The Joy of Home Winemaking

Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
February 2002

Newbie, February 2

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Newbie
Saturday, February 2

After Dover the cat died, 18 year old Nelly went into a harangue (other cats would have gone into a decline, but not her, no siree). This surprised us. They'd lived together for 13 years and she never really warmed up to him, but now it was clear she missed the large untidy white cat with the lousy table manners and excess toes who used to galumph around.

She started yowling. She yowled and yowled. She yowled one night for 9 hours straight. Nelly is part Siamese, mostly the voice part. We took her to the vet, who said she was a fine, amazingly healthy 18 year old cat and advised us to get her a new companion. She prescribed tranqs. The tranqs made it worse.

So we went to the Humane Society and picked out another cat. Most of the cats were either too young, or too big. Most of them were some variation of black and white. Most of them were quite charming. We came away with a three year old spayed female "tuxedo" cat named Mittens.

Denny said "I hope you aren't attached to that name..." I agreed with a shudder that I was not.

It's been two weeks. Fenwick, as we named her (we considered Gauntlet as a suave variation on Mittens but it just didn't suit her. I looked up Mittens in French and German. The French was Moufle, which makes it sound like she's made of eggs. The German was Fausthandschuh, and forget that!) still sleeps upstairs at night but she and Nelly are gradually learning to tolerate each other. Nelly's only tried to kill her twice.

Fenwick has youth and an extra pound on Nelly but Nelly has claws and years of experience, so Fenwick is always the one who runs, with Nelly in hot pursuit. So far no blood has been spilled. Mostly they interact by staring fixedly at each other. Nelly's yowling has gone back to Pre-Dover Demise levels. We are relieved.

We still miss Dover. Heck, I still miss every cat and dog I've ever had. But now the page has turned and there is something new to read.

The weather this winter has been quite a contrast to last year. Last year it was hideously cold. This year it's only been below zero a few times here in the Twin Cities. Very little snow. A week ago it was so warm Denny sat outside with Nelly in his lap for a half hour.

People keep worrying about it and wondering when 'real' winter will hit, complaining that this just isn't your average Minnesota winter. I've lived here since 1983 and I have yet to experience a winter the locals thought was average. There's something extraordinary every year. Record snow falls, no snow for weeks, record ice storms, a warm January, a below normal February, dandelions in December, blizzards in early April, early ice on the lakes, late ice on the lakes, occasional thunder, and once a tornado. It's Minnesota: you never know. That should be the state motto.

Ah. Fenwick has informed me that there is a horrible monster out the window and I should come and help her growl at it. All I can see is the dog two backyards away peacefully frolicking and eating snow, but I guess duty calls and I must practice bonding and togetherness with the new feline. Umm, grrrrr?

Stay warm, my friends, and take good care of yourselves.

Terry


Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
2002: | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr |

| 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | Current Month |

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Copyright 2002 by Terry A. Garey.