This winter has been a tough one here in our corner of Montana. The only winter I recall having such long-term cold and constant snow cover on the ground was the winter of 1978-1979. Fortunately, that year I was working on an electrical upgrade inside a retirement home and was plenty warm. Also, a strikingly beautiful Native American girl worked there. She didn’t talk much, but she was extremely graceful. She made washing dishes and prepping food seem like a presentation of Swan Lake set in rows of stainless steel racks. I enjoyed the show.
But this is about my 40 pounds of housecats.
Neither of my 40 pounds of housecat have any reference to the winter of 1978-1979. My cats detest snow and they do not appreciate temperatures below freezing. Stuck inside the house, both cats have become disheartened and more than a little touchy over the last couple of months.
Splash is especially dejected. Each morning, on my way to pouring my second cup of coffee, we meet at the back door for the same grim ritual. The idea is to see if he can go outside. Sitting by the door, Splash waits for me to swing it open so he can make an assessment of the weather conditions. After I open the door, he takes a couple steps and pokes his head out. He has a checklist:
Snow out there?
Temperature cold on my whiskers?
That stuff is not for me.
With that, he slowly slinks back, smoldering on the inside, and finds a warm spot to sleep. If Carmel happens to walk near him before he falls to sleep, Splash will ambush him just because he can.
Yesterday, believe it or not, I heard a robin chipping out its song in the snowscape behind my house. I wish my cats had heard that, I’m sure that would make them feel better.