Cabin fever strikes both human, feline
The cat seems to be suffering from cabin fever. On sunny days, she curls up in front of the sliding glass door that opens onto our deck and stares wistfully through the glass, pining for warmer days.
Occasionally, she gathers up the courage to go outside, tentatively setting first one paw and then another onto the deck. Trouble is, she can't stand to get her feet wet, so these excursions seldom last for long, at least after we've had a snowfall.
Of course, I'm projecting my own feelings onto her. In truth, I have no idea what she's thinking, or if she's thinking at all. I do know, however, what I am thinking, and that is that I've had about enough of winter. I'm longing for warmer days, those days when it feels good to be outside and to feel the sun on your back.
Before I retired I had often thought about just selling everything when the time came, buying a camper and hitting the road. I would have gone where the weather suits my clothes, as the fellow says.
Of course reality and the need for a somewhat settled existence intervened. I'm probably not cut out to lead a completely rootless life, for one thing.
I've always maintained that I liked living in a place where there were four seasons. That's still true, but enough is enough. The National Weather Service predicts that only two of the next 10 days will be sunny or mostly sunny.
At least the forecast calls for the mercury to rise above freezing during those 10 days. The temperature failed to rise above freezing on 16 days during the past month. In fact, the highest temperature recorded during the first nine days of January was 19 degrees Fahrenheit.
At least, if you're like me and you've had enough of the cold, the trend is favorable. Average temperatures this month will start to rise into the 40s. The average high for Feb. 28, as it happens, is 50.
It may be somewhat uncharitable, but I take some comfort in knowing that it's worse elsewhere. As I write this it's 11 in Minneapolis, Minn. Worse still, it's 5 in Fargo, N.D.; 19 in Billings, Mont.; 20 in Boston.
Of course there's no justice. Right now it's actually 34 in Juneau, Alaska. That's two degrees warmer than it was here when I started writing. What's more, there's no wind in Juneau, while here the wind is blowing about 13mph, which makes it actually feel like 22. For that matter, it's 47 in Denver.
I just checked the temperature again. Now it's up to 34. I take no comfort in the knowledge that it's now as warm here as it is in Alaska.
And so the cat and I take our stations by the window, trying to soak up any errant rays of the sun that may poke through the clouds, hoping for warmer days that we are certain will come in time.