Saturday, June 28, 2008


A Layer of Ash

I looked outside this morning to see what looked like falling snow. When I went outside, I found a fine layer of ash on my car. The air smelled of smoke. The Big Sur wildfires, I realize, are not so far away. (In case you aren't keeping track, the fires were started by lightning, which is incredibly rare in this part of the country during this time of the year. We don't have rainstorms in June, and yet we somehow had thunder, rain and hail in addition to lightning. This is the kind of weather one would expect in, say, Nebrasaka during the month of June, and not northern California).

A few months ago, when I was last in California, I saw a bobcat near our property. Already I keep Angus the cat (not to be confused with the bobcat) in at night, since he is prone to try to "protect his property" and since this instinct resulted in a hospital visit a few weeks ago after he tangled with what we suspect was a fox. A friend today pointed out to me that already we are seeing more deer and different species of birds in our area, as they flee the fires down south. I imagine the mountain lions aren't too far behind.

I find this very odd when I think about the strange dream I had about a month ago.

My Angus, a 16 pound neutered but not declawed orange Maine Coon, greets your Angus. Mine is a great big wimp and a mama's boy, though (but also a great source of warm furry purring comfort and amusement when he slow-mo meows in his sleep
How interesting. Angus was 16 pounds at one point, but ordered to go on a diet. We are trying to scale him back to around 14.

Angus alternates between being a domestic cat lover's dream, and a fierce hunting machine. Yesterday we saw him trotting across the front yard with a large vole in his mouth and we shut the cat door to prevent the introduction of entrails to the kitchen.

We he sheepishly came home hours later--mouth empty--he purred and cuddled and ate some human food for dinner, and slept for 12 hours.

His vet recently declared to us: "Angus has the best personality on the Peninsula." We are trying to keep this from going to his head.

So, a big paw-wave back to your cat. He sounds like very, very good company. A good cat is a wonderful friend.
Neil Gaiman has a lovely short story in one of his short story collections about taking in a stray cat who comes in every morning from the night's rambles scratched and sore. The narrator stays up one night to watch and finds that the cat is fighting the darkest forces in the family driveway every night - and the narrator is left grateful, and more than a little shaken in recognition of the cat's defense of the family. Less sci fi/fantasy, a little more home feeling and cat wisdom. Because variety in reading is good.
Oh, this is a lovely story! And this reminds me, in turn, of the Japanese myth (name currently slips my mind) of the creature responsible for eating nightmares. I could use him right about now. Perhaps I'll contract out Angus the cat to help me.

Thank you all for the posts.
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