Last night when I came home from work, one of the cats was nowhere to be found. The two tiny panthers (it just took me three tries to successfully figure out which large exotic feline was the black one) are always milling about and very excited at dinner time so this was highly irregular and a little alarming. I checked the garage and basement to see if she had followed us and been locked in behind us, but no luck on either of those. We couldn’t think of where else she would be. There really wasn’t anything else to do though: as much as we love them, the cats are utilitarian to us — they are simply here to control the rodents, and we got two cats in case one died for whatever reason — and we hadn’t seen any real reason to panic yet so we went to bed and simply hoped she would show up in the morning.
I just went out and checked this morning, and there the fat little thing was! Up in the barn with the hay and her sister, just like usual. What a relief. “The cat came back,” indeed. It wouldn’t have been the end of the world if Jinx had disappeared and never returned but we certainly would have been sad for the loss.
It’s been as cold as the ninth circle of hell around here lately. For those not familiar with Dante’s Inferno, the deepest bowel of hell is a lake of ice where the worst sinners are frozen, trapped forever, so yes, saying “it’s cold as hell” is quite acceptable. Anyway, it’s been cold like this for about a month now, and I have mixed feelings about it, and those mixed feelings make me feel guilty. The layers of my discontent are absurd.
Let me explain. I have mixed feelings because I typically love cold weather — snow, frost, ice, chilly winds, etc. But these things have come so late in the season that I find it disorienting. Here I am, my internal clock ready for and expecting spring, and we’re still getting temperatures of -5 C at night. It’s similar to how I don’t like spring, but on a much longer timeline: I’ve mentioned here before how spring days make me feel weird because it will be sunny and hot but also drizzling and cold at the same time, and for some reason that really throws me for a loop. It’s like I don’t know how to feel those days — upbeat and chipper or miserable and downtrodden? This stretch of cold weather late in the season isn’t all back and forth like that but it is extremely atypical and thus somewhat emotionally confounding for me.
On top of that, I feel guilty for not loving this cold weather wholeheartedly. I’m usually nuts about this stuff, and I frequently reminisce about the coldest winter memories I have — blizzards in Ottawa, Quesnel, and Edmonton — so why don’t I appreciate this more right now? I mean, I certainly don’t hate it, but I do find it annoying in that dog walking on the frozen snow is a real pain in the ass, for example, and I can’t help but feel guilty for not wholeheartedly loving this weather while we have it. Satan in Hell knows that come the inevitable inferno of this summer, I’ll be longing for these short, dark, frozen days. Maybe I should just remind myself of that aspect when I find myself getting annoyed.