Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Furry Barometers

Well, it's that time of year again.  The end of summer, the end of blistering heat, and the end of the whirlwind of fun events that go along with summer in a touristy western town. It's been a fun summer, all things considered.  There were some bumps along the way, but I feel like the summer kind of flew by because there was always something going on.  In a way, I'm looking forward to a lazier pace.  I will miss my petunias though.

Unfortunately the end of summer also signals the beginning of seasons changing which is when my pets descend into their version of PMS.

They don't have Premenstrual Syndrome, they have Pre-Autumn Syndrome: PAS.

They also have crabby-I-use-the-barometric-pressure-as-an-excuse-to-be-an-annoying-jerk syndrome.

For some reason whenever the weather does something slightly weird, the animals go all to pieces. It's been a hot, dry summer, but last week, it rained for two days.  One would think the zombie apocalypse just started.  I enjoy the rain, especially at night when the weather is still warm enough that I can leave my back door open so I can listen to the pattering.  I also enjoy the rain because it means I don't have to water my plants.  Nature does it for me, and nature has been quite good to me this year.  My garden yielded onions, a passel of carrots, and five or six beautiful, juicy cucumbers.

My animals, however, were not pleased.  To add insult to injury, the full moon made an appearance Wednesday or Thursday causing more shenanigans enjoyed by all.  It brought in all kinds of delightful, colorful folk at the library.  It was lunatics on parade and Tuesday night I'm pretty sure I was the grand marshal. It was literally that terrible moment when I realized that it was my circus and those were my monkeys.  I won't get into too many details, but the highlights included an old guy with a long grey beard and hair muttering on about how much he hates this town and how no one will help him with his quilting patterns, and the twentysomething-year-old who thought my nine o'clock closing of ushering everyone out was the perfect time to ask me out after my shift was over.

When I get off work at nine all I want to do is go home, feed my pets, and crawl into my pajamas. These twentysomethings just don't get it.  I'm freaking old and I don't do drinks at nine o'clock anymore on a school night.  I mean, are they playing with a full deck?  What is this trend all of a sudden of young twentysomethings chasing after ladies pushing forty?  I'm not a cougar, I'm a twenty-pound house cat.  I am a Puckett.  I love her, but she's about as exciting as Ovaltine and toast. I'm not sure what the mystique is, but I'm here to tell you, life with a professional, independent, single woman pushing forty includes Netflix, cats, and comfy pajamas. Not exactly the exciting Samantha Jones these twentysomethings are envisioning when giving chase.  Sure, I can probably teach one a little bit about wine, but then I'm going to bed with my book.

So anyway, when I got home, the circus continued.  I actually thought Percy was sick, the way he's been acting.  He's usually a pretty mellow cat and all one has to do is touch him or stroke his head and he starts purring.  There are push button horses and he's a push button cat.  His purring is automatic. He's been pretty pissy this last week, though.  He wanted nothing to do with me for most of it.  I usually can pick him up, hug him, and kiss him all over and he'll just purr and rub his head on my chin, but not this week.  This week he struggled out of my arms and stalked off, polishing his whiskers, and twitching his tail at me.  He spend most of his time stretched out on the tile floor, like he does when he's hot, but it hasn't been that hot.  I almost rushed him to the vet when he threw me a bone and allowed me to pet him while he purred near the end of the week.  Meanwhile, Willow is being extra clingy.  Her new thing is to sit on the back of the couch with my stuffed animals while I watch TV or write.  She's getting a little friendly with my stuffed unicorn.  I'm not sure if she's in love or just in need of some furry companionship and she's not interested in snuggling with the other two cats. Puckett absolutely refuses to leave bedroom except to eat, and she's definitely not interested in snuggling with anyone including me.  She hasn't even been tormenting Tess with the cupboard door like she usually does.  Other than fighting with Percy, she just been ignoring everyone.

Tess has been edgy too.  I think summer bothers Tess.  It's too hot and she doesn't like heat.  She has a fur coat after all.  I love the heat.  I don't have a fur coat.  I don't even have enough fat or muscle to retain heat, so heat - and especially dry heat - does not bother me.  Now that the weather has been slowly cooling, she's like a Tazmanian devil.  She wrung herself up so tight the other day when a friend and I took her up the mountain to hike, that I thought she was going to tear his truck bed apart. She's been out of control lately.  She's always full of energy, but lately she's been downright crazy and more ADHD than usual.  Tess and I both have had a decline in energy over the years, though Tess still manages to out-energize me, so fur coat or not, I have no excuse. Neither one of us is able to go for an hour long walk in the middle of the day in ninety degree weather anymore, but Tess will still hike all day in the mountains given the opportunity and I discovered that I could barely make it up the not-even-steep hill in the trail without stopping twice to rest.  My friend kept offering me bottles of water and packages of almonds, with an expression on his face like "Come on, granny, you can do it. Get up there, let's go!"

My friends are comedians. They love to pick on my age.  One in particular enjoys tormenting me with chardonnay over ice because that's what old ladies drink.  It kind of ticked me off, because honestly, I used to hike the hell out of those trails.  It's a humiliating stab of reality to stop in the middle of a trail I used to be able power walk, put my hands on my knees, and pant like an old bird dog after a rabbit hunt.  I went home and went to bed.

It turns out I was in the beginning stages of a cold, so I'm going to use that as an excuse for being unable to handle hiking three miles on a mountain trail without wanting to die.  This is good news and bad news.  The good news is that maybe I'm not as out of shape as I thought.  The bad news is that as I age, I seem to be losing resistance to these nasty viruses floating around.  I never used to get sick so much.

Once again I'm put in mind of the end of a season and I'm starting to feel my age and Tess' age.  Another winter is coming. Another summer over.  I'm still procrastinating on things I want to do and wish I wasn't afraid to do.  Write that novel, go to Hawaii, finish that stupid quilt, trade up on my house and property, maybe open a chocolate shop.  Meanwhile I can't get my butt up a trail that isn't even that steep, and three hours in the saddle the weekend before about did me in.  I'm not getting any younger and I need to get going on my dreams.  My pets, the barometers, are also acting as furry hourglasses.  Every time they go bonkers, I realize another season has passed.  If they don't do me in with their lunacy, one of these viruses will.

Dreams are achieved one step at a time and step one is to make those gluten free cupcakes I've been craving.




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