I wake up to the 0600 NPR weather forecast, and sleepily mishear the announcer’s “four to eight inches” into “forty-eight inches.” Holy shit, I think, blearily, shaving, showering. It’s the blizzard of the new millennium. Student conferences at 0745, and I need to buy fruit juice and cat food before the deluge.
A cup of coffee and a post-shower second forecast listen help. It’s not the apocalypse. It’s four to eight inches. Student conferences go as well as they can, and I have to give a lunchtime presentation, and I’m maintaining the whole day through with aspirin and antitussives and decongestants, with as bad a case of the creeping crud as I’ve had in a long time; a case that my conferees tell me is sweeping through the corps, as well. Chest and throat cough; loss of voice; body aches like I’ve been stuffed in a bag and beaten with a stick. We get good things done, me and the cadets: they figure out smart things to do with their essays, and I do my best not to breathe on them. Regular application of hand sanitizer.
I come home and lie down on the couch. Coat’s a blanket, and that’s about all I have energy for. Church bells ring at 1800, and Tink and Zeugma know that means it’s time for dinner. They get fed, and I go back to bed, until I hear odd cat vocalizations. Tink and Zeugma, up on their hind legs, looking out one of the front windows at the snow coming down on the porch and front yard and sidewalk.
OK, I figure. I’ll indulge them. The front porch has only two exits — steps down to the front yard, and door back into the house — and I can easily herd my two indoor kitties back inside should they get too ambitious in their engagement with the big white snowy world.
I let them out onto the porch, and Tink is well-behaved, sniffing the bounds, examining the perimeters, making sure everything’s safe.
And Zeugma takes a blind leaping header out into the snow, four feet below.
She gambols and frolics up the side yard, intent on the bush where the birds she watches from the kitchen window rest, and it’s all I can do to eventually herd her back up in the front door, and that’ll be the last of her outdoor activities. The girl is far too bold for out of doors.