Today dawned sunny and cold, frigid by local standards. We were up at 4:15, just in time to see the full moon framed by the high window in our bathroom and go back to bed. Magnificent!
Now the strengthening sun throws surprisingly long shadows across the landscape, the sky is that perfect robin’s egg blue, and the thermometer has risen a few degrees. Tomorrow night we are to receive a storm of snow, then rain, and Monday temperatures are forecast to be in the mid to upper 40’s F. Snow has been rare this winter, with only one somewhat plowable fall thus far.
The week of New Year’s our furnace returned to the blink, failing frequently, and requiring a reset every couple of hours every time temps fell bellow 35F. We had argued with our furnace guy throughout the summer and fall, insisting it needed replacing, but to no avail. I now happily report that we have a lovely new furnace and a comfortably warm house. This is truly an event worth celebrating.
Nori the cat continues to settle in, even helping us search for a malfunctioning CO2 monitor last night. She has a preferred new game in which we throw a stuffed mouse, she chases it, then waits for us to toss it again. The game is fun, and endearing, if exhausting, and we all get a good deal of exercise.
Speaking of felines, we both read The Traveling Cat Chronicles, by Hiro Arikawa, during the holidays. The book, translated from the Japanese, lived up to expectations, being well written, if heart warming and heartbreaking. Surprisingly, it brought back memories of being near death, in the iron lung, with polio, and the long, lonely, grief filled, recovery in hospital with no access to the comfort of family. Then came a cascade of memories of the loss of beloved cats and other companion animals. Waves of grief broke over me for more than a week, and the grief still rises on occasion. ( Spoiler alert: the cat lives.)
Grief is, of course, an inescapable aspect of life. Animal behaviorists used to believe that other animals don’t grieve, but we now know they do. I often wonder how scientists failed to see the obvious. Yet we humans are accomplished at failing to see the obvious which, combined with our predator nature, makes us exceedingly dangerous. I suspect those who insist we are somehow above the impacts of cause and effect, or that other beings have neither awareness or souls, are the most dangerous of all for too often they lack empathy and worship power.