Typically on the first day of spring I head out to work in my garden to celebrate, but not today, with rain and then snow, the soil is still partially frozen and what’s not is sopping wet, so today we remember a warmish sunny spring day in 2011 when Cookie and I spent the day out there, and Mimi and I also spent some time last year. I’m remembering Cookie having such a good that year—especially escaping through the hole in the fence after waiting for me to turn my back long enough—and napping in the sun, and all the years we did this living here. It was difficult to be out there with all those memories until Mimi joined me, and I’m sure Cookie will be with me, along with Namir, Stanley, Moses, Sally and Kublai.
Wow, this is the life! I could lie in the sun all day!
Yesterday, mom stopped everything she was doing and went outside in the middle of the day. We haven’t done that since I-don’t-remember-when! I know it’s been getting warmer and the days are getting longer—I’ve seen 19 years of this—but I can never quite keep track of where we are. But when mom does this, all the signs point to SPRING!
First thing in the morning, we went out on the deck and the air was still cold but smelled so good I got up on my green table where I can see the whole yard. It’s not easy for me to get up here anymore and it takes a few extra steps but I was inspired!
Then it felt so good I got up on the deck railing and said “hi” to mom who was pointing her black box thing that makes pictures all over the yard. When she turned and saw me, first she took my picture as she always does, then she asked “just what the heck I was doing on the deck railing when I was 19 years old?” I didn’t see why being 19 made any difference in my being on the deck railing and turned around and walked around to the corner, but mom would have none of it and she picked me up! I was so mad I think I even let go of a few profanities. Then she set me on the deck and moved my green table too far away from the railing for me to step on it because “I stumbled a little bit”. She worries too much.
Then we went out in the yard and I walked all around and smelled everything while she got to work. Look at this jungle of branches! I remember when Namir and I used to hang out on this picnic table. I miss my buddy, even though he used to pull my tail.
Mom had to help me out of the tomato cage, but I could have figured it out eventually.
I had to keep checking on her to make sure she was doing things correctly. Humans do things for strange reasons—for instance, I can’t figure out why she covered up the hole in the fence in the corner of the yard. I loved to crawl through there and I’d end up in a completely new place. Mom would drop everything and come running, but she couldn’t fit through the hole and had to run all the way around to get me. She didn’t have to get me! I knew where I was! Now I can’t get through there anymore.
I don’t like to get my picture taken but sometimes she sneaks up on me and catches me off guard, like when I was taking a bath and enjoying the sun. She said I made a “nice composition”. I thought I was a tortoiseshell cat.
After all that activity, I was ready for a nap. I used to just curl up on some leaves and grass in the sun, but it felt kind of cold and uncomfortable. Then I found that mom had tossed her flannel shirt on the ground and that was just so nice and cozy, and it smelled like mom.
Everyone knows when I stretch out my right arm, the one with the fully orange index toe, that I am a happy kitty.
Last year on this date Mimi and I went looking for spring, and it’s even later this year!
Looking for Spring, 2014
Mimi and I went out into the back yard to look for the spring that arrived today.
Mimi sat on the deck rail and surveyed our yard for quite some time, looking for signs of spring, but only found some wan sunshine.
We looked in the garden.
I’d left all the plants standing for the animals to nibble through the winter and brush for cover to find protection, and tomato stakes and plant cages for birds to land on when the world is covered in snow and ice. Mimi rubbed her face on everything, and we noticed that our bunny, Hester, liberally fertilized our garden. Usually I would have set up my cold frame and planted lettuce, and planted peas by the fence and potato sets in the sunniest bed by now, but the ground temperature is too cold, and in many places it’s still frozen. I hope this will take care of some of the insects who’ve been able to overwinter with our recent mild winters.
We looked in the compost pile.
I don’t have a bin for compost at the moment—that was crushed when the neighbor’s tree came down last May, and it’s a project for this spring. But the pile is alive with not only good soil bacteria but also little critters who appreciate the heat it generates and the occasional tasty snack they find. My brush piles for wildlife also line the fence, stacks of twigs and branches birds and little bits can climb through covered over by a heavy, waterproof covering of last year’s dry leaves. Mimi and I held very still and quiet to hear rustles and peeps and squeaks and whispers coming from all along the fence, yet not one thing moved.
Buddy yelled at us the whole time we were outside.
Buddy, the bird feeder destroyer.
Mimi told him to get out of her tree.
I think she also told him to watch his step or he’d be cat food.
We did find Vernal Equinox, but she is very tired from her journey and will rest a while under a blanket of leaves.
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