If You Don’t Like the Weather in Indiana…

So much has been changing in my garden and it’s doing it so quickly that it’s hard to keep up. Then the weather changes dramatically around it. One day I see an interesting leaf pattern or color combination. The next day it has changed and developed in a new and interesting way. All this makes it a time of every-changing beauty.

I haven’t been able to keep up.

At this point, my garden is now through the mid-spring blooms. The magnolia has put on its brilliant show, though it was a little muted by cold-damaged petals. Still, there was beauty in their brown freckles and spots. The peony has stretched its tentacles up and out of the ground. Soon it will look like a pretty unassuming green, leafy plant. My many varieties of daffodils have bloomed. So have my favorites, the fritillaries and epimedium. And the ferns have unpacked themselves, uncoiling cell upon cell.

Then an April snow fell on it all. Then rain. Then sun.

It’s a beautiful time of year.

Second Chances

I sit outdoors on the second step

and watch this cat eat his food.

He is not my cat

and cannot be my cat,

so he has no bowl and eats

from a folded silver square of aluminum.

The air is close and heavy in our lungs.

The neighbor’s air conditioner

slams to life. Mine echos

a moment later and their rusty

fans spin hard into the gathering dusk.

In this moment, the world

is as thin as the piece of foil

that crinkles lightly at each pass

of the cat’s tongue.

Everything bends along with it.

Lost. Found.

Thin kindness. Sanctuary.

The balance of a life starting over.

Perhaps.

I look down at the cat

as we spin through this darkening universe,

and I am left to answer:

How will we sustain

this small and insignificant life?

 

                                             –Amy Rich

An Update for the Cat Fans

The Ladies Ygraine and Morgaine continue to be absolutely lovely and delightful.

One of their favorite pastimes is to watch the birds at the feeders outside. In January, I got them a bird feeder that would attach directly to the window, and finally the birds have found it. The birds will put up with the cats, but they prefer to eat at the other feeders that are not within paw’s reach. So, this feeder only gets busy when the other feeders are empty.

Sometimes Lady Ygraine gets so excited she hops up on the ledge formed by the top of the lower window. She balances there for a surprisingly long time before hopping down again.

It’s meditative to watch their tails wave as they concentrate on their birdwatching.


Meanwhile, we continue to work with Squire Percival. We’re trying hard to teach him how to be a better cat and how to communicate with us without using his teeth. He’s making incremental progress, and we’re starting to understand him a little better, too. Still, it promises to be a long process.

We continue to try to take him on walks. We think he enjoys them–at least he is agreeable when we’re putting his walking jacket on him–but he gets overstimulated quickly and starts hissing and growling at the world as he’s exploring it. He can only be out for so long before he starts getting too foul-mouthed and attacking us.

We also continue to do the clicker training. His skills now include sit, stay (kind of), touch, weave (between beer bottles), go in (his carrier), mat (as in, sit on it with all 4 paws), go through (a tunnel), and jump. A lot depends his mood.

When he’s doing well, he can be super sweet and goofy. You can get a sense of that in the videos below where he’s doing his usual greeting at the window and when he’s running after his favorite sparkle poof toy.