Arose with rosy-fingered dawn, thanks to marauding cats in the bedroom. Over the years they’ve figured out that one sure way to get one of us out of bed when they want something is to hiss and yowl and attack each other. The image of furious writhing balls of fur is more than I can sleep through.
It’s 8:30 now, sun is streaming through the windows at the back of the house. As the days lengthen, the sun moves farther north on the eastern horizon, and we get delicious morning warmth and light in the back of the house. Plants grow madly in the garden, cats curl up on the warm wood deck, new growth on the ironwood tree glows red in the sunshine, the scent of jasmine drifts past, and humming birds zoom and dive and hover on the vine. Until the summer solstice. Then the process reverses, and by mid-winter, when it would really be lovely to have morning sun where we drink our coffee, it’s moved to its southernmost point and wastes its power on the side of the house with no windows. The garden gets no sun at all for a couple of months and is damp and cold. But in winter we take delicious afternoon naps in a warm and sun-filled bedroom at the front of the house.
Woke with an Amos Lee song lyric on my mind, “Lately I’ve been heading for a breakdown…,” though this morning I don’t feel that way, only content to see the sun on the new green of sprouting grape leaves, my neighbor’s Tibetan prayer flags waving in the breeze, a long, white jet trail streaking across blue sky. Vinnie, a neighbor’s sleek black cat, has just come into the kitchen looking for food. He walked right past our orange cat Feister, lying at the top of the stairs where I thought he was guarding the home front. Flipper, our gray cat, opened her eyes from her nap on the red couch and looked at him disinterestedly. Vinnie wears a red fabric collar with a little bell. As I rise to my feet, he streaks down the stairs, bell tinkling. He spends a lot of time in our garden, making his way there on the tops of fences from a house a block over at the top of the hill, and now feels free to walk into the house through the cat door. I am not thrilled with this. Two cats shedding fur and throwing up on the carpet are enough, though Vinnie is extraordinarily clean and so short-haired he probably doesn’t shed at all. Nonetheless, you have to draw the line somewhere. As some anonymous sage said, Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.
Believe it or not, this is not a cat blog. At least I hope not.