the two of us.

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And then a second breakfast -- at a very sunny bakery...

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... one last one with my out-of-town friend, before she returns to her home in the much warmer Albuquerque.

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Grocery shop, unload, get in the car, pick up Snowdrop.

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The girl is all over the place today. Read this book. Play that game. Do a very complicated art project. ("Can you cut this out for me in a rectangle? Here, sort of like this...")

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Play! She is insatiable: her pretend games consume her and she pleads for my participation. I beg off for a minute. Stop Sign is at the door -- a sign that her food dishes are empty. I want to refill them. Snowdrop asks -- can I do it?
We're off.

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She wants to stay outside. Here she is, wanting so much to build another snowman!

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But, I ran out with just a sweater and I'm cold. And it is getting late. And there's an ice storm coming, followed by rain, followed by a deep freeze. Uff! Let's go in, Snowdrop!

The sun is long gone by the time she leaves. I take out the veggies and start in on a reliable seafood stirfry.

Ha! You thought you'd get through a post with no reference to cats? Not possible! Each day leaves us wondering -- how do you explain this scene? That movement? The only difference is that today, you're getting the synopsis at the end of the post. It does not mean that I spent less time thinking about the cats. Their behavior has grabbed our emotions and preoccupations -- mine, even more than Ed's, which is curious, as he is much more of a cat person than I am.

Today's story is different yet again. When I went out in the morning to feed the animals (mind you, it was earlier than usual), the garage was empty. No sign, no sound. I called Stop Sign high and low. No response. No Whiskers either. I got some satisfaction talking to the chickens. They clucked loudly to let me know that nice weather tugs at their little sun starved hearts. Sorry girls. Not yet. We're still contemplating what to do with you!

Right before I left for my various meetings and chores, Stop Sign showed up. Without her babies. Still, if I can at all read her mood, I would say that she was very undisturbed. She ate a little, then did a thorough bath routine on the plush old blanket we've left out for them. Honestly, she seemed content.

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I told Ed to call me the minute a little one returned! And he did. Just before noon. In fact, his report was so beautiful that I deeply regretted doing grocery shopping rather than lying in wait for them all. He described all three cats playing in the sunshine on the picnic table and, too, the appearance of Whiskers, who now gets his own food by the writer's shed.

When I pulled up on our still slick driveway, I saw them all...

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... though Whiskers lingered only for a minute. He is still a very shy huge shaggy guy. (Or girl. I tried to explain to Snowdrop that only Stop Sign's gender is a sure thing for us. I tied it to the fact of her having had babies. Perhaps that wasn't too clever. She now evaluates cat gender based on whether the given animal has had babies -- a bit too dismissive of feline's who decide to pursue careers or artistic endeavors rather than going from one pregnancy to the next.)

You could say that these last two days were nearly perfect cat days: all were here, at least for some portion of the day, all were content, all were well fed and well rested and I could engage in their lives, even if a little at a distance. I am living a fiction, of course: I'm wanting pet like loyalty from animals that live in the wild. Most feral cats are too antsy to stay rooted to one place. Still, Stop Sign is a bit of an exception. She looks for us when she wants something. In the summertime, she hangs out close to where we are. She feeds my image of a nearly perfect animal companion (perhaps human companion too) -- free to move as she pleases, but with seeming affection that always brings her back, not just for the food, but, too, for the conversation.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Rain, for sure. Otherwise -- no clue.