The Cats are Totally Disconcerted

The Cats are Totally Disconcerted

Well, this has been a disconcerting week for the cats of our house. Cats, unlike dogs, seem to be impacted by surrounding events. We had dogs before weChloe Anne acquired cats. In fact, our last dog, the long-lived Maggie (age 17 1/2) shared this house with our initial cat Chloe Anne for several years.When Maggie died Chloe went into a deep depression that required happy pills for several months. She cried at the windows looking for her friend and chewed her tail.


Isabella and LilliWe helped her to recover by adopting a little black and white tuxedo cat from the local shelter. We gave her the elegant name of Isabella Elena Marie. Bella for short is a lively still little cuddler as is Chloe.

Our newest cat Nina Louise (cats should always have a minimum of two names) has been with us for about a year and a half. Nina loves to sit on my wife’s lap in the early morning and be petted.

My wife, Sandy, just has a wonderful way with children,dogs and cats. She teaches 5 and 6 year-old kindergartners at the local elementary school. It must be her voice and manner with the cats. That and the fact that she feeds them, cleans their litter boxes, gives them treats and rotates “lap” time with all of them.

This past week has seen the annual shift from Summer vacation to the start of the school year. Their “mama” now gets up at 5:30 to get ready for school. Amazingly, the cats sense this and act as her alarm clock waking her up then, give or take five minutes. They also know that “lap” time is limited on the mornings during the week. Maybe, they understand everything we say and do.

At 1:49 PM on Tuesday the cats experienced something new: an earthquake. The 5.9 magnitude temblor rattled us for 30-40 seconds. It seemed like much longer than that. This is their nap time and it’s unusual to be awakened abruptly in the middle of the afternoon. To be awakened by something new and potentially unpleasant is really disconcerting. They all looked at me as if to say: “What was that?”. They followed me around the house as I checked for damage. Fortunately, there was none. The original was followed by at least five aftershocks, one of which woke us all up in the middle of the night.

Just as they began to recover from this unique event Hurricane Irene arrived off the Virginia coast on Saturday. Although the coast is a considerable distance from Charlottesville Irene is such a huge storm that its effect were felt well inland. We had rain on and off all day and most of the night. Of course, this was accompanied by the traditional power outage that lasted for a mercifully short time. By way of comparison Hurricane Isabelle left us without lights for about five days. Irene was a piker and we were out for maybe four to five hours.

I opened our screen porch for the cats and they all ventured out to listen to the storm. After several minutes of curious inspection (these are cats, after all) they returned to the safety of the inside. This morning everything is back in order. The lights are on, the cats are fed and resting and at least one of them is on Sandy’s lap.

 

 

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