Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Snow Days

Snow days are supposed to be days when I get to catch up on projects and work. I've had a three-day weekend because of the holiday.  It was frigid Saturday, snowed all day Sunday, and then remained frigid, snowy,and gloomy on Monday.  Three days off, projects to work on, no need to leave the house.

At least that's what I thought.

My cats always blame nasty weather on me.  Whenever the barometric pressure does something ridiculous, the cats either race through the house like a herd of buffalo, or else they find the nearest blanket to snuggle under with paws glued firmly over their faces. They punctuate this behavior with dirty looks thrown my way as if I purposely called Jack Frost and told him to make sure to dump three feet of snow on my house.

Percy is a buffalo.  Puckett is a nester.  And Willow starts the morning off as a buffalo and then morphs into a nester.  Usually by the middle of the afternoon on a nasty day she can be found either on my bed or on the dog's bed, half her normal size - that's how tightly she curls herself - with all four paws somehow jammed into her eyeballs and her tail wrapped around the whole ensemble.

Tess just gets unbearably demanding.  She loves the snow, but she does not like to love the snow alone.  I usually put her outside to tear channels through the newly piled snow in the backyard, but instead she either sits on the porch gazing mournfully into the house, or else she disappears into her doghouse.  If I let her in, she sits by the door and looks mournfully out at the backyard.  On my days off I usually take her for a run or walk through the snow, but she doesn't understand or else she doesn't want to understand that this can't happen the absolute minute I get out of bed and my feet touch the floor.  If she has to wait a couple of hours she paces around the house, whining, sighing, staring at the wall, like her best friend has just died.  This is ridiculous since Puckett, the aforementioned best friend who clearly has not died, likes to add insult to injury by following her around, purring, and running her tail under Tess' nose.

At the moment I have just moved Tess outside because she was lying on the kitchen floor grumbling, whining, and making all kinds of irritated, frustrated noises because I'm sitting here working rather than running her outside.  Now she is howling on the porch.  She NEVER does this, by the way.  In the entire time I've had her, I have never heard her howl.

The drama.

I did manage to get a lot of work done on my classes on Saturday after I walked Her Highness the Contessa (and believe me, the walk was not nearly long enough in her mind despite the fact I about froze my ass off).

Sunday I decided shoveling the driveway and walkway of the foot of snow that graced us with its presence was a necessary activity if I was to make it to work, or at least to the grocery store sometime in the next week.  Tess loves nothing more than to get in the way when I shovel.  Her idea of helping involved chasing the shovel, grabbing the handle with her teeth while I swung shovelfuls over to side of the driveway, and growling at the snow like it was about to attack us and eat our babies.  This caused snow shoveling to take twice as long as it should and I don't have a huge driveway to begin with.  Tess especially liked it when I used the edge of the shovel to scrape the snow along the driveway rather than scooping.  The louder the scraping, the more she growled and barked.  The neighbors must have thought she was killing something in my front yard, that's how much noise she made.  Of course once the snow accumulated into a pile beside the driveway, Tess jumped right into the middle of it, snow exploding everywhere, and then the whole process began again.  Shoveling takes the Cowboy five minutes when he does it.  When I do it, because I insist on letting my dog have some fun, it takes two hours.  Of course it is partially my fault.  I screw around just as much as Tess.  Every time I scooped a huge shovelful of snow into the shovel, I dumped it on top of her instead of putting it where belongs.

I returned to the house extremely sore and spent the rest of the day doing absolutely nothing except watch Captain America: Winter Soldier, until later in the evening when I thought maybe it was time to do something else productive.

I got my quilt out of its box where it's been sitting for two years because I knew once I took it out of its box I was going to have to deal with it.

Snow days seem like the best time to deal with un-dealable projects.

The cats think so too.  This is why they love snow days.  I stay home all day, and they get a new toy to play with, though my idea of a new toy for them is not my quilt.  That thing has taken me ten years to piece together and the last thing I want is claws hooked into it.  The ten years are my own fault of course since I keep procrastinating.

Sort of like my writing.  It's no wonder I haven't finished my novel yet, but then I also usually have some kind of cat face trying to sniff around the laptop, or sit on it when they get really bold.


By the time I had spread the quilt out on the floor to mark where the quilting was to begin, three cats lolled on top of it, doing their version of Pilates.  I guess I can understand it.  Quilts have all sorts of fun things for cats:  loose threads, fabric feathers, batting sticking out in certain places.  And of course it's soft so they get to roll around on it like they do the bedspread.  At the same time when I actually want to scoop the thing up so I can take it to the sewing machine, I have three bodies to remove and one of them (Percy) likes to chew on string or thread.  This causes all kinds of other problems, usually in his digestive tract.

I yelled.

They fled.

As soon as I was done sewing one section and had once more flung the quilt on the floor to mark the next spot for work, three cats were once more sniffing around.  Puckett also decided that right then was when she wanted attention and started her purring/rubbing routine.  Trying to deter twenty pounds of bulk from her goal of getting the attention she feels she deserves right then and there is a losing battle.

Needless to say I got very little done on Sunday.  The snow shoveling was eventually accomplished and I did manage to get some work done on my quilt.  But whoever deemed snow days as the perfect time to work on projects one ordinarily doesn't have time for probably never owned three cats and a dog who are convinced the world revolves around them.  In their perfect world, if they are going to have to suffer through the cruelty of a snow day, then it should be spent outdoors all day long (for Tess) and the quilt or knitting should be there solely to amuse (the cats).

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go take the howling, grumbling, whining mess outside for a run so that she doesn't bring the neighborhood down.


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