The Change

(As I am experimenting with less-to-no Facebook, my cat observations and photos, including Sleep of the Day, will henceforth appear and accumulate here. While fewer people will see them, anyone who strays by here will be able to browse more of them. They will make a more obscure, but also more concentrated and lasting, record of my feline life.)

When you were a child, wasn’t the changing of seasons a grand shifting of the scenery? As in a theatre with four acts, you could almost hear the grinding of the gears deep under the stage and the rumbling of the sets as the old one was withdrawn into the wings for another year and the new one slid into place and was unveiled.

It’s still a big deal for cats!  Because we were in Florida last winter and spring, Flighty reacted to the cold entering the window (yes, cold!) last night as if it was an invading animal of a strange species — a breeze-weasel, maybe? A breezel. When it touched her nose she startled back, went all low-slung, and advanced her head slowly, in caution-investigation mode, ready to bounce back at the slightest touch. If I had put a hand on her back just then she would have shot three feet into the air. (Only three. She’s fat.)

Now she’s begun to sneeze, and that’s weirding her out too: “Hey, what’s with my nose?!” She gave it a thorough washing. Just like all the people who are suddenly getting colds, the cats are vulnerable when the seasons change. In addition to sniffles, they often get a gut virus that J and I used to call “the fall disease.” They remind me what a big deal it really is. There are many layers to it: newness, beauty, and, deeper down, threat. All of life alerts and salutes this signal with mortal respect.

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