Caring for 13 cats is sometimes all consuming. Like when one of them gets sick. Why is it always a weekend, for example, when one of the kitties gets out of sorts?
Not that I go running to the vet for every little thing, but when a cat starts peeing outside the box, the flags go up. Depending who it is, I should say. Some of the little dears do it to prove a point. Like my dearly beloved and sadly departed Panther. I loved that little guy to bits, but when he was pissed off, well….is that where the expression came from? Probably not, but that’s what he did.
Most cats, however, don’t normally go out of the box, so when they do, I pay attention. Fortunately I happened to notice Sikkim yesterday, making a small puddle on a carpet, which she would never normally do. Then, immediately, she went to a box and tried again, without success. And that is a problem that can’t wait till Monday.
Wouldn’t you know, yesterday I was particularly tired and achy and looking forward to a lazy Saturday morning. Instead, I found myself bouncing along in the car on the way to Latham which seemed inordinately far yesterday. It was a lot worse for poor Sikkim, however, as she gets motion sickness, which is, shall we say, productive.
You could say I wasn’t in the best of humour as we started out. But how can you stay grumpy with so much natural beauty all around? Rolling hills, full of corn, coming ready for the harvest, all in perfect rows that ripple in the wind. Hedgerows and fallow fields, full of wildflowers, white and blue and yellow.
Such a variety of wondrous trees, now heavy with leaves and fruit, overhanging the road, creating avenues of dappled light. A blue, blue sky, with pretty, puffy clouds.
When driving in the country, I am always delighted in any season, by the animals I see. Horses and donkeys and cattle grazing. Chickens and geese clucking by the roadside, fortunately not in it. I remember in Washington, I used to drive out of my way in the hope of spotting a lama. That lama farm gone, now, in favour of a bigger, better road and more condos.
That’s why I am here, Upstate New York.
Last evening, another treat of Nature, though it was close to being more of a punishment in it’s brief violence. In moments, it seemed, this storm blew up, dropping sheets of rain. Lightning fell, all too close, and thunderous booms drove cats under beds and into boxes. But not me.
I know better than to venture out into such a storm. Close to being struck by lightning once, it left a deep impression. But I do not cover mirrors and put away the silverware, as my grandmother did. Decades ago, I waited out an awful storm in her company once. Everyone sat silent, in the growing dark, but I was fascinated by the sky that I could see, through the open door. Under a table, the dog chewed a foot off my toy.
Next day we heard that a flood had destroyed homes and lives in a coastal town. A childhood memory that has held fast.
In a matter of minutes…our storm passed. Looking from the window, I noticed the hill across the valley, suddenly lit up like gold and it drew me outside to witness a perfect rainbow, not one, but two, the outer rather faint, but there.
I ran out, almost dancing in the rain that still fell steadily, but safe now. I wanted to soak up the light, to draw it into my body. I felt, if I did, that I should fly, weightless. Nature’s fury and Nature’s peace.
The rainbow was huge and far beyond my skills to capture, even if I had a wide-angle lens. The above pictures display it’s span, but the perfectness of that moment was a gift I cannot re-create.